Why Fight It

Christine Alfery

Posted on December 08 2021

Why Fight It

Featured image: Squirrel

The other day when I was in Ace Hardware buying bird seed, I saw that the man checking out ahead of me was buying a large bag of peanuts in the shell. After battling with the squirrels now for several years trying to keep them out of my bird feeders, and for that matter the larger birds like the jays and doves and crows, I asked myself, "Why in the world would this man want to feed the squirrels?"

I couldn’t get that large bag of shelled peanuts out of my mind. Perhaps, this man was onto something I hadn’t thought about. Why not just give in and feed the larger birds and squirrels? Why not give it a try? The next time that I was in Ace I was the one checking out a large bag of shelled peanuts.

I have always emptied my left-over seeds from the bird feeders on the ground in the woods for the ground critters.But, yesterday I put a rather large amount of shelled peanuts on the ground. I also resurrected the platform bird feeder made out of bleached poplar trees by an Ojibiwa person that I purchased in the handicraft store when on the reservation. I filled it with shelled peanuts.

This morning I watched all of the larger birds. The ones that ground feed and platform feed seemed to be in seventh heaven as they waited in line to get their shelled nut. They didn’t go near the smaller bird feeders. I watched as the smaller birds also came back and delighted in not being bothered by a jay who was protecting his territory. And to my amusement, I watched the squirrels scamper up the platform feeder, grab a nut, scamper down and run into the woods and bury - yes bury - one of those shelled nuts. The instinct for survival was alive in these squirrels. No wonder they are so pesty trying to get at our feeders. But, taking the nut and burying it – I have never seen a squirrel find one of their buried nuts once 3 feet of snow covers the frozen ground.

But what a delight! I could think of the larger birds differently now – they were no longer bothering the smaller birds like the finches, chickadees, and nuthatches. Each had their own space and all seemed happy in wonderland. This all happened because I changed my thinking. Sometimes we fight change. But, sometimes we just need to go with the flow.

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