While I was at work yesterday The Squirrel destroyed part of my new expensive bird feeder.
I bought it because the squirrels had eaten my old wooden ground feeder and gnawed its wire pigeon-proof cover into sharp thin tines. The new feeder is all metal and has a spring-loaded perch so that when a heavy bird (pigeon) or a squirrel stands on it the cover closes and hides the bird seed.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind if the squirrels eat some seed but I have to deter them or they wolf down everything. They’ve enjoyed my largesse to the point that I now have five of them sparring over access to the peanuts in my “No Mess Mix.”
So I thought I was safe and felt really, really smart when I brought home this crafty feeder.
If I was a squirrel however, I would have noticed that the most important component – the perch – was made of wood.
Last evening I found the situation pictured above. The feeder was missing its perch, the perch was in bits on the ground and The Squirrel was picking through the bits eating the seeds he’d knocked out of the feeder.
As I investigated I discovered he didn’t do this without personal sacrifice. He left behind one of his claws in the closed cover. Ow! I’ve noticed that the normal rodent (squirrel) reaction to being stuck anywhere is to chew one’s way out of it, so the perch might have been an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire.
I couldn’t leave the feeder without a perch. The birds were milling around trying to figure out how to eat when there was nowhere to stand, so I found a dowel among the wood scraps in the basement and taped it in place.
This will have to do until I can construct a better solution. Maybe the manufacturer supplies replacement perches at Wild Birds Unlimited. I can’t be the first person who has The Squirrel in her back yard.
(photo by Kate St. John)