Squirly for food

Now that I am home for Christmas vacation, I have had some time to observe the “bird” feeder that my dad began to fill this fall. Everyone enjoyed viewing the birds that dropped bye when we filled the feeder last fall, especially the cardinals.

We thought our squirrel problems were over when my Aunt Ramona and Uncle Tim gave us a squirrel-proof feeder a couple of years ago. The feeder will close when a heavy animal trips the weight sensor. It has helped some, but it has not prevented squirrels from eating from beneath the feeder and jumping or climbing on the feeder, which have been big problems this year.

Six squirrels near our bird feeder this afternoon.
Six squirrels near our bird feeder this afternoon. We counted a record nine squirrels earlier today.

We have two squirrels who are special problems. One squirrel, is an absolute pig who we named “Tubby.” He sits beneath the feeder and eats frantically from sunrise to sunset and tries to scare the other squirrels and birds away. Another squirrel, who we call “Engineer Squirrel” jumps up on the feeder frequently, trying to get access to the big supply. He has not been that successful, however, as “Tubby” usually scares him away when he tries to climb the pole. He has tried jumping from a nearby tree, but my dad has cut some branches to make that route less feasible.

Our Aunt Ramona reports that she is using a squirrel feeder to keep the squirrels away from the bird feeder.

We don’t want to have to feed to piggy squirrels to feed the cardinals. Currently, the cardinals are often too scared to come to our feeder, as the are outnumbered by squirrels and other small birds.

We are contemplating trapping the squirrels and moving them, but that doesn’t sound like fun, either.

What do you think we should do about our squirrel problem?

5 Responses

  1. Dear self,

    Since no one will write about my squirrel problem, I wanted to bring up spear throwing as a possible solution to rid the squirrels from the feeder. Looks like a website is not as beneficial in removing the squirrels as I had hoped :/

    Tom

    1. Spear throwing, interesting idea. You might not be far off, those guys are pesky.

      I was intrigued by this comment because the commenter (it was not me) used one of my E-mail addresses in the E-mail line. This one sure got my attention in the list of comments!

    1. Janey,

      Thanks for stopping back! I almost forgot about how bad our squirrel problems were a couple of years ago! We didn’t do a whole lot in the short term, kind of putting up with them for the winter, but made some long term changes to avert a future problem.

      After watching these squirrels eat ravenously all winter long, we decided to remove our bird feeder in the spring, and did not bring it back the next winter. We didn’t want to remove it in the middle of the winter, when animals may have been dependent on it, but we felt things had gone too far to keep it there long term.

      Last summer, our large elm trees (where many of the squirrels lived) caught dutch elm disease, and we had to remove them. Although we were sad to see our shade trees go, we have had very few squirrel problems since.

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