The other day, I glanced out the window and caught a glimpse of the male bluebird dive-bombing something on my patio. I went over to my patio door to investigate. A brown blur of movement caught my eye from behind my planters. I watched as an Eastern Chipmunk crept out from its hiding place to reach a peanut that it dropped, only to dart back under cover as the bluebird dove at it again!
This small, striped relative of the squirrel has been coming to my patio and near my other feeders for a few years now to snatch up the food that the birds have dropped to the ground. I get a kick out of watching it stuff its little cheeks with seeds and nuts and haul them back up the hill in the back of my yard towards the woods. Somewhere on that hill is a series of underground tunnels that it uses for sleeping, rearing its young and storing its ever-growing cache of food that it saves for when the weather is not so nice. It likes to use the fallen logs like little highways on its treks up and down the hill.
Usually the chipmunk stays on the ground, but occasionally, I’ll see it on one of the feeders, and when it’s done, it’ll slide down the shepherd’s hook like a little firefighter on a pole. It also will occasionally take a dip in my pond to cool off on a hot summer day.
Now don’t feel too sorry for this particular chipmunk because of his encounter with the bluebird. Although chipmunks eat mainly nuts, seeds and berries, they do occasionally eat eggs and small birds. My bluebirds have eggs right now, which was why the male bluebird was attacking the chipmunk. The chipmunk wasn’t near the nest box though, so I wasn’t too concerned.
Other than the occasional nest raiding, chipmunks aren’t much of a nuisance. I enjoy their funny antics and find them to be delightful visitors in my yard!
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