Something Else

Thank you for your suggestions as to how to keep the damnsquirrels away from the bird feeders.  I have tried them all and am ready to report the results:

Nothing worked.

The aluminum pie pan baffle:  Regular squirrel baffles don’t work–nor will a slinky–on our pole because of the extra stabilizing leg. When I cut an aluminum pie pan and wrapped it around the pole to make a homemade baffle as suggested, Beelzebub knocked that pan silly in one leap.  It looked like Scarlett O’Hara’s petticoats in a windstorm:  O

Adding flax seeds to the feeder: I won’t be trying that one again.  Not only did they enjoy the flax seeds, they’ll probably live longer now with all those additional antioxidants.  The flax seeds are back in the pantry.

Feeding the squirrels at another place in the yard to keep them away from the bird feeder: To test the suggestion,  I bought this package:

Faux corn.

The helpful man at Home Depot explained that I should screw that long L-shaped holder onto something sturdy like a deck rail and plop the corn log on top for easy feeding.

“I’m planning to hang it by a wire from a tree limb,” I told him.

He frowned and looked puzzled. “That might make it hard for them to get to.”

I smiled and nodded.  “I hope so!”

“Ohhhhhh,” he said, laughing and clapping his hands. “You’re a mean one!”

Yep, that’s me.  Mean and merry.

I hung one ear of the corn log from a magnolia limb at the back of the yard.

Waaaaaay back!
The damnsquirrels ignored it all day, but the next morning, the thing had disappeared– corn, screw and wire.  I worried that it would break the lawnmower, so I searched the entire yard.  Nothing.

I looked up in the tree to see if the branch had been broken.  There on a leafy limb, lay wire, screw, and a half eaten log of corn.  The damnsquirrels had simply hauled the corn up to to picnic in the tree.
I rehung it immediately.  Same sequence of events, except that it wasn’t in the tree the next morning.  I found the screw and wire at the back of the yard against the fence.  Only a golf ball-sized piece of corn stuck to the screw.  Was this another damnsquirrel caper or did some other critter come a-callin’?
It was at that point I decided I was ready to move on to the most logical solution:  a squirrel-proof bird feeder.  I  found several good ones online and told Dearly Beloved that I was going to  buy a squirrel-proof bird feeder like normal bird-loving people do.
He was incredulous.
What?  Surrender???  Where is the challenge in that?  We can’t be outfoxed by a squirrel! That’s no fun at all!  We’ll think of something else.”

Really?  Like what?  I saw a movie last week which showed how to skin and gut a squirrel.  They favored frying as the recipe of choice.  How’s that for an option, Big Boy?
The only remaining option was Divine Intervention.  And lo, I say unto you….

Yesterday I bought a new bag of bird seeds and filled the feeder. By late afternoon, the feeder was still looking full.  A full feeder means no damnsquirrel food orgies.  I hadn’t even had to scream at them.

Tacky flowerpot rigging.

I was congratulating myself on the success of the tacky rigging I’d set up that morning when I noticed something very big on the grass near the magnolia tree.
Mama rabbit?  Too large.

When I moved over to the window to get a better view, the critter turned its head toward me.   An owl!  A gorgeous, magnificent barred owl!

It flew up into the magnolia before I could take a picture or check to see if it had squirrel breath.  Perhaps just its presence was enough to keep the damnsquirrels and their compadres, the chipmunks, at bay.  It looked like the one at the top of this page.

DB, this could be the solution we’ve been wanting!
What’ll it be… a barred owl nesting box or a squirrel-proof bird feeder?
Either one is cheaper than therapy.


14 thoughts on “Something Else

  1. cw

    I LOVE your ‘tacky’ flowerpot contraption – and obviously, it is a great owl attractor! (mmmm is that a word? – oh well ..:):) )….. so cool – sure hope he/she picks a branch and stays – figure it will be good for lots of blogs to come!:)
    Take that! you damnsquirrels!! hooo hoooo heeeeeee!!:):):) lololol…… 🙂

  2. Birdie

    ahem, I do believe that I suggested an owl before. The kind you get at the hardware store that have the head that jiggles in the wind. We have one guarding the entrance to the attic eaves where the bats like to live–which would not be a problem if their poop did not drop on to the attic floor through the screening. Seriously, Ace Hardware has them—owls, not bats.

  3. Congratulations on your Owl! If you have mice you will have a multi tasking Owl! If you need another suggestion..I just did some research on WD-40 after I bought 12 pens and found out it was super at keep the squirrels away from feeders as well as keeping poop off your sneakers…..

  4. Ah–don’t owls also eat birds? That artificial owl sounds like a winner if it works.
    I just love your on going battle with your street gang of squirrels. You really have to admire their smarts.
    Too funny–from here of course. I still prefer the “don’t fight them, enjoy them” approach. Plus I don’t feed the birds in summer. I let them work on the weed seeds, creepy crawlies and flying insects that I don’t want. Easier on the blood pressure.

  5. I was just wondering…what with the squirrels and all the contraptions and now the owl…have you ever actually seen any birds at your bird feeder? Maybe they’ve moved on to a less challenging yard. 🙂

    1. Yes, lots of pretty songbirds as well as some homely ones that I’m sure have nice personalities.

      I’m sensing trouble ahead though. I checked my fig tree today and the one ripe fig had been sampled by a bird. Isn’t that like biting the hand that feeds you?

  6. You might as well embrace your squirrels. The only way you are going to rid yourself of their pesky behavior is to shoot them. I doubt that will happen so name and feed em!

    btw, I thought about one of your past posts the other day while walking the neighborhood. Our lakes in Florida are typically alligator infested. I remember your post about retrieving golf balls from the lake. I laughed because they drained our neighborhood lake to fix piping, and lo and behold there must been a 1000 white gleaming golf balls. What really made me smile was you could see where there had been numerous attempts to retrieve them but, it was pure muck and they sank a foot trying to walk out on the lake bed.

  7. Sharon

    And, I meant to say that while I was in NC last week, we stopped at a little local “craft” store. I overheard a woman paying for a feeder and saying it was to feed her squirrels. I had to keep from tackling her and giving her and exorcism (sp?)!

  8. When I lived in Nova Scotia, my next-door neighbours had a Newfoundland cookbook full of squirrel recipes, including one for “Squirrel Cake.”

    We had a Barred owl in our garden when we lived in B.C. We oohed and aahed over it for several nights, until we realized it was eating all the goldfish in our pond! Let’s hope yours has a taste for squirrel!

  9. My 4 year old son, watching me cry as the squirrels dive bombed my tulips, taking off the flower right at its point of attachment, and then scampering up to the top of the fence to drop down on the next poor victim, the darling kid went to get his grampa made sling shot and tried to save my blooms.

    Damsquirrels indeed

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