Label: Great Squirrel Robbery

March 15, 2013

 I have been struggling all week with how to keep squirrels from breaking into my "squirrel proof" bird feeder and eating all the food. I tried strong packing tape to keep the top on, and then I tried locking the top down with bungee cords. The squirrels quickly and easily broke through both. 

OK, let me think about this. Squirrels have sharp teeth and they were easily able to bite through the packing tape and the bungee cords. But squirrels can’t bite through steel and they can’t bite through the bars of the feeding cage. 

What do I have that is steel and that is easy to put on and take off? Of course, I thought. Paper Clips! Big ones! Don’t try to hold the top down, just use the clips to prevent the squirrels from picking up the top.

I put clips on both sides of the top and sure enough, they prevent the squirrels from being able to lift up the top. At least it’s worked so far. The squirrels haven’t gone in to get the seed from the feeder. But I’m not entirely convinced yet. There may be a squirrel Einstein that’s working to solve the problem of moving paper clips, and it won’t entirely surprise me to find out that the clips are gone one day soon!

Thank you for your ideas, helping me to try to solve the Great Squirrel Robbery!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, birds, Great Squirrel Robbery   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 14, 2013



The battle continues, as I try to keep squirrels from eating all the seed in my "squirrel proof" bird feeder. The cage-like shape is supposed to keep the squirrels out, while the birds fly right through the bars and eat.



But, the squirrels lift up the top and eat all the food. Yesterday I tried locking it down with strong packing tape, but that was no good. What should be next? An idea bounced into my head. Bungee cords! That would do it. Bungee cords are super strong and they have hooks at each end. They’ll hook right into the wires of the cage. Why didn’t I think of that first? No problem!


In a few minutes when I came back to look, the bungee cords were gone. Where could they be? I could barely pull them up. Surely the squirrels are not strong enough to pull up a bungee cord! Well, they aren’t strong enough, but their teeth are certainly sharp enough! They had bitten right through the bungee cords and the cords lay on the ground beneath the feeder. And there was my friend the squirrel, having a little snack.

  Anyone have a better idea?

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, birds, Great Squirrel Robbery   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 13, 2013

Seymour Simon has been writing this week about his battle to keep the squirrels from breaking into his "squirrel proof" bird feeder and eating all the seed that is meant for the birds. It is especially annoying because it is winter, and he knows that his feathered friends appreciate the food he puts out for them. Despite the special "cage" that is around his bird feeder, the squirrels still find a way to break in and eat the food.

  Now, we all know that squirrels can’t read, but if they could, maybe a stern, strong warning would keep them from touching the birds’ winter food.

Your assignment: Imagine that it is your job to create a sign that warns squirrels about the consequences if they steal from the bird feeder. Your writing needs to be short and punchy - 50 words or less - so that it will fit on the sign with nice, big letters and be easy to read.

When you have finished your "Squirrel Warning" sign, click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of this blog post to show us your writing.

Use strong, action verbs and powerful adjectives to tell squirrels why stealing the birds’ food is simply NOT OK.

Have fun!

Bird Identification: Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, birds, Great Squirrel Robbery   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 12, 2013

If you read my blog earlier today, you know that I am in a battle with the squirrels who are breaking into my "squirrel proof" bird feeder and eating all the food.

So, the squirrels are winning…at least for now. I have to find a way to lock the top of the bird feeder so that the squirrels can’t simply lift up the top and reach in to get the nuts and other things they like. Looking at the feeder, it though it would be easy. All I have to do is to use some tape to close the top. Strong tape, packing box tape is just the thing, I thought. I taped several pieces and criss-crossed them over the top of the feeder. Well, that settles that, I said to myself. That’ll show those squirrels who’s in charge here.

In a few minutes when I came back to look, I found out who was in charge. The squirrels, of course! They had easily chewed through the tape, lifted the top and were happily enjoying the seed. Round two for the squirrels!

  Now what?    

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, birds, Great Squirrel Robbery   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 12, 2013

Feeding birds at a bird feeder is not new, but for me, setting up my own feeder has been an eye opener. I used to watch the birds at a feeder and think to myself, that’s interesting but all those birds look alike. Or at least they look like two kinds: big birds and little birds. All that changed when I set up my own feeder near my country house and started to use good binoculars to look at the birds. Suddenly I saw that there were all kinds of birds at the feeder, some with crested heads, some with black streaks on their heads, some had dabs of color here and there, females looked different than males, and so on and so on. I began to use a bird identification book constantly. In the first few days I had logged over a dozen different kinds of birds using the feeder. What fun, I thought. Now I have to set up a feeder just outside my kitchen window in my downstate home in Great Neck, on Long Island.

One of the problems with bird feeders is that squirrels like bird feeders, too. And on Long Island there are plenty of squirrels and most of them seem to hang out around my kitchen window. Squirrels eat all the food, and keep the birds away from the feeder. I know what I’m going to do, I thought. 

I’ll get a squirrel-proof feeder, the one that has a cage outside the feeder, completely enclosing the feeder inside.

It looks sort of like a bird cage with the feeder inside. The squirrels will never break into that, I thought. Well, it took only a couple of hours for the squirrels to figure out that the "squirrel-proof" cage was "really-not-squirrel-proof at all!" 

All the squirrels had to do was lift up the top of the feeder (the part that I lifted to put the seeds inside), reach in and grab all the seeds they wanted.

What should I do? I am determined to match wits with my squirrels! After all, I am a writer, an author, a teacher. How can a squirrel match wits with me? Easily, it turned out! I wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought! OR, the squirrels were a lot smarter than I had realized. OR maybe both! 

Anyone have a suggestion about what I should try next?


Bird Identification:
Top Left: White-Breasted Nuthatch


Bottom Right: Black-Capped Chickadee (have you ever heard their call? It sounds like: "chick-a-DEE-dee-dee")


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, Animals, birds, Great Squirrel Robbery   •  Permalink (link to this article)