This is not my picture. Man, I wish it were. What an awesome shot. But you get the idea because this is essentially what our squirrels were doing to my brand new bird feeder that the boys got me for Christmas.
They gave me this lovely cedar chalet bird feeder with side cages for suet cakes. We haven't fed the birds since Aberdeen. Remember this post? Back then we didn't have to contend with squirrels. Aberdeen just didn't have them. No, our biggest predator problem were the fat pigeons who would try to steal the seed by roosting on our window ledge. We eventually solved that problem.
No sooner did I hang the bird feeder on our unused clothes line pole, then massive gray squirrels, or tree rats as I refer to them, began scaling the pole and performing the exact same acrobatics pictured above. I was incensed and determined to find a solution. A squirrel baffle seemed logical. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, it is essentially an inverted funnel fitted around the pole which prevents tree rodents from reaching high enough to get to the bird feeder like so:
Alas, our local wild bird seed store didn't have baffles with large enough fittings for the circumference of our pole, but all was not lost. The clerk informed me that squirrels, and blackbirds, starlings, and crows for that matter, do not like safflower seeds and will generally leave feeders with them alone. So I decided to invest in a 10 lb. bag of safflower seeds. I also bought a window feeder because I missed the one we had in Aberdeen. It was such an up-close-and-personal view of the birds once they got brave enough to enjoy it.
So here it is, ready and waiting.
In the meantime, I also got a third bird feeder for Christmas, and the deck mount for it arrived today. This feeder is squirrel proof already with a cage around it to prevent the tree rats from stealing seed. Needless to say, our backyard is becoming a veritable food court for our birds. Stay tuned.