“It’s not every day one can unveil a magnificent invention to the World, but I’m sure my soon to be patented Acme Swiss Robinson produced (cheers guys for all your help with the twine!) Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder, is going to revolutionise the lives of twitchers and house hold ornithologists every where!” said me, (aged 42 and 1 month) to anyone who’d listen.
It was whilst observing a squirrel feasting on my nuts, that I came up with a cunning idea. An idea that led me to the discovery of what I believe will be a Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder. Wild bird feeders that truly will be a ‘game changer’, in that age old contest of man versus squirrel.
“Nuts!” I would often cry, as I observed from the vantage point of my home office, (the cabin, also known as the ‘Naughty Shed’.) or the dining room of the house, (often scaring the children, dogs and neighbours!) as the pesky squirrels got on with polishing off yet another freshly filled bird seed container.
With deft like ease, craftiness and Houdini like expertise, the squirrels would outsmart whatever contraption the bird food was left in. Certain areas of the garden declared ‘no go’ areas with regards to the hanging of bird feeders.
Left in these areas, bird seed to squirrels was the Hollywood equivalent of jumping in a river full of hungry piranhas. In no time at all, the bird feeder would be emptied of it’s contents by ravenous squirrels, leaving just the bare bones (of the supposedly squirrel proof bird feeder) hanging in shame.
My bird feeders, actually should have been described as squirrel feeders. No matter the location or make or style of bird feeder, it didn’t seem to matter. None of them truly being ‘squirrel proof bird feeders’.
When you’re buying bulk bird seed, it’s kind of an indication that you need a squirrel proof bird feeder that actually works.
Squirrel Proof Bird Seed Feeder Idea Happened Whilst Realising I Cannot Think Like A Squirrel.
evil intelligent, they learn by experience and pass on that experience to the younger generations – by some unknown means, but one imagines it as the squirrelly equivalent of humans sitting round the camp fire passing on life instruction and folk lore.
So to successive squirrel generations, knowledge and experience has been passed on by squirrel forbears about how to outsmart human inventions. Knowledge, telepathy and some kind of geographic homing capabilities are revealed to initiate squirrels, that inform them when new bird seed is available and the location of freshly hanging bird feeders.
No bird feeder is truly safe from the squirrel. Bird feeders are invented by humans, humans can’t think squirrel, (it’s hard enough to think woman.) let alone be able to learn devilish tongues such as Squirrelese. Or in fact, to even begin to understand the thought process that goes on inside a squirrel’s mind.
I’ve heard that Tolken tried and failed, some believe that it’s the basis of Elvish, but on this I can offer neither concrete evidence, or someone willing to go public and either back me up, or correct me.
Anyway, the squirrel was winning, it was evident to all who cared to observe that the squirrel was the victor – this was no school sports day, everyone’s a winner, liberal, coming first doesn’t matter kind of victory.
Like in real life, to the victor go the spoils of victory. In this case the jewels in the crown being ‘regular all varieties’ garden bird seed, as well as a few of those ‘high fat bird food energy ball’ things, that the tits seem to love.
It was the accepted norm. The squirrels ate first. All others waiting their turn, as the natural order of nature favoured the boldest, fiercest and in this case, fattest.
The birds had to wait their turn to feed, they ate after the squirrels had had their fill and managed to waddle off far enough to find a safe vantage point.
Squirrels are always slow after bird seed feasts, but quick enough to annoy Fizz and Pip. Not quite slow enough to be caught, but fast enough to keep their canine interest level up.
Yes these squirrels although fat still knew how to enjoy their existence. Hi energy food, in bird seed form and a little sport after, (with the dogs.) to work it off. Work off the calories, but not likely the guilt and shame of their illegal gluttony. Squirrels have no conscience, to them we’re just providing them with a meal, perhaps with a challenge (if your squirrel proof bird feeder is a new one on the market) and some entertainment! Bird feeders are just the squirrel equivalent of a tv dinner.
Although chances are that one day Fizz might catch a squirrel. I don’t think Pip has a chance as at 17 and a half, he’s just going through the motions! Squirrel and then somewhere in his tiny mind and electron fires and compute, his off as fast as his arthritic limbs can carry him.
A squirrel or the Ginger Tom from a couple of doors down, who has that certain feline nonchalance about him that drives Fizz potty.
The squirrel in the below video has indigestion, undoubtedly caused by over indulgence on someone’s bird feeder. They should have employed my Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder technique to prevent this kind of gluttony.
So how to save on bird seed? Back to the story of the Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Discovery! “Eureka!” I Cried In Celebration – And I Really Did!
So I’m sitting in the cabin looking down the garden and watching the birds on the bird feeder, when as usual the squirrels arrive and push to the front, scaring the birds away, leaving just the boldest sparrow, robin or blue tit hanging by the side lines, swooping down to pick up cast off’s from the squirrel’s latest raid on the bird feeder and table.
I tried hanging bird feeders all over the garden. Under the apple tree was the best. It was far enough away from the end of the garden, which is Squirrel HQ, close enough to the house and surrounded by enough ‘killing ground’ to make the squirrels cautious enough to really take their time in planning and executing bird feeder raids.
Squirrel bird feeder raiding party operations could be red flagged and abandoned or put on standby for hours, just by the slightest hint of activity from the naughty shed, or house.
In fact the preferred encroachment route being over the roof of the cabin, thus their scratching and bumping acting as an early warning alarm, for either Fizz, Pip or myself – if the bird feeder raid’s timing was during daylight hours.
Fizz really hates squirrels. Their bare faced theft and taunting rubs her the wrong way. Plus in her eyes they are vermin. Anything small and furry is vermin in the eyes of Fizz. Squirrels are described as tree rats, rats are top of the list for Fizz, tree rats run a close second.
Anyway, looking at this bird feeder I suddenly had a thought.
What if you could locate the feeder far enough away from a tree? Thus denying a sideways leap manoeuvre by the squirrel on to the bird feeder.
What if you could also dangle the bird feeder on or from something that’s long, tricky, slippery and thin enough to make it a treacherous thing to climb down?
It would have to be high enough to prevent jumps from the ground – hanging stuff close to the ground is a school boy error.
You pay the price for these early mistakes in real money spent on bird seed. Believe me when I tell you, do not hang bird seed feeders low to the ground. School boy error, learnt at the school of hard knocks during this long and epic man versus squirrel battle.
SO it leaves the squirrel with only one option;
Jumping down from a height, whilst praying to squirrel God that they can execute a grab on the bird feeder, whilst they are technically in free fall.
That or hope that they entrap themselves with their claws and entangle themselves around the fiendishly clever and tricky and slippery and long and thin fishing wire, that the bird feeders are now hanging from.
So on Saturday I put my plan in to action. I now have two bird feeders hanging from the eaves of the cabin porch roof.
At the moment, I am pretty darn sure that I can claim a small victory for mankind. The bird feeders are now actually squirrel proof bird feeders, courtesy of a short length of fishing line.
You want to know how it’s done?
I suppose it could be described as an adaptation of a hanging squirrel proof bird feeder idea.
The fishing line is tied to hooks that I have screwed in inside the under hang of the cabin porch roof. This means (and it has been tried and failed a few times daily since installation.) that the squirrel must perform a heroic act of spider-squirrel skill and cling upside down whilst attempting to gain a grip of thin, slippery fishing line.
Squirrel attempt two involved almost acts of magical squirrelly, (I’m sure that it will be passed down and around the squirrel camp fires for generations to come) bold, but ultimately doomed to failure;
an attempt to climb glass.
The sound of squirrel claw on glass is not one I was ever expecting to hear in my lifetime. It’s a little like nails on the chalkboard. It makes you wince.
Then you look up and see for a short brief period, something which I think is best portrayed in Ice Age – a swiss army knife of a film for those trying to understand the inner workings of ‘squirrel’. Yes nothing quite catches the look of squirrel anguish as when
Then there’s the look of horror, as squirrel realises it is once again doomed to failure, as squirrel slides down the glass. Scrambling, clawing to get a hold on the grip as it prepares to meet the woodpile stacked a few feet below.
From a personal level there is something of a connection. Respect, adversary to adversary, a brief moment as our eyes meet. I swear I see a look of acceptance of defeat.
A grating acknowledgement that this time man has conquered squirrel.
So there you are, if you want to have fun whilst feeding the birds and begrudgingly giving an adversary a little, but not too much – bird seed is for birds after all. Hang your bird feeder with fishing line.
If nothing at all, it will add a little comedy to your garden, as you watch the squirrels attempt to crack the latest squirrel proof bird feeder invention!
The Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder is my gift to the World – just like the man who invented text, I give it to you all. May all who use this squirrel proof bird feeder technique using fishing line find peace!
Here’s some video of people writing in to Bill Oddie, they obviously need my Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder. Their adversary is also the grey squirrel. The question asked is the usual one when dealing with squirrels and their fondness for bird seed.
That’s about it for this squirrel proof bird feeder discovery post.