Chipmunks were a novelty when I was a kid. They don’t live in western Kansas, so we first got to know them on our family vacations to the Rockies. The tiny ground squirrels with their racing stripes and bushy tails never failed to entertain, scampering around the campsite, eluding our efforts to catch them.
They are frequent visitors to our backyard in Santa Fe, drinking out of the birdbath and chasing each other around the yard looking for stray seeds. But lately there seem to be more of them and I was amazed last week to find one sitting on a window bird feeder fifteen feet off the ground.
The feeder is filled with oiled sunflower seeds for the finches and chickadees, but the chipmunk has taken over, sitting on the tray and gorging while Gina, the cat, watches and I rap on the window. It scares him off for a moment, but as soon as I turn my back he returns.
I suspect there are two of them–a tag team–launching themselves off the nearby portal (deck) to the narrow window ledge. Yesterday they cleaned us out.
No sign of the chipmunk this morning, just a spotted towhee picking through the hulls. When I refill the feeder later today, I’m going to move it to another window–beyond the leaping range, I hope, of the average chipmunk.