I’ve noted here before that I fill the bird feeder in front of the cabin with black oil sunflower seed. The birds seem to like it. I’ve had titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, and occasionally goldfinches visit and squabble over visitation rights. They provide entertainment when we’re sitting in the comfy chairs on the shady porch overlooking the sparkling lake.
In the summer, a chipmunk visited the base of the feeder to harvest the fallen seeds there. It lives in the nearby brush pile and skitters back and forth through the leaf litter from home to feeder. On our last visit to Roundrock, we spotted this red squirrel having a meal at the base of the feeder as well.
I don’t see a lot of squirrels in my forest. I would expect to see a lot. With all of the hickories I have there, it would seem that there would be enuf mast to feed them. (The fewer walnut trees concentrated on the eastern end of the property would help too.) And there are certainly plenty of cavity trees that could provide nests. But maybe the owls are using those and preying on the squirrels.
In any case, about the only times we do see squirrels — both red and gray — is as we’re driving along the Greenway along our northern property line. Like the deer and turkey we see there, they are generally running from my neighbor’s farm field to the north and into the cover of our forest to the south — directly across the path of my truck.
So I get warm fuzzies when I think that my bird-feeding stewardship is benefitting the squirrels too. Of course, I may come to regret that if they grow so numerous that they decided to move into the cabin.