Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Now THAT'S a dilemma

Like most people who enjoy putting out birdseed, we struggle with squirrel predations. I know we could just stop the seed; but I so enjoy seeing all the birds; so what to do?

We have a live trap which we use to catch squirrels and then release them about a mile from our house, up the hill at a burned out house where nobody has lived for years. That barely touches the numbers we have at the farm. Once in awhile Farm Boss sights in his rifle and kills a lot of them down at the barns, but I have felt the house should not have that happen here.

It would not be so bad if squirrels were only taking what they need to survive, but as everyone knows, they store their seed. There is no end to how much they can steal which is proving to be a tad costly as well as leaving the bird feeder empty more than full.

Our daughter in law mentioned using a tall post with a hook on it to avoid the squirrels being able to reach the seed. Seemed like a great possibility since we had such a post that she and our son had given us with a candle on it. It easily accepted the smaller of the bird feeders. Can't climb that. What I had not thought was that next to the post was a wooden frame to highlight our Buddha and its little pool.

So the squirrel climbed on that and jumped to the metal pole from where it had no idea what to do next.

After we stopped laughing at the squirrel's dilemma, after taking a few photos,

we walked toward it which caused it to choose the lesser of the evils and jump to the ground. We then moved the tall metal post and feeder to a site farther from the wood support. The first such move did not work as the automatic sprinkler went on reminding me of a similar goof I had this week when I had set one of the little pasture sprinklers where it was hitting our new bird box which has or maybe that might be had swallows interested in building a nest inside what was for awhile looking like it was threatened by a storm.

Hopefully the next site will be more successful for seed, birds and no squirrels. They can still enter the live trap anytime they wish and join their buddies up the hill...


robin andrea said...

We have had similar problems and had to move the heavy post with the birdfeeder. Roger put a baffle on the post and a coating of plastic made from old bottles. That definitely keeps the squirrels from the feeder. Now, we've learned that the raccoons can get past both the baffle and the plastic, but they don't hang around quite as much as the squirrels.

I have to admit I enjoy seeing how incredibly smart and inventive squirrels are.

20th Century Woman said...

I don't have squirrels here on my island, and the bird feeders are for birds only. But I have starlings, the greedy things. They chase away the pretty little pink and yellow finches. Sometimes the jays and cowbirds are quarrelsome too, but at least they belong here.

Parapluie said...

We feed the birds in the winter and still have birds in the summer because we have so many flowers. The squirrels are a problem eating our walnuts.

mandt said...

We had that problem with woodchucks on the Vermont farm, until we figured out that the biggest one and our favorite was not Henry, but Henrietta. So, we got have-a-hearts. boxed em up ( they love peanut butter and jelly sandos ) and took them over the river to Bennington College, where we saw them the following year studying French Literature and modern dance.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It IS a dilemma...But one I hope you are able to solve and satisfy all the principals...lol!

The only thing about the squirrals hoarding is--they NEED to do that, too...I mean, that is how they get through the winter, right?
Anyway....That whole area is so very pretty with The Budha...!

TaraDharma said...

Someone needs to invent an easy squirrel proof bird feeder.

We have squirrels, but so far they haven't raided the feeder. Perhaps because it's hung from a metal archway that they can't climb?

Hope your latest solution does the trick!

Darlene said...

I tried feeding the birds, but the bigger critters ate all the seed. One morning I spied a rat running across my back patio and that ended my act of kindness.

Rain said...

Definitely a person gets things you don't want when you put out feed. You also have to be careful it's sanitary or it can spread disease. The little bird feeder seems to be doing well but the small birds knock out the seed and that means anything on the ground can get it; plus it puts them at risk to our cats when they go down there to eat it.