Me Versus Squirrel
As a Thanksgiving treat to our neighborhood feathered friends, I hauled out my bird feeder this past week. I usually put it up on the cusp of winter, then take it down in the spring when I figure the birds can forage for themselves.
Squirrels I’m not worried about. Particularly the squirrels around our yard who seem fat enough already to last three winters, let alone one. Yet there’s one squirrel who regularly raids my feeder despite my best efforts to shoo him off.
Mind you, the feeder is right outside our kitchen window. Birds take flight as soon as they detect motion inside our kitchen. They’re skittish that way. Not so the squirrel. I rap loudly on the window and the squirrel just turns and looks at me as if to say, “What’s up?”
Now if I open the window and say, “Get the heck out of here” in a voice resembling the cop who shouts in the song Your Mama Don’t Dance, “Get out of the car longhair”—then that squirrel flees like he was shot out of a cannon.
I guess I should have considered that there might be young kids walking or biking on the sidewalk beyond. My shouting could have a similar effect on them. Probably get me a reputation for being a lunatic among my neighbors too.
Anyhoo, back to the squirrel. If I figured my scaring him off meant the end of him, I’m sorely mistaken for soon he will be back. I tried spraying him with a garden hose with similar results. He hightails it out of there as if somebody had just given him a hotfoot. Then, before too long, he’s back.
After watching him outside our kitchen window for a bit this past week, my wife Wendy noticed that he rested on a small branch under the feeder while eating his fill. Cut off the branch and the squirrel could no longer reach the feeder, she suggested.
It was worth a try, so I did. Next time the squirrel climbed up our little tree to the feeder, it was as if his little world has been turned upside down. He tried holding onto the small trunk of the tree and reaching for the feeder without success. Finally he climbed up the tree farther and sat on the branch from which the feeder rested.
He couldn’t reach the feeder that way either. Then he sat and turned to look in our kitchen window. He sat for a while, staring at me. I almost felt bad for the critter. It as was if he was saying to me, “Dude. Why??” Then he left.
Score one for big Dave. But that didn’t last long. See picture below.