The squirrels are in a mood this morning. One of the nameless hordes is obviously feeling rather more homicidal than usual–instead of the usual chase-chase-reverse-chase scene that seems to define squirrel politics, this one threw himself on a fellow squirrel and actually attacked, giving rise to a brief rolling ball of scratching and biting across the leaves, which quickly split apart as the victim fled, to drown his sorrows in the comforts of free suet. Undaunted, the aggressive squirrel turned on another squirrel in the vicinity and attacked again, with similiar results.
There’s a definite pecking order, but it’s hard for me to tell apart most of the members. Fortunately, the top two are easy–Scarface is the Boss. If he’s on the feeder, nobody else is allowed within ten feet. Next up, bizarrely enough, is Gimpy. I would have assumed our three-legged hero would be an underdog, but he’s actually something of a bruiser. (Must have been all those camellia buds…) He’ll even stand up to Scarface for brief periods, and he’s always the chaser and never the chasee with everybody else.
There’s one male that I suspect is usually the same, who I have tentatively named “Scrawny” because he’s so nervous and shaky and thin. He’s definitely at the bottom of the pecking order. He creeps up to the feeder when the other squirrels have picked it over completely and snuffles through the discarded shells looking for a full sunflower seed. However, since it’s mostly a behavioral identification, I’m not confident enough of my ability to ID him regularly to add him to the line-up.
An inch of nectar is gone from the hummingbird feeder. I haven’t seen any hummingbirds yet, but SOMETHING’s eating it, and there’s a bee guard, so it’s probably not bees.