Bird Feeder – Part 1

When we first moved to the Atlanta area, we bought a pole-mounted bird feeder, planted it at the edge of our patio, and filled it up.

Soon enough, birds began showing up, but unfortunately, so did the squirrels. They gnawed the plastic tubing of the feeder and dumped seed all over the lawn and patio. We replaced our original feeder with one that had metal reinforcing the openings so it couldn’t be gnawed, but the squirrels still got to the feed. Finally, I got a squirrel baffle to go on the pole – kind of like a large disk of plastic that hung about a foot below the feeder. That pretty well took care of the squirrels. So, were our problems over? No such luck.

Unfortunately, our cat considered the feeder to be an all-you-can-eat buffet. Even though the feeder was six feet above the ground, she would crouch under one of the patio chairs and launch herself in a single leap from there to the feeder – a distance of over eight feet.

We loved our cat, so there was no question of getting rid of her. She was a mostly outdoor cat when we lived down south, so she did not take well to being kept indoors (and she would not use a litter box, so she had to be let outside several times a day). As much as we loved having a bird feeder and watching the birds, we reluctantly took it down.

Many years and several cats went by and one day, it occurred to me that our current owner was very much a house cat. We had long since (15 years ago) gotten rid of the pole, feeder, and baffle, so we went out and bought a kind of pole called a shepherds crook. To my wife’s delight, we soon had birds visiting. Unfortunately, we also had five squirrels and a chipmunk. The chipmunk was a lot of fun to watch, but the squirrels soon were acting like a street gang, monopolizing the local basketball court. They could drain the feeder in a single day.

I was in favor of “doing something” about them – like mixing hot sauce in with the birdseed (I have been assured that it does not harm the birds) or get out my ancient (but still functional) BB gun that I’d had since I was a kid – but my wife wouldn’t let me. So, despite my objections, week after week we’d buy another large bag of squirrelseed.

The issue finally came to a head when we started hearing rustling in the walls and attic. They had found their way into the house. We took down the birdfeeder and paid a critter control company to come and rid us of the varmints.

To be continued:


One response to this post.

  1. As much as some squirrel lovers may resist, they are nothing more than a hairy tailed Rat. I have no use for them and have no moral problem with eliminating them by any means available.

    Sorry to hear you have given up on your bird feeder.


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