I am lucky that my office looks out on a wooded area with a lake. We often see ducks and other waterfowl cavorting in the lake and hunting for food. The occasional neighbor’s dog, white tailed deer, or even a coyote strolls into the yard for our diversion. We see birds, woodpeckers and others, but they are often camouflaged in the trees. I had thought about bird feeders, but had been worried that I would spend more time feeding the grey squirrels, rather than feeding actual birds.
And so, I did a little research on squirrel-proof bird feeders. The key is to put the feeder out of the way of branches, rails and eaves that a squirrel can climb. But further research discovered a more innovative solution, a solution that is both new and as old as time itself. The idea is to turn the weight of the squirrel against it. Using a weighted spring mechanism, there are new lines of bird feeders that encapsulate the bird house in a weighted wire frame that closes the seed openings when the weight of the bird (or evil squirrel) exceeds a certain amount.
I already had two feeders that were weighted wire frames that sealed the seed opening when the bird or other creature was too heavy. My research found the “Squirrel Buster” featured above. I took one more step and found an angled hook that would attach to the rail of my porch. This hook projected the feeder away from easy access to squirrel (though a squirrel recently was talented enough to make it to the top of the hook, before plummeting 20 feet to the ground). It also put the feeder in the direct line of sight of my office window.
This combination along with black sunflower seeds has transformed the view from my desk. We now have juncos, cowbirds, sparrows, robins, cardinals and nuthatches battling for seeds throughout the day. A yellow finch just arrived. And you know what, all the seeds are going to the birds, and none to the squirrels. It is like having a bird menagerie with no cages. The irony is that the food is in the cage, not the birds. Of course, we seem to be refilling the bird feeder every day; but that is the cost of success.