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.