Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Squirrel Wars

Al is waging the age old battle of the squirrels...and losing!

We have a birdfeeder that is hanging from a tree branch from a thin plastic wire that is about 5-6  feet long. You'd think that long of a wire would deter the squirrels, right? Think again. They shimmy right down the wire into the feeder that has two baffles on it.  This feeder worked well at keeping them at bay, for a few years, but lately they learned how to beat the system,  and Al is losing the war.

The squirrels have learned to climb down the wire and if they are very careful, they can stretch over the top of the two baffles and get inside the feeder.  Sometimes they make it, sometimes they fall off, but they keep coming back and eating the birdseed.

On top of eating the birdseed, the little buggars were chewing on the hard plastic baffle.  You can tell they didn't like it!

Al finally decided he'd "fix them", and he put another metal baffle over the top of the other two baffles.

You can see how far down it is hanging from the tree branch.

You can see the dark colored metal baffle over the top of the two other baffles.  It appeared to be working and Al would go out and laugh as the squirrels would try to get inside the feeder platform, and fall off.  He thought he had won the war.......and he was gloating!  I knew that was a bad idea.

Well guess what?  Yup, they figured it out.  They are now climbing the tree trunk, getting level with the feeder and jumping over and hitting the feeder, causing it to swing enough to spill the birdseed on the ground!  So now they don't need to get inside the feeder because the seed is spilled all over!  This morning, we found one inside the feeder though, so it appears one may have figured out a way in!  The little stinkers!

The good thing is that the Dove's also found the spilled seed and are eating it.  Hunting season for Dove's started Saturday, so we're hoping all the Dove's in the area come here and stay safe!  Why anyone would enjoy shooting a tiny little bird, I do not know.  How much meat could they have?

Here is a cute picture of a Cardinal and a Bluebird at the birdbath

Last spring, Al hooked this bird feeder to the window. thinking the squirrels couldn't get there.  You can see how well that worked.  The cats enjoyed watching the squirrels and birds.

We always have a lot of birds around (we feed them well) and we sure enjoy watching all the critters.  We will miss this place when we start our fulltiming adventures, but we know we'll always attract wildlife wherever we are.

For those of you who have never had a bird feeder, it is so enjoyable to just sit and watch the birds and see their different behaviors.  We buy Pennington Sunflower Chips from Walmart.  It has no shells (no mess) and there is no waste and nothing grows below the feeder.


Happytrails said... [Reply to comment]

We had made our backyard a certified Wildlife Habitat before we sold the house. We had two feeding stations plus several birdbaths. I would sit out each morning and evening and watch them feed. It is so exciting. I would get excited whenever we had a "new" bird to the yard. I sure do miss that. Yes, you are able to attract wildlife to a degree when full-timing but I have not been able to attract as many as when we had the habitat in the yard. Not even when we were at the state park. I miss it.
What I DON'T miss is the squirrels. They used to make me so mad. I so understand Al's battle but I agree with you...he's gonna lose. Those squirrels are smart little critters.

Enjoy your wildlife...you guys are truly a wonderful habitat.

Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

Sam&Donna Weibel said... [Reply to comment]

When we first moved here to Dardenne Prairie it was hundreds of acres of fields surrounding our house,The first things I noticed was for all the grass and trees, and flowers, there was very little rabbit activity and you never saw a squirrel, After a few days I saw why, the Hawks would circle the fields and eliminate any small animals that stuck their heads out in the open to long.Since the farmers sold out and the subdivisions started now e are overrun with rabbits and squirrels, since their natural enemy had to move to better hunting grounds.Now we can't put perennial bulbs in as the rabbits dig them up and feast on them, so much for country living. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Judy and Emma said... [Reply to comment]

I love the pics of the squirrel vs the cat! I think Dave is fighting a losing battle. :)

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said... [Reply to comment]

Funny! Been there, done that. I have spent many a day trying to outwit the squirrels, won some battles, but mostly lost the war.

Most fun I had was putting the feeder on a wooden pole and then greasing the pole and loved watching the squirrels sliding down. Of course the pole needed greasing every day and in the end the squirrels won because I got tired of the effort everyday.

Carol K said... [Reply to comment]

I enjoyed your story and pictures today, Karen. Good luck with the squirrels!

Merikay said... [Reply to comment]

I took don't the bird feeder this year because we were doing the painting and the only good place for it results in bird droppings all over a deck.

But we have had a very good place for a bird feeder to hang. It is under the upper deck, outside my studio patio doors. The squirrels just can't get to it.

From time to time i enjoy watching a squirrel climb up and around trying to figure out if he can jump that far! I have never seen him try.
Truth be told, I put out nuts and corn for the squirrel!

Karen and Al said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks to you all for your comments. We actually love our squirrels too and believe me, they get fed well too! Al even has allowed them to make a winter nest in his shed to get away from the cold.

We used to have a bird feeder,we called a "salad spinner" Once a squirrel or heavy bird got on the ledge, it spun them off. It was funny watching the squirrels, but they learned quickly to stay away! I'll have to see if I can find the video the company provided. It was hilarious!

Margie and Roger said... [Reply to comment]

I was hoping to read a solution to the squirrel problem in the comments, but doesn't seem to be any. Roger did the baffle thing too, but nothing worked. I love squirrels, but not in the bird feeders. I haven't put any out here because there are squirrels everywhere. I like the idea of the seed you use - no mess.

The photos are priceless! Amazing! Whine, whine, I want a new camera so I can get those good close-ups too.