I love coexisting with the wildlife in my area, and I have made a concerted effort to include lots of bee, butterfly, hummingbird, bird and squirrel-friendly trees, bushes and plants to help them thrive. I also have numerous birdseed feeders and hummingbird feeders that provide them with a bounty of food, and fresh water. There is a clean fountain where they bathe and drink, and our backyard has developed its own unique ecosystem. Our yard offers a wonderful sanctuary to so many creatures, and it is a visual delight to behold. Above you will note the large Band-tailed Pigeon sitting on the fountain where it had a sip of water.Doves flock to my yard in droves, and since they are too big for the hanging bird feeders, I strategically placed larger flat feeders upon which they stand while eating. They also forage on the ground since so much birdseed falls from the hanging feeders.
My flowering plum tree failed to thrive, and then when it died I decided to fashion it into a bird feeder.
I discovered that the doves loved to drink from the water bowls for our dogs, when they play outside, and therefore adding extra bowls of water, and keeping the water fresh became essential.
I have loved squirrels my entire life, and they spend a tremendous amount of time gathering in the yard. They eat, drink and nap regularly, and they are such incredible characters. They also know us, and they actually have developed a particular way of communicating with us directly. For instance, they have a shrill squawk that can be heard far and wide, and it only means one thing: the feeders are empty, please refill them now!
Both the dove in the feeder (below) and the squirrel near the feeder in the tree (above) are taking a break, and are just resting.
While the Gold Medallion Tree (Cassia leptophylla) has its own hanging bird feeder, it also generates hanging pods that are filled with seeds, and the squirrels love to eat them.
I often see the squirrels eating the pods, and then napping on high branches in the dense foliage.This particular branch has the perfect slope for the squirrels who love to stretch and lounge while letting their food digest.
If you perceive that this squirrel is looking at me looking at him (yes, it has been confirmed that he is, indeed, male), then you are quite right.
Stretching with closed eyes, does it get any better than this?!The grey blur above the squirrel is a dove in flight who is en route to the feeder below (where another dove rests between feedings).
This hilarious upside-down hanging squirrel is actually eating in this position! Obscured behind the foliage is the bird feeder, and his position means that with his hind feet firmly planted in the branch that he can swirl over to the feeder and grab some food and then pivot back to his hanging position to eat. It is a delight to watch his nimble, ingenious and pragmatic method of procuring and eating his meal.