So. We bring it home. The cats... are a little nonplussed by it. Perhaps because it is metal, and cold, the mesh on the feeder's bottom which holds the seed is not something they appear happy to walk ou - their sensitive footsies don't like it or something. But be that as it may, they inspected it from top to bottom, and then they decided that it was nothing to do with them after all, yawned in bored superiority, and went back to tuck their feet under the heater.
This morning, we went out to fix the feeder in place - required drilling a couple of holes, screwing in a couple of screws, and lo, there it is, sitting on the railing. We took out the front plastic divider but the back, remember, is still there.
Then we sat back to watch.
The first visitors were a trio of VERY wary and baffled grey squirrels. The "WTF?!?" faces were priceless as they made darting forays ever closer to the new monster, but did not quit dare get close enough to it to take food. They'd touch the edge with one foot, and hten dart away, spooked at their own courage. FInally, one of them ventured far enough to snag a peanut.
That did it. The second guy figured that if the first guy (a) didn't actually get eaten and (b) found something to eat, it HAD to be safe.
The trouble was, he went around the BACK. And then he tried to go back inside under the roof... through the transparent back panel. BONK. His expression was a joy to behold, this semi-affronted semi-terrified outrage - "They put up a Magic! Feeder! With Invisible Walls!"
They seem to have got over their intial fright, now - at least the grey squirrels have. I haven't seen one of our little brown ones yet, and the bluejays have been circling but haven't landed yet. SO there's more fun and games to come. I really should have taken a video of all this but by the time I thought to go get the camera all the really funny initial exploration stuff was already over. Sigh. My timing sucked.
Oh, and we bought something else, too. The squirrels had chewed through the hinges of the lid of our plastic food bin. Yes, AGAIN. This meant that the lid had no purchase any more and required large heavy objects parked on top of it to keep it in place. A visiting raccoon figured out how to knowck down the planter which we put on top of the bin, and even if it wasn't for the annoyance and the frustration of sweeping up spilled soil from all over the deck every morning there was also the affront that once he knocked down the planter kicking the lid aside was an easy matter and we kept on finding the thing off and all the peanuts in the feed, well, EATEN. Well, this could not be allowed to go on, clearly. So this time we got a metal bucket with a tight-fitting lid on (NO HINGES!!!) and we'll see how the raccoons and the squirrels like THAT. But in the meantime it's added to the hilarity to watch the squirrles make gleeful leaps into the plastic bin which they KNEW held food... and emerge baffled, empty-handed, and furiously frustrated at the fact that it contains nothing but the latest crop of the dry leaves coming off our big leaf maple in the back.
I love my wildlife.