Friends

27 November 2016

IS THE FIGHT OVER?

(borrowed from the Internet)
I write this post at the risk of upsetting squirrel fans, in particular my good friend Ron who adores them. 

I have written before, many times, about the squirrels and the problems they cause. However, where I live it only applies to those that scoff all the bird food. I have tried various ways to stop them getting at all the delicious seed and nuts, (thus preventing birds from feeding) to no avail.

It’s not just the stealing of food that bothers me, it’s the fact that as well as having to fork out for bird food, I must also replace feeders on a regular basis. There’s only so much money in the bank so I continually search for solutions to the problem.

(cow bell brought home from Austria)
I have tried banging on the window to scare the pests away. I have tried screaming, ringing a cow bell, clapping hands, slamming doors, to no avail. As soon as I stop the squirrel or squirrels jump once more into action.

A week ago, as I was preparing to sort the refuse bin ready for collection, I spotted a squirrel jumping onto the birds feeding station. I happened to have a black plastic bag in my hand which I waved in his direction. Oooh he didn’t like that; scarpered as fast as he could. Oooh, I thought, better keep a black bag handy for future scares. It worked. I only had to wave the bag and the squirrel scooted - couldn’t get away quick enough – but if I went out without the bag he stayed put.

I left the bag in a permanent position by the door in readiness for another
squirrel visitor.

Just the other day I gave it serious thought. Why not tie the bag to the station, a bit like flying a flag. Well, reaching the top would have been a problem, me being quite small in stature and not agile enough to stand on steps. So this is what I did, I tied it to the middle section of the pole which is how the squirrels get up there. I reckoned he wouldn’t be able to get a grip on a pliable bag that kept shifting in the wind. 

Three days later, still no squirrel. Correction: I saw him, or rather ‘them’, but only on the bird table upon which I put seed for bigger birds. Okay, so he still got fed… but it stopped him from damaging the expensive feeders which was my aim. I patted my own back for hitting on a solution but deep down I wondered if a committee of squirrels was at work trying to solve their problem.

I was right not to get too complacent since in the approaching dusk I saw the squirrel leap and successfully land on one of the feeders where he proceeded to scoff the seed, that is until I shot out, screaming and ranting and threatening him with his life. He didn’t hang about, mainly because in my hand was another black bag.

Oh well, back to the drawing board I went, but for short term measures I kept the black bag right by the patio window because one shake was all it took to send squirrel into a dramatic fleeing performance. The only problem was having to be on watch all the time although squirrel saw to it that I didn't have to wait long before finding another way round the problem. He did no more than unhook two of the robust squirrel-proof feeders and smashed them on the ground. 
new fence, new bird table
While all this was going on I had had a new fence erected in the garden (see picture above) which pushed me into purchasing a new bird table (see picture above). It was cheap and pretty so it was off with the old and on with the new. Let's see how long it takes the squirrels to wreck it like he did the first one I had. 

Cats sulk quietly in their beds
They do not draw attention to their unhappiness
by huffing loudly and banging doors

21 comments:

Mersad said...

Squirrels are cute but man can they be insisting. I like your new bird table.

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Ron said...

"so this is what I did, I tied it to the middle section of the pole which is how the squirrels get up there."

Genus idea, Valerie! Perhaps the color, sound and movement that the bag makes is what scares them. Sorry it didn't permanently work, though. Darn! In as much as I do adore squirrels, I also know they can be destructive.

LOVE the look of your new fence (it's very nice-looking) and new bird feeder. Hopefully, it will deter them for awhile. HOPEFULLY :)

Hope you're enjoying a lovely Sunday, my friend!

X

S. J. Qualls said...

I admit that I am one who likes to watch the antics of the squirrels trying to get the bird seed. But - squirrels are a rare commodity here. The dogs keep the number down, there are sometimes months that go by without sight of one of them. They never last long, they either get chased or scared by the dogs. (I prefer not to think of them getting killed) Good luck in your crusade!

joeh said...

You may be on to something, but those squirrels are fast learners and seem to find a way around every obstacle as fast as they are invented. Good Luck.

I kinda like the little fellas, but I do understand the problem.

Dan the Mountain Man said...

I like the fence and the bird table. I hope you can find something that keeps the squirrels from destroying the bird feeders. Maybe you can find a spray like they have for dogs to spray on the bird feeder to keep they from chewing on the bird feeders.

Valerie said...

Dan, I didn't know there was such a spray. Would that be dangerous for birds though?

Valerie said...

SJQ. Part of me agrees with you - if it wasn't for the damage they cause I would be happy to see squirrels playing in the garden.

Valerie said...

Joeh, me too ... I like squirrels, if only they would stick to their own play toys and not damage stuff bought for birds.

kden said...

We only have one squirrel that comes around and I don't mind the birds sharing their food. Now if he started telling his friends how easy it is to get to the feeders, we will have a problem. They are destructive little buggars.

Valerie said...

Kden, destructive is the right word. As I write there are four squirrels fighting for a place on the feeder, oops sorry numbers are rising, it's now five.

Valerie said...

Ron, it's the noise that gets them, but honestly I cannot spend all day in the garden shaking a black plastic bag, not in this weather...lol.
Yes, I am pleased with both the fence and the bird feeder, it was about time I replaced both.

Sunday was good, I must do a post on it. Wait for it!

Carole said...

Those darn squirrels! I finally gave up and resorted to just hummingbird feeders. But then I had to get creative to keep the raccoons away, otherwise they would tip up the feeder and drink all the sugar water! Just love my birdwatching. So peaceful!

Valerie said...

Carol, I too love bird watching. More enjoyable in wildlife areas but these days I have to be satisfied with my garden. Some lovely birds visit me so I'm quite content.

troutbirder said...

It's tough to be continually outsmarted by a small mammal with a brain the size of a pea. I know because it's happened to me numerous time...:)

Jenny Woolf said...

Squirrels are entertaining but such pests, at least the grey ones are. A friend fixed up a feeder with a couple of wing nuts and actually found one of them trying to unscrew the wing nut. Maybe you could fly a fluttering flag or two, it might put them off just as much as a bin bag. But there is always the risk then of scaring the birds....

Valerie said...

Jenny, we've had the same problem with wing-nuts. I used to think they loosened with the weather.... wrong!

A Cuban In London said...

Sorry but I couldn't stop laughing at the image that greeted me at the beginning of this post. :-)

Squirrels, huh? We also put bird feed out. In our case it is mostly wood pigeons that overpower the other birds. :-)

Greetings from London.

Valerie said...

CiL, good to see you back again. I have to admit to laughing a lot when I saw that image. I could just imagine one of our squirrels coming out with that reminder.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I had to laugh at the idea of a committee of squirrels trying to solve the problem.

We have a dog who eats birds and rodents, so we don't put out any good for them since it seems more like bait than food. It sounds like we might be saving ourselves a lot of trouble.

Mr. Shife said...

Well, let me know if you come up with a squirrel solution. This is the reason we gave up our bird feeders. Those darn squirrels took over and then they thought they owned our back yard by coming onto the deck and eating all of our chair cushions. They are cute but they are a menace.

Valerie said...

Danielle, thanks for making me giggle... a committee of squirrels, well anything is possible and they're clever enough!!