Rodents

After a particularly busy day at the bird feeder, things got quiet mid-afternoon. The dozens of finches and redpoles, the two nuthatches, the blue jay, the handful of chickadees and the woodpeckers all left. I stood by the window waiting for their return when I noticed (and heard through the microphone) this little fur ball.



While waiting for the mouse to get in good view for a photo, I saw something out of the corner of my eye reach up from a hole in the snow, grab a bird seed and immediately disappear. It was a vole. I took dozens of shots and the only one which came close to catching the elusive little bugger was the one below.



The pink dot on the lower right is his snout.

The vole actually made little snout-sized holes in the show. It would reach up through the snow hole, grab a seed as if its long snout was the trunk on an elephant, and pull it back in through the hole, all in a split second. Too fast to adjust the camera, anyway.

It is bad news if the voles are active this winter. They are fond of eating the bark off young trees, which kills the trees. This is the first time I have seen a vole in action. It seemed loath to see the daylight. They reportedly will not run across the snow, preferring to tunnel through.

Since I blocked off the hole which was the point-of-entry for mice into the garage (two of which I trapped on the weekend), I am not to concerned about these little things operating out my window. The birds went through 1/2 of the feeders--which I just filled last evening. Perhaps the rodents will moderate the bird-food consumption rate a bit.