Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t pretty. But so far…yes so far…it has kept the rascally squirrels out of the bird feeder and hasn’t been expensive nor did any squirrels get hurt in the process.

We’ve tried pretty much every solution known to mankind to keep the squirrels out of the bird seed. And because IT IS THEIR JOB to get to said seed, the squirrels have proved themselves to be infinitely resourceful.

Make that:


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But no more. And though I am hesitant to be premature on this claim, I think — really think — we may have outsmarted the squirrels on this one. I think that at long last we may have scored one against our little bushy-tailed adversaries.

You see the squirrels can easily climb up the smooth five-foot metal pole upon which the bird feeder is mounted. I’ve tried smearing the pole with grease and grease (pr petroleum jelly) with hot pepper flakes mixed in and that does work, but only for a time or two. In fact it is quite entertaining to watch them try to climb up as they slide back down. But those dogged little rodents keep at it until they wear away the lubricant. So, it was back to square one.

The solution is hardly our own invention. We’ve been hearing about buckets and big plastic bells being applied to bird feeders at various places. In this case we mounted a length of stovepipe with four small holes punched evenly around the edge at one end. We used short pieces of wire to fasten the pipe right up underneath the wire mesh floor of the feeder. The critters can still climb up the pole, and do so right into the pipe, but then they are stymied once they reach the deadend of the top of the pipe at the bottom of the bird feeder tray. Rats! So close yet so far!

They can’t seem to make that progression from the skinny pole out to the pipe which is only about five inches in diameter. It’s as if they can’t grasp something that smooth that is just a bit too wide for their little “arms” to surround. Plus the open hole at the bottom might just confuse them and it certainly does make it difficult to get a grasp on the stove pipe.

But however it works doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it seems to be working!

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