Squirrel (copy)

The squirrels dominate the backyard. 

We’re gonna talk about one of God’s little creatures today that continues to torment me. It is an inventive and crafty creature that constantly takes from others, and may even privately laugh at people’s efforts to circumvent his daily, devilish deeds.

Some refer to this backyard bandit as a rat with a bushy tail. It is merely the gray squirrel.

Maybe you’ve always considered the squirrel to be nothing more than a spirited, fun-loving soul. That may be true until the squirrel and his buddies mount a full-scale assault on your bird feeders.

I’ve had ’em in the attic and one or two dropped down the chimney over the years. Those moments happen from time to time in suburbia.

It’s when the backyard becomes the battlefield that we all start to wonder how these creative, acrobatic thieves can continually outsmart generally intelligent human beings.

Maybe what aggravates us the most is that we’re trying to do something decent for the little birds. We buy the seed, place it in various attractive devices designed to specifically prevent a squirrel from gaining access only to then watch a smarty pants bushy-tailed rat hang upside down and cram his mouth with as much seed as he can carry.

It’s enough to drive you nuts!

Desperate times, desperate measures

I once was amused at my late father-in-law’s efforts to keep his backyard squirrel-free. He’d lie in wait in his garage, hiding behind a skill saw, looking down the sights of a pellet gun. All he wanted to do was let them know the bird feed was for the birds.

This is the same man who once built a feeding station for a squirrel that allowed the rodent to sit while eating corn on the cob.

I don’t subscribe to using weaponry to discourage these marauding visitors. I have a friend in a nearby neighborhood, though, who says all he has to do is cock his BB gun and they scatter.

The industry that markets bird feeders is constantly delivering new products. It’s my opinion that a secret agent squirrel resides in the attic of the Research and Development area of said companies and knows how to beat these contraptions before they ever wind up in the customer's cart.

I once bought seed from a store that specializes in selling bird food. They sold me something squirrels wouldn’t eat.

Somebody apparently forgot to share this information with the squirrels. They attacked that feeder like they were eating their last meal.

Can we all get along?

For some reason, I feel like I’ll eventually come up with a foolproof idea that allows all of us to peacefully coexist in my backyard. I’m not willing to use some of the options that might cause pain or discomfort to these critters.

I think we all enjoy hearing birds chirping and singing. The squirrel chatter, though, resembles laughter and it feels like they’re mocking my efforts to thwart their tactics.

So the game continues. Some days I find a minor victory, but I’m too often left to wonder how they got me again.

The cardinals, blue jays, finches and doves drop by from time to time. But I think most of them have found backyards with smarter owners.

My latest idea involves dangling the feeder from a thin wire. I think I’m on to something. Gotta go, wish me luck. This will definitely work.

Reach Warren at peperwarren@gmail.com