Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pecking Order

Unable to see their little nether regions (and some things should stay private), I cannot tell if the ground squirrel hiearchy in the barn is run by matriarchs or patriarchs, but there is a definite pecking order.  This applies to who can eat when, and even to where one can stretch out to wait for the breakfast buffet to open.  I do believe it may be a case of older versus younger and not necessarily gender specific.  The young ones trying to move up in line are chastised severely and loudly, and sometimes are run completely out of the barn by the older, heavier squirrels.  These battles get physical, as evidenced by missing ear tips and scarred backs.  I've got a ringside seat for all this action as I milk every morning.

There is a scrub jay that has the impression the buffet is self-serve.  He won't wait until I fill the trays for the goats' nighttime snacks (which leave them open for squirrels and birds).  Hearing rustling in the feed bucket on the overhead shelf, I realized this jay braves the dangers of confinement and is serving himself.

The barn regulars, the mice, wait under the stand for Esther to take her turn.  Esther is somewhat eccentric and prefers her cereal spread out on the tray and usually upsets her bowl.  This, of course, spills out an offering for the tiny ones on the ground.  The mice love Esther.

I haven't wanted to say anything before so as not to jinx the situation, but one bird nest has survived the nighttime raids and the chicks are growing.  I can't see this nest as it is on the far side of one of the girders and hidden from view, but I've been listening to the baby chirps getting louder over time and becoming more adult.  I imagine the babies are about to become fledglings.  I wish them well.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Ah, your bird's eye view of life with the little critters is so entertaining. Your word pictures are the perfect start to my day!!