The other day, I looked out my bathroom window and spotted a squirrel at my bird feeder. Not just at the feeder, but hanging upside down from the top of the feeder like a Barnam and Bailey trapeze artist so as to access the few remaining sunflower seeds at the very bottom.
Without a thought, I ran downstairs, flew to the back door, and bolted outside. I was hollering and clapping my hands like I was at a rock concert begging for an encore. “SCRAM SCRAM SCRAM!” I was screaming. The squirrel looked at me and casually dropped down to the ground. I’m pretty sure he winked at me before he ran away. Oooo, I’m really scared of you.
I probably do that at least once a day. Obviously, it does no good. Squirrels steal from bird feeders. It’s what they do. I am convinced that there really is no such thing as a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Nevertheless, I buy feeders that promise the squirrels won’t be able to access. I have tried spraying the metal pole with Pam to make it slippery. All of it is to no avail.
I have never actually seen a squirrel getting onto the bird feeder. I don’t know how they do it. Do they jump from the ground like a cat? Do they take a running start and jump? Do they put on little rubber shoes to avoid the slipperiness?
But the real question — the question I asked myself the last time this happened a few days ago — is why on earth does it bug me so much?
In the cartoon world, squirrels are usually depicted as clever and fearless. Walt Disney’s famous squirrels — Chip and Dale — were cheerful and friendly. I never saw them stealing from the birds…..
Rocky the Flying Squirrel was brave and smart enough to outwit Boris and Natasha Every Single Time….
Still, the squirrels in my backyard get on my very last nerve. I dutifully fill up my bird feeder every week and wait for the house finches and the chickadees to look both ways as they peek out of the nearby spruce tree and then fly carefully to the feeder that is designed to prevent even big birds from eating the food.
And the big birds are sitting on the electric lines looking at the squirrels and asking each other, “How do they do that?”
The reality is that at this time of year, it shouldn’t matter to me that the squirrels are also eating the bird seed. After all, God’s creatures are getting ready for the cold winter and eating as much as they possibly can. Perhaps I just hold a grudge for the spring that I came home from AZ only to find big holes in the chair cushions that I had forgotten to put away in the fall. The squirrels were building their nests, and the cheap foam in the cushions was exactly what they were looking for.
I’m either going to have to let nature take its course or stop looking out my windows. The squirrels will win every single time.