Monday, November 30, 2009

The Bushy-Tailed Pests

By mid-October, most of the birds that were hanging around the backyard had left for warmer regions, so we took down all the feeders hanging from the trees and stored them in the shed. But because there are some birds that stick around through the winter, we decided to hang one bird feeder and one peanut feeder from poles that we attached to our deck. This way, we could enjoy some feathery visits from our kitchen window, and our winged friends could find something to eat during the harshest days of winter.

Cool idea, right? And it really is, except for these bushy-tailed pests that have moved in and taken over:

What frustrates me the most is that I can hear the chickadees and the blue jays and the cardinals chirping in the trees nearby, so I know they want to stop by our feeders for a snack. But can they? Nooooo. Because the bushy-tailed pests literally wrap themselves around whatever food is available.

Obviously I have to come up with some type of solution to this problem so that we can enjoy a visit from some of the birds in the area searching for food, which can be scarce this time of year. It’s been a battle of wits since the summer with the squirrels where bird feeders are concerned. And so far they’ve won every time. I have to admit that I admire their tenacity and their ingenuity; no matter what type of squirrel deterrent we conjure up, they manage to overcome it.

Pesky critters.

And their attempt to make me feel sorry for them by saying “please don’t be mean to us; all we want is some food because we’re so hungry” isn’t working. I mean, look at the size of these things. If you ask me, they should be jogging on a treadmill, not wrapping themselves around a peanut feeder.

Darn those squirrels... ARGH!!


  1. Those are great pictures, Martha. And you're got to admire their gymnastic, contortionist abilities, especially as chubby as this fellow seems to be. He is clearly prospering off your seeds---that's the biggest squirrel butt I've ever seen! :-) I don't have a solution, but I have heard of some folks getting feeders especially for the squirrels, hoping that they'll then leave the bird feeders alone. But I have no idea whether they work or not.

    Good luck with your tree rats!

  2. Well, I can identify with these posts! The only deterrent to squirrels I have found is having a dog close by. The squirrels avoid the bird feeder near our dog lot but gorge themselves on the one around the corner of the house in front. I once raised a squirrel from early infancy - he was extremely cute and loving. I enjoyed your photos!

  3. I know they are pests, but I can't help but laugh, seeing how they contort themselves in order to get to the food. I hope they leave them alone long enough for the birds to get some food ;0)

  4. Unfortunately I have no solutions for you either but wowee! What do those squirrels eat up in Canada! That is barely a squirrel anymore! It's a small cat!

  5. Beth, despite the fact that they are so annoying, I do find them really entertaining. I actually like squirrels; I just wish they weren’t so darn persistently pesky. Sometimes when I should be chasing them away, I just sit and watch them in action. Then I regret it because if you give them a little leeway, they get worse. I haven’t tried feeders for squirrels but I do have a little basket at the end of the yard that I fill with treats for them, in hopes that they’ll leave my bird feeders alone. And they do – until they finish their food; then they come over to the feeders again. They have a huge appetite!

    Deborah Elliot, I laughed with your comment because I was just saying the same thing to a neighbour of mine yesterday who has a dog. In fact, I asked her if I can borrow her dog for awhile, so he could roam around my backyard and scare away the squirrels. We’ve been talking about getting a dog eventually, perhaps after the holidays, and that would put an end to this problem!

    I could just imagine how cute that little baby squirrel must have been. I’ve read numerous stories on the internet of people raising baby squirrels, usually because they’re orphaned.

    Azplantlady, I laugh too with them. They are pesky, but they are so much fun to watch. Unfortunately, their entertainment tactics are too long. They spend too much time around the feeders. I haven’t seen a bird in days!

    Pale Gardener, that’s funny! Yes, my backyard squirrels look like small cats! The pictures don’t even do them justice. They look even bigger in person :0

  6. It looks like that squirrel doesn't miss a meal. I will admit he is cute trying to figure out how to get some for himself. Those are great photos!

  7. You should youtube pesky squirrels - there are some very funny videos out there.

    There are LOTS of people working to solve your squirrel problem. Special feeders, special foods, special contraptions.

  8. You got that right, Amy, this squirrel never misses a meal. Whenever I step outside to put out some food for the birds, squirrels start dashing into the yard as soon as I'm back inside. They've come to associate my stepping outside with mealtime :)

    Good To Grow, I have been on youtube to see some squirrel videos, and you're right, they are hilarious. I've also searched the internet for information and discovered some really funny stories. I'm certainly not alone with my bushy-tailed rascals.

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  10. Funny pics! They really are the most persistant of pests!

  11. Hi Petersteel, thanks for stopping by. Squirrels are hilarious to watch, even when they're being pests.

    Thanks hummingbird feeder. Squirrels are probably the biggest pests in my backyard. They are definitely persistent when it comes to food!