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)   •  Share: