Acrobat Squirrel

Acrobat Squirrel

Cone of Starvation

Cone of Starvation

My fascination with squirrels can be said to be, “for the birds.” My inspiration to paint them as characters, perhaps too.

But, so are the bird feeders.

We have many squirrels in our yard. We also have bird feeders made of seeds, in the shape of  bells, and suet hanging from what used to be for plant baskets.

After watching their behaviour for the last three years, I have noticed that squirrels are not only mysterious with their interspecies relationships, but they are a little bit greedy too.

Here are some photos snapped the other day. See the photo with the black cone attached to the pole? This is a technique we call, “the cone of starvation,” which is an attempt to keep the bird feed – for the birds. Earlier, we tried olive oil to grease up the pole, thinking the squirrels would slide down unsuccessfully with hot little hands.

You can only imagine our surprise when the mixture not only seemed to encourage them, but resulted in a note being left at our door asking for spicy flavoured nuts.