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Chipmunk vs. Cardinals June 10, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, gardening.
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In “Sweet Home Pennsylvania,” our friend Ben noted seeing a chipmunk descending the trunk of a tree just off our deck, and watching said chipmunk being pursued, once it touched ground, by an outraged male cardinal. In this one vignette, our friend Ben learned two things I hadn’t known: 1. Chipmunks can climb trees! and 2. Cardinals chase chipmunks! Usually, the chipmunks around here hang out in the rock walls, and the only things that ever seem to notice them are the cats.

We had dinner with our birding friend Rudy on Sunday, and I described the incident. “Oh, yes,” he said, not the least surprised. “Chipmunks are nest-robbers, always after eggs. Birds hate them.” Who’d’a thunk it?!! And here our friend Ben thought chipmunks ate seeds and nuts. Now I’ve learned a third thing I didn’t know!

Reminds me of the time I saw a groundhog (aka woodchuck) sitting in a mimosa tree at our family home outside Nashville. (Groundhogs climb trees?!!) At the time I was simply dumbfounded to see it up there, but now, of course, I wonder what it was after. I’d have thought maybe the nectar of the mimosa flowers, or maybe the young green seedpods. Or maybe, like me, it just liked sitting in trees. (Even our cocker/springer spaniel mix used to occasionally join the youthful Ben in the old redbud where I liked to sit and read. But needless to say, it was a short, easy climb to my perch.)

Our friend Ben has always liked chipmunks. They’re cute and entertaining, and they’ve never eaten my bulbs or any other garden plant around here. But I don’t like the idea of their making a meal out of cardinal eggs. Go, cardinals, go!!!

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Comments»

1. deb - June 10, 2008

How much fun is that to have all those critters hanging around in your garden, but you are right, Don’t eat the eggs.

Yeah, there’s never a dull moment around here!

2. ceecee - June 10, 2008

A groundhog in a tree?! How on earth did it get down?

Actually, I didn’t see it get down. But it wasn’t there the next day, so it must’ve gotten down somehow. Mind you, it was still in a crotch of the main trunk, so it was probably closer to 5 feet off the ground than 40 or something, but still, I was amazed to see it there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another one in a tree, though!


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