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Squirrel station - The Ex-Communicator

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April 13th, 2011


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11:11 am - Squirrel station
I bought a bird feeding station a few days ago, where the food is hung way up, and the local squirrel has totally mastered it already, prised the plastic covers off (hanging upside down) and eaten all the seeds. I am torn between admiring its spirit, and being sad that the cute songbirds don't get to have any of the food.

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From:kalypso_v
Date:April 13th, 2011 11:14 am (UTC)
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I had a friend who said she'd hung hers in the middle of the clothes line, and saw the squirrel tightrope-walking to reach it.

I finally found one that seems to defy the squirrels - the sort where the inner tube is within a metal cage, whose holes are small enough for the small birds but not squirrels or pigeons. I've seen them climb all over it, and found lots of bitemarks where they tried to force their way in, but they appear to be defeated.

The RSPB has some similar models here, though I can't see the exact double of mine.
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From:altariel
Date:April 13th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm imagining a special squad assigned to the problem at Squirrel Command.
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From:communicator
Date:April 14th, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
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For some reason leaving the empty container in place seems to be working now. They seem to feel they have stripped all the food away, and the higher containers haven't been noticed. This may be some kind of squirrel psychology.

Edited at 2011-04-14 07:45 am (UTC)
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From:azdak
Date:April 13th, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
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My father used to construct elaborate Heath Robinson-like contraptions to try to outwit the squirrels that were raiding his bird feeder. At one point he had the feeder hanging from a chain at the end of a long branch (so the squirrels couldn't jump on to the feeder from the ground or from the trunk of the tree, they had to come at it from above). The chain was greased and ran through a a series of slippery plastic bottles and then through an LP that tipped up when the squirrels climbed onto it and threw them off. The longest it took them to figure out a solution to any of his contraptions was 8 hours.
(My father was a dedicated birdwatcher, but I think he enjoyed the squirrels more).
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From:communicator
Date:April 14th, 2011 07:44 am (UTC)
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That is so fascinating and I would definitely enjoy watching that
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From:gummitch
Date:April 13th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
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Chilli powder has (so far) worked for us.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-202877
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From:several_bees
Date:April 13th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
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It's worked for us too - in birdseed, and even mixed with butter and smeared onto tulip stems to stop the squirrels beheading the flowers.
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From:communicator
Date:April 14th, 2011 07:43 am (UTC)
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Fortunately, the squirrels seem to have somehow failed to spot the two higher containers; having opened the first one within hours they have left the upper ones, and as I type this I am looking out the window at a bluetit eating peanuts. I think the empty container blocks the view of the higher ones.
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From:happytune
Date:April 13th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
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There's an 'eco-house' in Leicester that has a small shop attached to it, with lots of bird-feeders that are advertised as 'anti-squirrel'. Not sure if they work, though...
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From:communicator
Date:April 14th, 2011 07:42 am (UTC)
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I think if I leave the successfully opened one on the first hook, they won't notice the two higher ones. It's worked so far for a day.
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From:trixieleitz
Date:April 14th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
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Now I'm wondering if your feeder actually needs to be squirrel-proof, or merely more squirrel-proof than your neighbours' feeders.
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From:communicator
Date:April 14th, 2011 07:41 am (UTC)
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Very clever - but I suspect squirrels expand to accomodate the nuts available
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From:trixieleitz
Date:April 14th, 2011 07:43 am (UTC)
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Expanding squirrels? Now that would be terrifying!
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From:gfk88
Date:April 14th, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
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Yes, we are in a similar process in our garden. I have a horrible feeling that, by presenting them with incrementally harder challenges each time, instead of trying to find a blockbuster feeder they really can't get into, we're just helping them evolve.

I feel a rats-of-Nimh test might be in order. Leave the opening instructions on the feeder and see if they can read them.

The cute songbirds are too busy anyway duffing the cat up.
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From:communicator
Date:April 14th, 2011 08:13 am (UTC)
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But how wonderful that would be, if we created intelligent life

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