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Hodgepodge from The Geranium Farm

Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Baffle Those Squirrels!

(From Hodgepodge reader - Terry W.)

I have found a solution for squirrels that climb up bird feeder poles. I originally had my bird feeder hanging from the eave over my kitchen window. After squirrels began digging in my window boxes for dropped seeds and even tipping them onto the ground I decided to move the feeder away from that location. I had a wrought iron shepherd's crook from which I hung the feeder. All was well until the squirrels began climbing the pole and actually sucking the seed out of one of the feeder openings! Since I buy very expensive bird seed that doesn't sprout and the squirrels were scaring away the birds I knew I needed to do something. I went online and discovered there are any number of baffles and squirrel proof feeders. I just wasn't sure I wanted to spend a lot of money.
Then while at Lowe's Home Center, what to my wandering eyes should appear but a 48" clear polycarbonate tube lamp guard! It's intended use is as a shatter guard for T-12 fluorescent bulbs. It cost a whopping $3.68 plus tax, much cheaper than any of the products I found online. All I had to do was pull my shepherd's hook out of the ground, slip it into the plastic tube and place it back in the ground. I was hoping to catch a squirrel trying to climb it - that would have been a YouTube moment - but I didn't. Now "Squirrel Nutkin", as I call him, has been baffled.
Thanks Terry for sharing your idea!

. . . . . and some additions from other HP readers:

- Well, I don't know what to say.
I learned about the Geranium Farm from the cover of Jesus Wept, loaned to me by a friend.
I joined your email group only today, probably a couple of hours after I photographed this squirrel helping himself to my bird seed.
I intended to send the photos to a friend of mine who enjoys bird watching for his advice.
Before I could do that, I received my first Hodgepodge with advice on stopping squirrels from eating your bird seed!
I just thought that was pretty cool.
God sure does work in mysterious ways!
I have been in a very serious mood, searching for "connections."
What a humorous "connection" I have found here instead!
Thanks for the laugh - and the advice.

- What a great idea!
I had a bird feeder on just such a shepherd's crook a while ago. After one particularly single-minded squirrel continually ravaged the feeder I got provoked and slathered Vaseline on the pole. I then found a comfortable spot from which to watch the fun, and settled down for the wait. It didn't take long. That little stinker fairly flew up the pole, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed his comical distress as he slowly slid down, looking all around and trying to figure out what was happening. It worked for a while, until the rain and heat melted the Vaseline, and then he was back in business again.
Well, it was fun while it lasted!
Warm Regards,
- Mary

If you have the type of Shepherd's Hook that is attached to a tree or a building - you can cut 3 inch sections of PVC pipe and put them on the hook in the same fashion you have the clear pole cover - because they are segmented the squirrels cannot get a foot hold and cannot walk on them to the feeder - it was the best piece of 3 foot PVC pipe I have ever bought! ~~~ Fran

My story about the persistence of squirrels is a good one too.
I was living in a house with a picture window in the kitchen. I had put a small suction-attached feeder in the middle. I was sitting in the kitchen one morning when I noticed a paw, followed by most of a squirrel, streeetching down to snag the feeder. Then there was a bushy crash as it overbalanced. I thought that was that, but five minutes later the bush started shaking and our friend climbed onto the sill, from where he was finally able to hoist himself into the ( much too small) feeder.
At that point I intervened, of course. I figured he deserved some free seed for all his efforts!
Adelaide K.

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