For 30 years I've been outsmarted by the squirrels. Don't get me wrong, they are cute, but I want the birds to enjoy their food and want the squirrels to eat somewhere else.
Why does it matter? When the squirrels are in the bird feeder that excludes the birds. When squirrels eat everything in the feeder, they will tear it apart, assuming there's more inside.
That beat up green bird feeder was made by my late father-in-law. I've done everything to keep it sturdy and viable in his memory. It means a lot to myself and wife.
Over the years I've found that a 10 inch round piece of heating duct work about three feet long, installed under a pole feeder will stop squirrels and raccoons from feasting on the bird seed.
One morning, a gray squirrel was sitting inside the feeder gorging on black oil sunflower seeds.
I opened the door to startle him and waited to see how he was getting up there. Once a squirrel gets into the feeder, it will return relentlessly for a free meal.
Only this time, it didn't get right back into the feeder. It wasn't until a few days later I figured out how this athletic squirrel was getting to the bird seed.
Check this out. Once you get by the pictures, I'll give you the details of the distance this squirrel traveled for some bird seed.
The blue jay on the feeder is about to get a surprise. One of the squirrel feeders is in the background. I screw on pieces of corn for them to enjoy. Photos by Doug Oster
Take off! Has to be nearly 15 feet in the air.
Gliding towards pay dirt.
I think the blue jay sees the squirrel getting ready to land.
Safe and sound, ready to chow down. The blue jay is long gone.
That's a 10 foot jump from a birdhouse which is about 10 feet high. He gets up there pretty high, spreads his arms and legs to get the wing effect from his limbs.
I'm moving the birdhouse to a new location, but still feeding the squirrels!
Here are the photos put together in a video. Gives a new meaning to the words "flying squirrel."