Note- to the best of my knowledge, no squirrels have been injured in their pursuit of pilfered bird seed.
For a little over a year, my father has been waging war on the squirrels that have cunningly found their way into each of the four or five bird feeders that reside in our backyard. It's been quite entertaining to observe the new tactics and fantastic structures that he has employed in an effort to thwart the little critters... it has been even more amusing to watch said critters find their way around each and every one of these measures.
Typically said measures have consisted of hanging the bird feeders by metal twining (to prevent the squirrels from chewing through the cord, felling the seed-filled feeder, and running away with the spoils crammed in their little cheeks); placing a wide, circular object, such as a garbage can lid or a pizza pan, above and below the feeder (to impede the squirrels' ability to access the feeder); or placing the feeder far out on a small branch of a tree so that the branch will not support the weight of the squirrel and will flop it onto the ground. We even put out some seeds in a container at ground level to lure the squirrels away from the feeders and their need for high-flying acrobatics.
None of it works. These are canny critters that we're dealing with here, and they can pretty much find a way around any obstacle. Steel twining? They chewed through it. Garbage can lid/Pizza pan? They would hang by one back paw (how do they do that??) and swing onto the feeder. Thin branch? They would either take flying leaps onto the feeder, or would team up and while one squirrel applied its weight to the branch, dipping it closer to the ground, another would jump from the ground to the feeder.
I used to watch this while playing the theme to Mission Impossible in my head, secretly rooting for the squirrels (sorry, Dad). It was a hilarious scene.
This past Christmas, my Mom thought that she had finally found the coup de grace. A certified squirrel-proof bird feeder. This sucker is designed to be hung from your house, and has a little grate in the front that birds can fit through, but squirrels cannot. Being that our house has vinyl siding on it (not an ideal climbing surface) , it seemed that the squirrels would have a devil of a time even getting to this feeder, much less be able to extract seeds from it.
Could it be? Could the little birdies that reside in our backyard finally get an undisturbed meal??
I have no idea how it got up there, but isn't it cute?? I think I will name it Dax. Just because.
My sister took this picture and sent it to my Mom and I and then posted it as the desktop on the family computer so that my Dad would see it as soon as he got home. There was a certain amount of resignation in the disgusted look on both Mom and Dad's face. And a certain amount of amusement (I think...).
As for me, I don't think I've laughed that hard in quite some time.
I'm still giggling just thinking about it.