SoCS: for the birds

We have been feeding the birds in our backyard for years. We also wind up feeding the squirrels, who eat the seeds that fall from the feeders.

We do our best to not have the squirrels eat the bulk of the seed we put out for the birds, so we have some safeguards in place. This year, though, some of our safeguards failed.

We store our bags of birdseed in our backyard shed. In the warm weather, we leave the louvers on the windows open so it doesn’t get too hot inside. This year, an enterprising squirrel chewed through the (metal) window screen to get into the shed, where it chewed through the plastic bags holding the seed and proceeded to eat a lot and make a mess!

We had a metal can inverted on the pole that holds our birdfeeders to act as a squirrel guard. It had worked well for years, but now at least one squirrel – not sure if it is the same one that breached the shed or not – has managed to learn to jump on the side of the can and quickly scramble to the top, whence it can get to all the feeders.

Our large hopper-style feeder is its favorite.

So, in order to keep feeding the birds, we needed new options to protect our seed from ravenous squirrels.

We closed the windows into the shed. The squirrel, remembering there was lots of food in there, then tried to chew its way through the wooden door. Fortunately, the door is too thick, although it does now sport edges that have had the green paint gnawed off.

For the feeders, we went to our local bird feeding store to look at options.

We tried to get an additional cone squirrel guard to put on top of our can one so the squirrel couldn’t get over it to the feeders, but our pole diameter was too large to attach it.

We moved onto option B – to buy a new pole system. (Our original one had been out there at least twenty years and was beginning to have some rust showing, so a new system with a smaller diameter pole seemed to make the most sense.) This also gave us an opportunity to relocate the feeders. When we had placed them initially, they were centered to be seen from the sliding glass doors in our dining room. Since then, we added an addition that houses our kitchen, which has large windows overlooking the backyard. B was able to place the new pole centered in those windows, so our view of the feeders is much better.

The birds are loving the new feeder placement! Some of the birds we see regularly are cardinals, blue jays, chickadees (my favorite), tufted titmouse, downy and hairy woodpeckers, nuthatches…

None of which you can see in the photo I just took, but at least the squirrel is on the ground.

Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “opt.” Join us! Learn more here:

Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

12 thoughts on “SoCS: for the birds”

  1. Just by the scenery in your photo it looks like New England. That is where I live. Last year I went through hell trying to save some food for the birds. I hang my feeders on my clothesline in the winter. The squirrels were getting to them no matter what I tried. Finally, I bought this silicone wax to put on the clothesline to make it too slippery for the squirrels. It only made a horrible mess that didn’t bother the squirrels at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooo…clothesline is a tough thing to protect from squirrels. I grew up in New England along the VT/MA border, but now live in the Southern Tier of New York near the PA border. The birds and trees are similar, although I think the hills and mountains of New England are even more beautiful.

      Liked by 2 people

            1. I know there used to be a Philly Sales in Johnson City, but I’m not sure there was one in Vestal. Vestal is the home of the main campus of SUNY-Binghamton, now actually called Binghamton University. The Vestal Parkway is now also the busiest shopping area. When you were visiting here, the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City was most likely the biggest draw. It’s still there but with lots of empty stores.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t mind feeding those squirrels when they stay on the ground but watching them scramble up our bird feeder pole to dangle off the feeder side makes me crazy. It’s weight sensitive so it’s supposed to close off the seed but there’s always one enterprising guy who finds a way to work around it.

    Liked by 2 people

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