They come, they eat, they take the whole thing with them

Our fun project of the day yesterday was making pine cone bird feeders with peanut butter, birdseed, and some pine cones that had fallen in the yard. We made two, then I tied them onto our patio umbrella. My thought was that they'd be close enough for us to see any birds, and if they were dangling from something, a squirrel wouldn't be able to reach them.

Our get-to-know-your-neighborhood-birds project turned into a feed-your-local-squirrels project, as near as I can determine. Not noticing any missing birdseed when I checked the feeders this morning, I decided to move one of them to our big tree in the back yard. I hung it from the end of a long branch, again thinking I was making it squirrel-resistant (I would never be so arrogant as to use a phrase like "squirrel-proof"). About two hours later, when we went back outside, the feeder hanging from the tree was gone. No pine cone, no string, no evidence that it had ever been there. I scouted the yard quickly and didn't see any trace of it. Oh, well. After a long outing, Kent and I came home in the mid-afternoon, and the other was gone, too. I looked at the patio umbrella, and the squirrel (or perhaps the very talented and inconspicuous primate, judging from its dexterity) managed to pull the string halfway up the umbrella support, then apparently chewed it off. The feeder must have clattered to the table at that point, because there's birdseed all over the table, and then I guess the squirrel/primate carried it off to wherever it had the other one stored.

I SO wish I had been around to see this. I might make more bird feeders and park myself and Kent in front of the window with a bowl of popcorn and the camera. At least I know something in the neighborhood is eating well today, even if it's not our birds.

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