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A reluctant homage to squirrels
FOR THE BIRDS

A reluctant homage to squirrels

red squirrel

A red squirrel samples from a feeder.

There is an old saying about squirrels, “you either learn to defeat them or you just give up and feed them.” Whether you love them or loathe them . . . you’ve got to hand it to them. Successful they are. Often agile beyond belief and seemingly able to solve complex problems, squirrels can consume large amounts of bid feed and damage expensive feeders.

Just think of the amount of time, money, research and engineering that has gone into the development of countless “squirrel-proof” feeders only to have squirrels learn to defeat them. The contest is far from over. We can be pretty darn clever and resourceful! And modern day tactics can truly create a mutual stalemate between you and your squirrels.

There really are squirrel solutions that will keep your bird food for the birds . . . while also keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level. The strong defenses provided by properly placed baffled pole system, exclusion cages, hot pepper foods, safflower seed, and yes, even an array of modern squirrel-proof feeders have yet to be reliably breached by even the most tenacious squirrel tacticians.

But it’s not from the lack of trying . . . and the endless entertainment value of watching them wage war on our defenses is almost worth the occasional defeat or two along the way. Happy Bird/Squirrel Feeding!

Kathy and her husband, John, own and operate the Wild Birds Unlimited, located at 111 S. 24th Street. Billings and at www.wbu.com/billings. She is a master naturalist and Certified Bird Feeding Specialist.

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