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  • Sue Hawley

Victory! (over the squirrels)

Everyone who provides winter food for the many types of birds found here in northeastern Ohio battles squirrels. Squirrels are masters at stealing every type of birdseed known to man and go to extreme measures to accomplish their goals. I’ve seen them hanging upside down by a thread to snatch the goodies we faithfully maintain for our feathered friends.

I tend to ignore them because quite frankly there is little we can do to stop the theft. My husband on the other hand goes to his own extreme measures to chase the little thieves away. He is convinced if he shoos them away each and every time he spots their looting they will eventually learn to leave the bird feeders alone. Fat chance! Squirrels have an impressive tenacity and simply wait until he has returned indoors to resume their activity.

However recently two events occurred that has allowed us to claim victory. While shopping a few months back my husband noticed a pet store devoted entirely to birds. Inside he found the mother lode of objects available to thwart the ability of those irritating thieves. Who knew there were so many gadgets to get the job done? Apparently at least 90% of the bird lovers in America! He was amazed and thrilled as he wandered through the store. I was relieved he had finally found something more effective than running outside every time he saw a squirrel. The purchase of this simple item was thankfully going to reduce our squirrel stress level and I was looking forward to watching it in action.

The second event was more humorous to me. Our son does quite a lot of yard work for us. One particular day he was next to the dying pine tree, working on the shrubs, and the limb that held our beloved birdfeeder smacked him in the face every time he passed it. His irritation grew, which led to the chainsaw being cranked up, and poof, the limb was history. Unfortunately, no other limb met the standards set by my husband to hold a bird feeder. So, back to the special bird store to purchase a pole to hang the feeder in question. Designed to keep four-legged critters off the pole, it works wonders.

The squirrels are no longer a threat to the bird food. They could, however, be mounting a defense or at the very least planning revenge against our efforts. Who knows? Those little suckers could be secretly meeting under the shed for a huge payback battle. The one drawback for us is that without the squirrels roaming around the feeders so frequently, our cat has taken a bit more interest in the birds than previously. So stay tuned—this could become our newest battle.

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