Article and photos submitted by Doreen Coyne, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society
Are squirrels eating all the food you place in your birdfeeder? My late husband would put out birdfeed and had many a squirrel as well as raccoons emptying the feeder regularly. But he continued to fill the feeder given the joy he got from watching both the wide variety of birds in our backyard and from feeding several “friendly” squirrels by hand at the back porch. We both enjoyed watching the variety of finches, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and cardinals. I still hang suet in the trees in winter so I can enjoy the birds.
If your bird feeders hang from tall poles, this gardening tip will certainly be of interest to you. It is very simple to implement. Simply hook one end of a metal or heavy plastic slinky to the top of your pole. Let the slinky elongate itself down the pole; don’t try to stretch it further. When a squirrel comes to eat, they tend to climb the pole. Once they hook a claw or paw in any part of the slinky, it will further extend down the pole which is frightening for the squirrel. And thus they don’t tend to come back and try again! Of course, if your feeders are simply hung from a bracket under the eaves of your house, you could cut short sections of the slinky and coil them on the access arms of the feeder to provide a (small) degree of squirrel defence.
This idea was recently circulating and shared many times on Facebook having come from Debby Keller. You can watch the video at this link. See the July 6th entry. I’ve captured the publicly shared images of the pole with slinky for all of you to enjoy.
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