Did you know you have a fearless, tightrope-walking, puzzle solver living next door? In fact, you probably have more than a few multi-talented squirrel friends in your neighborhood! But you’ll appreciate them in an entirely new way when you see how former NASA engineer, Mark Rober, put his backyard pals to a test that has captured the attention of over 32 million people!

While trying to enjoy some bird-watching from his house, Mark began to notice someone else was visiting his bird feeders. Regardless of what he did or how clever he thought he was, squirrels always figured out how to make a snack—and a mess—out of the seeds.

So, this engineer did as engineers do and designed a new bird feeder; one that he hoped was squirrel-proof. To do this, he needed to get to know these squirrels pretty well. And along the way, he discovered some of the reasons these creatures are so amazing!

Wondering how his fuzzy guests did? Well, the results are a hilarious adventure that will have you looking at the squirrels in your life with a little more fascination!

Let’s get better acquainted with our chittering, tail-flicking, gymnast neighbors, shall we?

Image: Squirrel hanging off of a bird feeder

Source: Wikimedia

Squirrels: they’re everywhere. From countrysides to city-scapes all across the globe, over 200 species 1 of these twitchy-tailed, omnivorous rodents are jumping from building to building in single bounds, planting trees, and, at least for today’s featured thought leader (and soon, you), providing months of endless entertainment!

So, how are they always managing to get into everything? (RIP to my lettuce.) Well, it seems that the name of the game for the squirrel family is a superb adaptation—even while flying through the air—and excellent problem-solving skills!

Mark Rober set up his exceptionally entertaining obstacle course, complete with slippery poles, launching pads, and even, if you can believe it, homewreckers, to put the squirrels in his own backyard to the test. Curious how they did? So were over 32 million other people! Here’s the hilarity that ensued:

Mark Rober is one of those creators who always brings you on a journey you’d never expect. From proving the kindness of people through lost wallets, creating a fun way to deter package thieves, determining whether sharks can actually smell a drop of blood in the water, or simply finding out what happens when you fill a pool with something called elephant toothpaste

He’s a bit of a mad scientist that helps over 12 million people access endless awe and wonder when they tune in. Head over to his YouTube channel and subscribe to see more!

Want to learn a little more about our agile little squirrel friends? Check out this video from Deep Look if you have a moment! They look closer at their personalities, the language of their tails, and how you and I aren’t so different from these determined squirrels as we might think!

There’s so much excitement waiting for us right in our backyards!

You can go on endless journeys wherever your curiosity takes you, without having to go any further than the edge of your lawn! Whether you’re staring in awe at the abilities of squirrels, relishing in your dog’s amazing sense of smell as he pulls you from tree to tree, wondering what the real importance of fruit flies is as you shoo them away from your grapes, or enjoying your free time as a machine washes your clothes for you!

We’ve been so attuned to being on the go and being busy for so long that we’ve barely had the time to watch the birds outside our window. Now that so many of us have found ourselves with that time, what are we going to do with it?

What about befriending a crow?

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You’re Probably More Like a Crow than You Thought

These birds probably live near you, but have you ever noticed just how intelligent they are? No? Well, you’re in for a treat.

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Or discovering what that strange-looking bug is that you always see in your area?

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Become an Instant Backyard Scientist with iNaturalist! 

What if you could go on a safari and get up close and personal with hundreds of plants animals, no plane ticket, no fancy guide, and no money required? Now, all of us can experience our own backyards with a little more wonder thanks to this amazing app!

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Or maybe, you can add to the wonder yourself by leaving a few treasures!

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The Artist Who Brought the World Joy One Egg at a Time

How can we spread joy with our work? Certainly, the answer is unique to each of us, but sometimes we need a little inspiration to get ourselves started. So let us introduce you to one of those sources of inspiration, Shari Kadar.

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Stay open to new possibilities! There’s a whole lot of fun to have if you just follow your curiosity.

  • Sam

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Notes:

  1. Bradford, Alina. “Squirrels: Diet, Habits & Other Facts.” Livescience.Com, Live Science, 27 June 2014, www.livescience.com/28182-squirrels.html. Accessed 9 July 2020.
  2. Rober, Mark. “Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder.” YouTube, 24 May 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFZFjoX2cGg&feature=emb_title. Accessed 9 July 2020.

Sam Burns

Editor in Chief

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.