Monday, June 8, 2009

No Squirrels Allowed


On one of my writing lists, the conversation has turned to keeping pesky animals out of gardens, and squirrels out of bird feeders. Squirrels are very resourceful little guys, and seem to figure out a way around most of our efforts to guard bird seed.

A few years ago, our squirrel problem became so bad that we installed a special pole with a squirrel proof baffle. If squirrels try to climb the pole, they climb into a dead end. There's nothing to grab hold of on the outside, so they can't reach the top. In the photo to the left, the baffle is hollow and open only to the bottom. It's a simple concept, but it really does work!

There are a couple of caveats, though. The pole and baffle cannot be placed closer than eight feet to a tree, bush, or structure. Apparently, squirrels can jump about eight feet horizontally, so the pole can't be close to anything they can climb and use as a launching pad. The height of the baffle can be adjusted, but it must be five feet off the ground, since the clever little beasties can jump five feet into the air.

The top of the pole holds an assortment of hooks for bird feeders. Our pole came from a local bird shop where we were able to select the components and style it the way we wanted. But I've found two similar baffle style bird feeder poles on-line. Duncraft has one for $139.95 (http://www.duncraft.com/Squirrel-Stopper-System-P1934C63.aspx?gclid=CNDVvIfB-ZoCFQIWFQodG3qHeA) and Backyard Wild Birds has one for $79.99 (http://www.backyardwildbirds.com/servlet/the-151/Squirrel-Proof-Bird-Pole/Detail).

Squirrel baffles -- certainly worth five cupcakes!

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