My husband bought the first of many bird feeders a few years ago and for a while there was battle raging in our backyard. He was on a quest to keep the squirrels from eating the bird seed. The first feeder was an ordinary hanging affair that had no squirrel deterrent of any sort. Well, as many of you know this would never suffice in keeping the squirrels away.
My husband has since bought a number of squirrel booby traps. One feeder spun so it would fling the poor squirrel off into the ether. There was one where the perch was weight sensitive. Anything that weighed more than a chickadee would trigger it to drop away, sending the rodent flailing to the ground. Some had caps and tubes and all types of squirrel defeating apparatus. After a number of these contraptions I asked my husband why he even cared if the squirrels ate the seed anyway. I got an indignant gasp as he stomped off to hang an extension pole of the tree branch.
But I think my question is a valid one. I mean if Jurassic Park is right, birds are the nothing more than miniature dinosaurs. Some of whom stormed around terrorizing our tiny mammalian brothers and sisters of long ago. Our ancestors could barely eek out a meager existence under the shadow of the fowl forefathers. It took an asteroid to get rid of the darn things to give our warm blooded kin a chance. Who should we be feeding here?
The squirrel is a crafty creature and as far as I can tell none of the rigged outfits kept them from dining at the bird buffet anyway. The evidence is in the fat old squirrels that live in our back yard. I have to give them credit for creativity. I saw one little guy with his feet firmly clasped to the tree, stretched as far as he could, hanging upside down and getting one little seed nugget at a time. Doesn’t this fellow deserve a snack for all that work? Another one I swear enjoyed the spinning feeder, he held on with glee like a kid on a tire swing. He just waited it out and then dizzily gobbled once the twirling stopped.
They are also braver than the birds that fly away at the first squeak of the back door. The squirrels will linger, eyeing you up. Since they had to do a back flip, summer sault and a tap dance to get to this food they really need to determine if you are worthy of fear. They seem to know I am no threat so they munch nonchalantly. They are a little more wary of my spouse. He is the one thwarting their efforts and they look bitter and accusing towards him. Even with him they still stay until the last possible second before scampering up the tree. Not too far though since they know we are an indoor sort and won’t be hanging around very long.
Some time has passed things seem quiet in the back yard. The feeder that hangs now appears to be an ordinary type. I see birds in my back window. I see fat squirrels napping in my back yard. I see my husband out there too – in the front yard.