EVEN SQUIRRELS GET HUNGRY – Marilyn Armstrong

I know that people who feed birds tend to try really hard to keep the squirrels out of the feeders. Not only is this difficult to do — close to impossible — but really, squirrels get hungry too. I would have thought this time of year would be easy eating for the squirrels. The acorns are ripe. The trees are well grown and there are more than enough seeds to feed dozens of squirrels.

Yet they come to our feeders. Are our seeds better? Healthier? Squirrels get hungry too and they are looking a bit lean right now. They also don’t look full grown yet and I’m sure they really are hungry.

My problem is not that they eat at the feeders. I have no problem with them enjoying the food. It’s just that they don’t seem to have a “I’ve had enough, I think I’ll move on” thing happening. They eat. And eat. And eat some more. And they drive the birds away and get very protective about the feeders.

Right now they are easily scared away and just a few taps on the window or the barking of the dogs is enough to make them run for the trees. That won’t last. In a few weeks, they will be empowered and believe they have full — unchallenged — possession of the deck. Nothing short of my going outside and pushing them off the railing will make them move. I’m gearing up for it.

I knew all of this before I put up the feeders. I’ll have to find a way to work it out. The flat feeder is gone. It was a big enticement for them because they could roost in it. They have a lot more of a problem hanging on to the wire feeders which at least means that at some point, they have to let go and move on.

It won’t keep them from trying to own the deck, but I’ll just have to deal with it. The birds need food, the chipmunks need seeds … and even squirrels get hungry.


Note: I also pour some seeds on the ground below the deck so the ground feeders have a place to eat. Usually, that’s where you will see the big doves, cardinals, chipmunks, and occasionally squirrels. They must eat all those seeds because they don’t grow.


 

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

29 thoughts on “EVEN SQUIRRELS GET HUNGRY – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. Our squirrels DON’T move anywhere. They perch on the deck railing and throw an evil eye at all the other creatures. I think they’ve scared away our little chipmunk (or he got eaten by a hawk). The bigger birds could fight back especially the big woodpeckers and blue jays, but they just fly to the other feeder.

      Right now, we only ONE squirrel, but soon there will be three or four. They accumulate. Then, they protect the feeders and won’t leave unless I go out and physically eject them. They become small, starving family members.

      I suspect if I tried, I could teach them to beg for treats, but I’m not sure that would be in my best interests. Do I need friendlier squirrels? On Boston’s Common, the squirrels will climb into your lap for a peanut. For that matter, so will the chipmunks and the ducks (but ducks are WET).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yo, Spike. Mebbe I shud pick up some quarterpounders or big macs for your squirrel pals. Fries? Evil–hold the mayo?

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  1. Squirrels and bird feeders go hand in hand – we get the same problem and even see it at a local nature reserve we go to. All the time. But, as you rightly say, they need to eat too. And they are pretty photogenic!

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    1. Alli, some of those squirrels are really porking out. They look like Donzo’s golf mates. They probably chow down with him–sharing nuts.

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      1. Lol! Bless them, I guess they’re stocking up for winter. I remember a squirrel in my back garden once stealing a biscuit from a plate we had outside, but instead of eating it there and then it decided it would be good to hoard it for winter – so it buried the biscuit in the back garden! I doubt he’d have found it when he came back months later… 😀

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    1. We live in an oak forest, so we have ACORNS. Some years, we get super-sized acorns. I swear they are the size of walnuts. We used to have other nut trees, but the oaks got so big, they blocked all the sunlight, so we lost the pecan and walnuts — and sadly, also the maples — and all that’s left are LOTS of vines … and oak.

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  2. I understand exactly what you mean. I used to feed the birds and we got doves – lots and lots of doves. They became very brazen and chased away the other birds. They started sitting around the lawn waiting to be feed. Eventually I had to stop feeding them.

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  3. I envy you your furry friends (even if they are the guest that stayed for dinner…and stayed and stayed and stayed…. 😐 ) Today I noticed a tree was killed in my yard from something noxious. The tree was six years old and had been really healthy but now I fear it’s died. The leaves are withered and look strange and all the little off shoots are drooping and black. I suspect I know the culprit, but I have no proof. So enjoy the nature out there. Perhaps the squirrels are looking extra lean because of that abatement spray thing that killed off a lot of your birds. If it kills birds, it kills plants too. I wonder just how much more pollutions we can visit on nature before she says “ENOUGH! BEGONE!” and flicks humans from her surface with one mighty earthquake or Tsunami…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been wondering the same thing. We have half the birds we had last year. Less than half. NO doves at all. NO finches. Who knows what was in that poison? Supposedly is was harmless except to mosquitoes, but that’s what they always say. They lie.

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    2. Melanie, I should put Sinatra on the loudspeaker for the birds. Frank’s cover of “Try A Little Tenderness”

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  4. Tried to include a photo here but it won’t work so I’m sending an email.

    And RuthScribbles, your squirrels may well be digging little hole to store future meals in. I realized this when I caught one digging up some seed from a few weeks earlier. Maybe mine are part mole or ground hog though….

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