The birds discovered it quickly; first the chickadees, then the juncos and house finches. The crumbs fell into the London Pride patch, where more juncos, assorted sparrows, towhees, and even a varied thrush congregated to clean up. Scruffy the squirrel tried to reach it, but the string was just a bit too long for her. By now, they've reduced it to maybe one third of the original size.
Today I had a new visitor, just a bit bigger than Scruffy. And maybe a bit more resourceful. See his strategy:
2:25 The basic toe-hang. "Mmm! Good stuff!"
2:26:41 The stretch and swing.
2:27:01 Bringing the string over the branch, for a shorter swing and a more comfortable position.
2:27:14 I could almost see when the thought crossed his mind, "I should take this one home." He bites the string above the first knot.
2:27:37 "Now, if I yank this hard enough ..." The tug-of-war.
2:27:46 "Maybe if I bite the string here ..." Opening up the net.
2:28:00 Reverse direction and give it a good shaking.
2:28:28 Break time. A quick nibble to build up energy for the next stage. "And, yes, I see that you're watching me, but who cares? You can't climb up here."
2:28:46 Reverse direction again. Start rolling and twisting and tugging. Loosen up the net. Over a minute for this stage.
2:29:59 And now, stretch that string, and YANK!
2:30:28 Success! Entire operation, just over 5 minutes.
The string and branch bounced around, the suet plummetted to the ground. I decided it was time to call a halt. That suet was for the birds.
I stepped out the door; the squirrel stopped on his way down the tree to challenge me.
"That cookie is MINE; I liberated it."
He raced down the trunk and over the garden. But I was faster. After I had gone inside, he came right over to the door to claim his property. Too late.
The suet is up again, tied with wire this time. We'll see what happens tomorrow.