Sunday, November 30, 2008

Where Have All the Acorns Gone?

You may have noticed that my posts don't generally refer to news events but tend more towards what I'm up to. But for once these two actually intersect. The news has just confirmed what we had already noticed: there are no acorns this year! A Washington Post article explains this more in depth with some possible causes, all I know is that our squirrels seem very dependent on our charity this year.

(This feeder was full yesterday. They empty it that quick.)

The subject of feeding the squirrels always causes some debate in my house. My dad prefers to feed the birds but this generally means that in reality you are feeding the squirrels and the birds might get their leftovers. Because of this in previous years his efforts have been to reduce squirrel interference in bird feeding but this year, because of the lack of other resources, he has become more sympathetic towards the squirrels and begun to feed them also.

(The temptation to add my own idea of whatever cute little thing he might be thinking is strong but I will try to resist.)

One way we are feeding them is with a squirrel bungee feeder (the link will lead you to an ad for one but it has a good picture if you haven't seen one before). We thought this would be a good compromise because they get corn and we get entertainment. But of course they outsmarted us, they managed to get the entire cob off and proceeded to just eat it on the ground. We should have known, it is very hard to trick squirrels.

(Don't let him fool you, he has already found a way to empty this feeder too, he's just biding his time.)

I'm sure there are lots of different views about whether or not you should feed the squirrels just because there is a shortage of food this year. One could argue that this is just the natural cycle of things and feeding them this year will only increase the number that could potentially starve next year. These are good points but personally, I don't really think I could take the sight of emaciated squirrels begging on my front step. Maybe we are setting ourselves up to become the neighborhood crazy people who feed all the squirrels but if worse comes to worse we could always eat them (just kidding....or am I?) I will leave you with that thought.

(Or maybe I will leave you with this...look at those cheeks!)


  1. We had absolutely no hickory nuts last year...and we were overrun with squirrels...but they survived with some corn-fed help from us I guess. Still, definitely an interesting news article!

  2. In East TN we have BUMPER Crops of acorns this year...1000's and 1000's, no kidding, we needed hard hats for a while....I have pics over on my blog and some of these acorns were as big as ping pong was crazy...and last year..nothing but under formed nuts at