Tag Archives: Bird feeder

Squirrel! | A Nearly Ubiquitous Rodent

by Melanie and Jim

Squirrels. We got ’em. They are found nearly everywhere in the world. Australia, you might have them, too. For those of us who enjoy being outside, squirrels are a source of amusement and sometimes annoyance. One evening in the fall, we had dinner on our deck. It’s a screened porch that backs up to just a few feet from the trees behind the house. An unusual evening in a way, we were able to enjoy our meal without the drone of mowers anywhere in the neighborhood. We had that in the middle of summer, too, deep in the drought when the grass wasn’t growing. But then it was too warm to enjoy being out for long.

From our deck we can see the birds flying in to the feeders. There are three, plus a suet feeder in the winter. One feeder is for the hummingbirds in summer, one is a small tube feeder that the chickadees and finches use, and one is a larger tube. The large tube feeder is well stocked with sunflower seed. Almost all of the birds enjoy that feeder, with the nuthatches swooping in so fast, taking one seed and darting away. Flickers, downy and hairy woodpeckers, and red-bellied woodpeckers all stay longer, taking their time before flying off again. Chickadees, titmouses, house finches, blue jays, all take their turns. We get quite the show from our deck.

The squirrels would love to feed from it, too. But, they have a problem with it.¬†That feeder is a Yankee Flipper, made by the Droll Yankees company. (We are not associated with the company in any way, but we have found their “squirrel-proof” feeder effective and their customer service helpful.) Watch what happens to this squirrel as it tries to access seed from the Yankee Flipper in our backyard.

We’ve had our feeder for several years, and for the most part, the squirrels don’t bother it anymore. The first few days of it were great. Old Uncle Fred must have taught the young ‘uns what happened when he tried it once.¬†Instead they glean the seeds from the ground below, the bits and pieces missed or dropped by the birds.

There is more about squirrels below.

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Out the Back Window | Walnut Husks

by Jim and Melanie

Our walking path passes under Black Walnut trees at several locations. Many of the green fruit have dropped and turned brown. Some fell on our path. Squirrels came to open them for the nut. They left behind piles of dark pieces. Rain showers leave streaks of dark stain on the concrete. Twenty two years ago, we lived at the top of a hill in our town. The street sloped steeply down for 3 blocks. We would gather some walnuts from the back yard with our son who was 2 or 3 and roll them down the hill.

There’s more to this walk.