poetry and prose about place

thwarting the squirrels

with 8 comments

Feeding the birds provides me with hours of enjoyment in winter.  However, bird feed is costly when marauders come to call.  I have watched with dismay as the tongue of a single deer laps up every morsel of sunflower seed.  Or laughed as the squirrel eats peanuts from inside the squirrel-resistant bird feeder.  Lately, a very fat raccoon has emptied our suet feeder night after night.




Last weekend, we rigged something new to see if we could reserve at least one feeder just for the birds.  The idea is courtesy of my friends A. and D. who showed me how well the contraption works at their bird feeding station.




The idea is simple.  We stretched a sturdy cord between two trees at a height of about seven feet.  On the cord, we strung six empty 2 liter pop bottles.  We tried all sorts of ways to drill holes in the plastic and found that a screwdriver heated over a candle flame melted a neat hole in the bottom center of each bottle.  Then we put a metal s-hook between the two center bottles and hung the feeder.  The squirrels will try to walk the tightrope to get to the feeder, but when they reach the pop bottles, these spin and the squirrels cannot hang on.


After one week, the squirrels and raccoon have left this feeder alone.  They still have some food to eat at the other feeder, but at least the seed in this one is reserved for the birds!  As you can see, the snow banks are getting higher and soon the squirrels will be skipping across the surface of the snow to reach the feeder.  Higher please!




Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

January 16, 2015 at 7:04 am

8 Responses

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  1. What a clever idea! I’ll have to try it. We have lots of squirrels.

    Liked by 1 person


    January 16, 2015 at 11:35 pm

  2. What a great idea, spinning pop bottles. We have the same problems, except that suet brings rats because we are a block and a half from the river…so quickly, no more suet. We have had some luck with upside down maple sap collecting cans, placed lower down on the wrought iron poles the feeders are on. But as you say, once the snow gets higher, the squirrels can jump to cling to the feeders. The deer eat the cracked corn we put out for the ducks and the apples we put out for robins and jays. I love to watch the birds and to feed them too. I get to watch many other critters in the yard helping themselves to whatever is there, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    Carol Steel

    January 16, 2015 at 8:08 am

    • Hi Carol. I even love the marauders, but the birds are the best. I have a great place to watch them and this year I’m keeping a regular observation book. Your post on feeding the ducks was the first I ever read by you. Jane,


      jane tims

      January 16, 2015 at 3:22 pm

  3. Looking beyond your fancy contraption …. what a beautiful snow scene in the background. 🙂 A lovely place to enjoy nature.

    Liked by 1 person


    January 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

    • Hi. Yes, we have a great property … 19 acres to enjoy. Mostly woods. I have a map of the property on the right side of my blog under ‘map of the grey wood’. Jane


      jane tims

      January 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm

  4. Simply brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person


    January 16, 2015 at 7:44 am

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