Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Itís just about a fact of life that birds and squirrels will eat just about anything. So, last week, when I found a half-eaten bag of potato chips in Momís room, I crushed them all up and sprinkled them on the deck for the critters to enjoy. A better choice than eating them myself!

The next day, the crumbs were still there. Untouched. And there they sat through the afternoon, the next night, and into the next day, when Mom finally decided to brush them off the deck and into the grass.

Whatís this??? Birds and squirrels are selective about what they eat? I continued the experiment, this time with a crumbled banana nut muffin [from a mix] that Mom brought home from church on Sunday afternoon. Itís now late Tuesday afternoon, and all those crumbs are still sitting there!

Is it possible that birds and squirrels recognize that this processed stuff isnít a food source? Maybe they realize that thereís no nutritional value and they wonít touch it? Hard to believe, but itís always hard to outsmart a squirrel, as anyone who has maintained bird feeders knows.

Iím going to view this as a Ďnutritionalí test. If the critters donít find it fit to eat, itís probably not fit for human consumption, either! Iíll keep experimenting. I know theyíll eat fruit and nuts. Maybe Iíll try them on some low-fat granola and see what their verdict is!

12 thoughts on “Birds and squirrels

  1. Denise says:

    Jane, please don’t feed the animals human food which they are not meant to eat…

    Our city had to make a law that we are no longer allowed to feed the geese at the lake.

    1. The geese stopped migrating home and stayed and the population grew too large and they started getting sick and dying.

    2. They were being fed chips and white bread and other foods which are not a part of their natural diet and this also made them ill and contributed to the dead goose problem.

    3. They became beggars and stopped foraging for their natural foods.

    Jane, you have a lot of common sense… You don’t have to feed chips to the critters to know that they are a food that isnít exactly healthy and to be eaten in moderation.
    (:->)

  2. Beverly says:

    Naw, Jiffy, you just have some messed up birds and squirrels!! JK! Really though, I’ve never seen ’em pass up an easy food source, regardless of it’s nutritional value. But like you said, “If the critters donít find it fit to eat, itís probably not fit for human consumption, either!” Hmmmm, food for thought? Tee hee, I know, that was baaaad! Let us know what they think of the granola, k?

    Beverly

  3. Denise says:

    PS… the squirrels and birds maybe staying away because they are afraid of your dog…

    It just isn’t a good “test” to feed them people food and conclude, “if they eat it, it must be healthy.”

  4. elizabeth says:

    Hi Jane,

    I’ve noticed similarly that ducks wouldn’t eat crushed potato chips thrown to them, whereas they would eat bread or popcorn. I’ve wondered why.

    A starving animal will eat anything, though, of course.

  5. Sandra says:

    I agree with Denise on this one…it is never a good idea to feed wildlife human food. It is not a good indicator of “nutritional value”… please just leave them alone.

  6. Debra says:

    I agree that the birds and squirrels are probably staying away because of household pets and/or because the food is too close to the house. I also agree that put in the right spot they would eat it regardless of its nutritional value. I also agree that you probably already know what is and isn’t nutritional. I also agree that it’s not the greatest thing to do that. I’m very agreeable today!

  7. Mary says:

    Hi Jane,

    I just wanted to tell you how helpful and insightful I always find your postings. Of course JuJu is one of a kind, and everyone misses hearing from her. But it’s not fair to compare the two of you, or to hold it against you that you aren’t her. You’re both originals! Lately when I’ve read the readers’ comments section, I’ve noticed a tendency to dismiss your upbeat worldview and/or look for something to criticize. I think if we do that, we’re missing the point — that you’ve been there for us, day after day and week after week, helping us better understand ourselves by looking at our lives from new perspectives. I can read a lot of kindness and caring between the lines, and (I thought) that’s the reason we all look to Skinny Daily in the first place.

    That said, I love feeding animals, too! I try to keep it healthy, but I don’t always succeed. Must be some sick inner food=love equation.

    Mary

  8. Sandra says:

    Hi Jane, I too throughly enjoy your comments, as well as Jonanthon and Juju. You are all truly inspiring.

    Since this is a daily post…. sometimes things come up that I may not necessarily agree with.. thus the opportuntity for readers to post comments. My comments regarding feeding wildlife are not meant to undermine what you are trying to do here and the numerous GREAT ADVICE and insights you have.

    Thanks again for the opportunity and keep up the great work… just don’t feed the animals! ūüôā

  9. stretchy says:

    no animals were harmed by the uneaten potato chips.

    Jane, Thank you for all of your posts.

    Stretchy

  10. Trinka says:

    One winter, I ruined a batch of (white) bread and threw it out in the back yard for the critters.

    Came out a day or so later, and found an enormous possum dead, with his nose in the bread.

    Don’t know if it was the white flour, or my cooking …

    Trinka ūüôā

  11. elizabeth says:

    I’m thankful for your posts, too, Jane. I appreciate every post you’ve written. Please keep on keeping on….

    I’m a birdwatcher (proud member of The Wild Bird Society of Japan). We can learn a lot from animals. Keep watching them, Jane.

  12. jane says:

    you folks are so darn nice! but frankly, i’d be VERY worried if all of you agreed with everything i wrote!

    this one was meant as a lighthearted observation, rather than telling everyone i was about to do some serious experimentation on the birds around here. i’m a long-time birder, and just don’t do those sorts of things. it was simply a surprise that no critters ate the chips or muffin!

    but taking a more ‘scientific’ view of the situation, i think it has more to do with the serious drought than with their food preferences. the fruit eaters are long gone because there just isn’t any, and it’s not time for the seed eaters who winter over to show up. so we simply don’t have as many birds as we usually do.

    the dog isn’t really a factor as she spends most of the day in the house [poor thing!]

    thank you all for your insight, interest, and compassion for all creatures, great and small.

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