Normally our squirrels latch on to the feeder and either eat until they are full or fall off the hanging container. This is true whether the squirrel uses the wrap-around position or the hanging upside-down position.
Since our return from Monterey last week, we have a new visitor with a different technique. Rather than come down to the feeder, for an extended stay, he climbs down from the gutter above, fills his mouth and scampers back up the wire to digest his food on the gutter or the roof. He leaves the feeder swinging back and forth once he gets back on the gutter.
When I first saw the swinging feeder, I thought he had fallen or jumped off, but after observing him disappearing back onto the roof several times, it was apparent he was not using gravity as an exit assist.
He repeats this pattern about 8-12 times, averaging about 15-20 seconds per visit. He has done this for the past three days so we don’t think this is a fluke. His preferred times to visit seem to be dawn and dusk. The regular squirrels don’t seem to use the feeder as it gets close to sunset.
The squirrels manage to devour a six-inch block of seed in about a day and a half. Then they sit at the base of the beech tree or climb up on the back porch to stare at the kitchen window until they get some peanuts thrown at them or the food block is replaced. At times the more aggressive squirrels climb up on the kitchen window screen to stare into the kitchen.
My husband whistles a short tune to signal the squirrels when the ‘mess hall’ is open. He swears that the squirrels recognize the whistle, but I’m not convinced.