Do I have sentient squirrels?

Last year, I bought some solar-powered garden lights and put them along my driveway to make it easier (and more welcoming) to follow the driveway to my house. I was very pleased with the little spots of light marking the edge of the driveway. Then I kept finding two of them knocked over… with scrape/gnawing marks on them. The top part of one disappeared entirely. These had plastic tops, and maybe weren’t as durable, but it was weird to have a piece just disappear. What animal would want it? But what human would take just the top of one light? The two affected lights were under a tree, and squirrels maybe jumped onto them? My best hypothesis was that the squirrels thought they were some kind of bird feeder and hoped there were seeds inside the glass. I finally relocated them to the front of the house and bought metal ones to replace along the driveway. Neither set has suffered further attacks.

Recently I was doing some yard work, and I found the missing top, buried in leaves! But it just raised more questions. Because something spent some serious time and effort extracting just the solar panel. See below an undamaged top (left) and the one I found (right):

You can click to enlarge. It looks like dedicated… gnawing, to me. A human would have used a tool – or just taken the whole top with them (why dig out the solar panel and then leave the shell?).

The back side is equally weird, with the rechargeable battery and its cover removed. A human would have opened the cover with their fingers. Instead, whatever took this battery dug/gnawed it out.

This no longer looks like someone thought it was a bird feeder.

So I’m standing here with this chewed-up solar light and I’m wondering just what kind of squirrel is hungry for this technology. Or am I living next to the rats of NIMH? Help?

1 of 2 people learned something from this entry.

  1. milly Dezelsky said,

    March 28, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    I learned nothing……..what did you learn !?

  2. Kiri said,

    March 28, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    The jury is still out! I wish I had an answer. I’m hoping someone who reads this might be able to help ;) At least I learned where the missing top went!

  3. Ivett said,

    May 25, 2024 at 12:14 pm

    (Learned something new!)

    Did this ever happen again? I found 4 of my solar lights thorn to bits and the batteries missing. First I freaked out thinking someone got into my garden, but I thought to myself; who in their right mind would steal batteries and leave my power tools in the shed untouched. On closer inspection I saw scratch and bite marks on them. What the Teenage mutant ninja turtles is going on?????

  4. Kiri said,

    May 25, 2024 at 2:48 pm

    (Knew it already.)

    Wow, now I don’t feel like it’s just me! I didn’t have it happen again, but I replaced the lights with metal ones instead of plastic, so that probably was a stronger barrier. I’m sorry you experienced this weird phenomenon too!

Post a Comment

I knew this already. I learned something new!