Wildlife Season

Some of my favorite birds have returned to the neighborhood over the last couple of weeks. Baltimore orioles have been eating the orange slices. Ruby-throated hummers are visiting the nectar feeder. Rose-breasted grosbeaks battle the cardinals for the right to park on the seed feeder bar for minutes at a time and pick at the offerings like fussy eaters at a buffet spread.

And then there’s this guy.

This will be the third year, iirc, that I’ve had a planter chipmunk. I don’t know if it’s the same one as in previous years–Eastern chipmunks live 2-3 years in the wild on average, so this widget would be on the geriatric side if it is the same one. On the other hand, it would’ve been residing in a semi-secure location with plenty of food, so who knows? They can apparently live up to 8 years in captivity.

I also have a baby bunny scooting about the place. I startled it yesterday as it hid among the tulips; this morning, I watched it scoot from the safety of the Starry False Solomon’s Seal–the greenery in front of the planter in the above photo–to the yew hedge nearer the house. It is very small, like, I think it could fit in a teacup. I don’t know if its siblings are around, or if it’s already old enough to go off on its own. It’s not big enough to do a lot of damage–the hostas are already pretty big and I don’t have a vegetable garden for it to raid. But to play it safe, I did spray the smaller cinnamon ferns with repellant. I’m not sure how well it will do if it’s on its own. There are feral cats, foxes, and coyotes around, and a Cooper’s hawk zips through on occasion to check out the action around the bird feeders.

In closing, here’s another shot of chipmunk. I had been planning to chop that branch since it’s just one of those short ones that occasionally pops out along a tree trunk. But now that I know it’s a designated observation post, I may leave it alone.

ETA: caught the bunny in action early this morning. It was feeding in the front yard in a patch of white clover. I leave the grass a little high–around 4″–and I could just see head and ears. It really is very small. It could rest in the palm of my hand with room to spare.