Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mine! Mine! Mine!

It doesn't take much to amuse me -- even if it's a silly squirrel. As you know, I love feeding the birds and squirrels. Lately, the wild turkeys think they need sunflower seeds, so they'll jump up onto the deck to steal a snack. I've seen some pretty crazy things these past few days. One of the turkeys was eating from a feeder when a squirrel walked up behind him, stood up on her hind legs, and pulled on the turkey's tail with both paws. It was the craziest thing! Then yesterday they were battling it out again, as you can see in this picture. The turkey would slowly move toward the feeder, and then the squirrel would reach out and slap it on the beak. It just cracks me up.

I've seen animals do weird things before. One time we were in Yellowstone and we watched two adult cranes attack a young bull elk. Apparently, the elk had wandered too close to the crane's chick, so they were giving him a really hard time. It was the weirdest thing to see these birds go after this elk, all the while the little chick was scuttling around trying not to get squished. We've also seen bald eagles fighting with osprey, grizzly bears chasing elk herds, and other strange things. It's definitely a dog-eat-dog world out there, even for squirrels and turkeys!

As I'm typing, there's a little red squirrel in my feeder now. I just put it out a few minutes ago. She came running, jumped up onto it, and then proceeded to wash her face before she began eating. She keeps stopping to chatter at something, and then she takes off running before coming back up. And just as I write this -- here comes Mr. Turkey wanting his snack. I swear, this place is a zoo sometimes! Squirrels are solitary animals, and therefore, there is no group or congregation name for them. That's why there are no squirrels in my Critter books. However, they sure keep me entertained, especially on dark rainy days like today.


  1. Ha! This is such a great pic, Rena. The squirrel pulling the turkey's tail is a crack up. Who knew a couple of sunflower seeds could turn something so cute into such a maniac?

    Wait until the both bring back their friends. Then you'll have a squirkey war.

    Yeah. I said it.


  2. You always come up with amazing photos and funny. :)

  3. hmmm... I was wondering why there was some animals missing, that I would have liked to draw....

    Makes perfect sense. Solitary animals...

    I am moving right along with the first book.. About halfway through..
    I am going to take a week off in June to focus on it.. I sit at work all day and wish I was working on the book...

  4. LOL @ "squirkey war", Gale. Now you've got me thinking all sorts of new ideas.

    Thanks Kim!

    Nikki -- That's great you're doing so well with the first Critters book. I've seen your animals and I'm sure you'd draw adorable squirrels. I'm so glad you're having fun with the book. I know it's going to be awesome!

    I remember when I first started writing how I kept seeing editors say, "No more squirrel books!" I never understood that because I really had't seen that many, but I guess they must have. They're cute little animals though and kids just love them.

  5. LOL Too funny! Love that pic!

    Lynnette Labelle

  6. LOL! That would entertain me too! I love watching unexpected interactions in nature!

  7. Cute pic. Never a dull moment at your house! I wish it was dark and rainy here, I love those kind of days.


  8. Great shot! Your birdfeeder is an endless source of entertainment.

  9. You get the best photos! I wish I could hang out in your back yard :^)

  10. LOL! I love the image of a squirrel pull the turkey's tail!

  11. It's a turkey/squirrel smackdown!
    I loved watching the wildlife at my feeder, too, but they are not as interesting as yours!!

  12. Rena,
    I love the photo and this post! My birdfeeder is also the setting for animal bird encounters. I've situated my breakfast table so I can watch the drama every morning.

  13. Cute pic! If you put little thought bubbles above their heads we could have fun deciding what they're saying to each other.

  14. Great picture! When I read the title as scrolled down I hoped this blog would not be about kids fighting (like mine are right now... I am so tired of the word MINE - especially when screamed at the top of one's lungs!) But I digress.

    Squirrels vs turkeys - now that is entertainment! :)