Thursday, January 31, 2008
Do Animals Think - or - Reason?
Do Animals Think?
I would have to say yes. I mean I put up a squirrel baffle to keep the critters off my bird feeder. It was a tube feeder that had a tray on it — to save the dropped seeds. Smart move put a baffle over it. That is until the gray squirrel decided he was too hungry to ignore the source of his delight – black sunflower seeds. He had already ruined two tube feeders. We finally hung it by a cloth covered wire so he couldn’t chew through and drop it to the ground. This is one determined squirrel.
Okay, Baffle in place. Are you ready for this. As I watched his efforts he shinnied down the wire onto the baffle —zip, slip, smash he was on the ground. Back up the tree he scoots, out on the limb, down the wire, onto the baffle. He did this three times, now he adds a little flip at the end of the slide – a near miss he lands on all four feet on the ground. The next time he timed it perfect, as he flipped he grabbed the tray under the bird feeder and crawled back up to the feeder.
I chased him away, but he had it figured out now. Turn my back and he was back at that black sunflower seed tube feeder with a vengeance. I won, I changed feeders and moved the feeder under the eaves of the house – He has not figured out how to get to that yet – oh, did I mention I got rid of the tube feeder with the tray – this one is a straight tube feeder, no tray for him to fall to – so far so good.
I have resorted to Cheyenne pepper on the other feeders – it only works briefly the reasoning behind that is that birds do not have olfactory glands (Butch if you are listening, that is used on more then the scratch off lottery tickets that don’t win) Those are the glands that allow us to smell – birds don’t have them – but apparently after a couple hours the squirrels can also by pass the pungent odor of Cheyenne pepper. So I have added a lower tray feeder especially for the squirrels where I keep a reasonable supply of sunflower seeds just for them and what the birds can steal while they are gone. They leave the upper feeder alone unless theirs is empty. Perhaps I should try moth balls in the feeder—hmmm but I am worried about contaminating the seeds for the birds. So I’ll feed the squirrels – we have a limited truce I guess.
Yes, I do believe animals have a brain and that they think with it, some more then humans = )
Billie A Williams
Accidental sleuths solve crimes
With wit, wisdom, and chutzpah