Feed the Birds ... er, make that
feed the squirrels!
For the year since we have had a nice window to watch the birds, we have tried to feed them. But we always wind up feeding the squirrels instead. We have amused ourselves with an escalating battle to find a bird feeder which the squirrels cannot get into. But to date, they have always licked us. The latest round and ultimate "squirrel-proof" feeder is a hanging double cage, with the suet block in a wire cage inside another cage with mesh too small for the squirrels to get through. Actually this one stymied them for several weeks - the best we have done. But as shown below, they finally figured out how to get some of the food by stretching their heads through the mesh and chewing around the inner cage.
Impressive little rascals. Acrobatic and smart... and tenacious. This fellow would stretch through the wire for a few minutes, apparently under a lot of strain, and would then just rest in apparent exhaustion.
We really would like to feed the birds as well, so one way we found to do it was to put up easily accessible food for the squirrels to distract them while the birds got a shot at the suet. That worked pretty well. We have had regular visits from a small woodpecker and a large red-headed woodpecker. A wren frequents the suet, and a few more small birds.