Thursday, May 05, 2016

Squirrels in the Bird Feeder. Might a Greased Pole Work? Plus Bleeding Hearts

The great experiment is about to begin and here is my armory.

First let me say, I have no problem with the squirrels sharing in the bounty of a bird feeder.  I do have a little problem when they just curl round the bottom tray of the feeder, lounge there, and then chomp away until the feeder is empty.

Squirrels aren't  terrifically good about sharing.  It just doesn't appear to be in their natures.

Three days ago it was raining and as I stood looking out at this particular feeder,  I noted that one of the squirrels who regularly raids the bird feeder on the South West side of the house was having a bit of trouble climbing the pole to get to the feeder.

Interesting.  The new variable on that day was, of course, the soaking  rain and the pole which holds the feeder was dripping wet.  

Now Squirrel wasn't exactly sliding down during the ascent but she had to make a point of really gripping the pole tightly with whichever set of of paws were holding her up when moving the other set. And sometimes she had to freeze and grip tight with both sets of appendages for a second not to slide back down. 

Ordinarily  the squirrels go up this pole with the speed in which they go up trees. 


Yes, I have tried a baffle on the pole but it tips so they use that as an advantage.  Pop over the edge and TA DA!

But the very wet pole was slowing her down. 

 Hmmm.  I wonder what would happen if I greased the pole. 

(Tee hee.)

Interesting experiment.  

But wouldn't the grease attract bugs?  

Very likely but many species of birds love to nab and eat insects, particularly during nesting season.  Therefore it would improve the birdie buffet, right?

Therefore today when I went out to fill that particular feeder,  I filled my containers with seed as usual but also grabbed a wad of paper towels, and the Crisco can. 

No I am NOT going to use some icky black car grease or something that isn't at least somewhat eatable.  Don't want them licking their paws clean and getting sick.

And as I wanted the best result possible, I really laid the Crisco on heavily.  You could actually see white globs of it stuck to the pole in places.

I did this at about noon.  And guess what?  There was still seed in the feeders at the end of the day.

Unfortunately I didn't see a squirrel try to climb the pole.  Perhaps all the squirrels were raiding someone else's feeder today?

Ordinarily though they keep an eye peeled and hit this feeder within an hour of it being filled.  Therefore the Goldfinch, who, for whatever reason only eat  at this particular feeder,  have to be even more vigilant to get any seed at all.

Could this actually be working?  All the devices, and expensive commercial products one buys to defend feeders from squirrel invasions are all mostly clap trap as the squirrels always figure a way to evade them.  Even the ones that close when squirrel weight hits the perch bar...though it takes them longer to come up with a balancing solution that keeps them off the bar and it does tend to inconvenience them.

 Is is possible that all one really has to do is grease the pole?

It does seem too good to be true.  But so far so good.  

We'll see.

Oh.  Don't worry that my squirrels might go hungry...they have their own feeding station that includes cobs of corn and other squirrel fare.

And besides... 

Tomorrow is another day.  And squirrels much like parrots love a good puzzle and find WINNING  extremely important.

Oh!  I almost forgot, the Bleeding Hearts are in bloom.

 P.S.  See the plant in the left of the frame.  It is terribly familiar but I just can't come up with its name.  If you recognize it please drop me an email.

Donegal Browne


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