There’s Always an Olympic Squirrel

 “Well doctor, it was like this. I clearly remember long ago when I set up my first bird feeder. I waited day after day to spot that first cardinal or chickadee or blue jay but none came. And then it happened. The cute face and ears, black fur and flashing tail! A squirrel had found us and was easily jumping onto the hanging feeder and filling itself with sunflower goodness. Oh what a thrill! And even more so the next day when a few more squirrels joined us. What fun to watch them swinging and jumping and racing after each other.”

“Then it dawned on me. I’m filling that little feeder twice a day. This is getting expensive!”

“By now, a few of the colourful birds I longed for were coming but they were allowed precious little time on the feeder by the growing black and gray mammal population.”

“Something had to be done. I took the feeder and hung it from the top of our deck. No easy access now! I spoke too soon. After four tries, a virtuoso-jumping squirrel reached it with a dazzling bit of athleticism. Next, I suspended it from a wire far away from a jumping platform. Twelve minutes later, one of our gray thoroughbreds was shimmying down the wire. I put some grease on the wire and that solved the problem……for about a week. I began noticing a lot of activity near the bolt which held the wire and feeder to the roof of the deck. A little devil was gnawing away at it and succeeded in getting the feeder to fall to the ground; smashing it to bits and providing black nourishment for every squirrel in the neighbourhood.”

“That was the last straw! Off to Canadian Tire to purchase a raccoon trap. Heh, heh, heh! I’ve got you now! Completely unafraid, my first victim walked in to gorge on feed only to have the cage door slam. Boy was he (or she) angry. Teeth and claws ever so close to my hand as I carried the trap to the car. Then a short drive over the bridge to the other side of the river. I released my prey and wished them a happy new life. And you know what happened Doctor. My squirrel enemy was back two days later and famished.”

“The next one I caught was taken 5 kms away. Same result though the return trip took several days longer.”

“So that’s your prognosis Doctor? No more hanging feeders, a feeder on a pole far from any tree or fence that could serve as a launch pad and a cone hanging from the pole to prevent climbing,”

And that is the happy ending to years of squirrel drama!

Miles Hearn




1 thought on “There’s Always an Olympic Squirrel

  1. Pam Stevens

    Friends who live in the country and have many birdfeeders use a long metal baffle made of dryer venting. It is impossible for any squirrel, no matter how athletic, to shimmy up, and the top is so high off the ground that they can’t leap up and hang on. Some squirrels are able to perform the latter feat.

    Good luck! I buy peanuts that are meant for animals—lots of shells to sweep up in spring but also lots of entertainment watching those squirrels chisel them away.

    Miles, I sent you a comment but left something out. I meant to say that some squirrels are able to perform the latter feat on a circular baffle. Can you amend it to clarify this? It’s a but confusing otherwise.

    A constant amusement feeding our winter wildlife!


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