Bye Bye,Birdie

You know that expression: Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile? Well, my husband and I have finally decided to put a road block up!

On Monday, we have our outside-of-the-house repair/paint/ patch man coming. Yes, it’s been only six months since we had a hole in the wood part of our chimney repaired, and now we have a hole in our house’s wood siding.

Yep, we finally have had to take our bird feeder down, and we are sad about that. I’ll continue filling the bird bath, but we are taking the feeder down. Yesterday I counted four squirrels amongst our birds. Although the squirrels can’t actually feed at the feeder, they scurry around at the bottom, grabbing the seeds as the birds (unintentionally) drop them.

We’ve enjoyed our birds, and even the antics of the squirrels. But, apparently the squirrels don’t get their fill on just the seeds and have decided our house’s siding suits them as their second helpings.

We started the bird feeding when our beloved Sprite “left” us two years ago. Her leaving was a difficult blow for all of us. My husband thought that if I had the birds to watch from my computer desk, it would help ease the pain of losing her. It did fill a little, tiny, teensy-weensy bit of the void.

We enjoyed passing by the kitchen windows to see what those little birds were up to. They have some pretty crazy antics – most of which are based on their hierarchy. (I don’t know if the older birds outrank based on their age, if the males get preference, or if the bigger ones just bully their way to the best positions.) Watching them squabbling over who got which little food dispenser hole on the feeder, watching as the fledglings fluttered their wings and followed their parents around (as their parents tried to sometimes get away from them),  it all seemed to bring a smile to our faces.

However, we have to convince the squirrels to move on to greener pastures. We thought that by taking down one of the two feeders, there would be less food, thus less squirrels at the bottom scrounging around. Not so!

So now I am hoping that the hummingbird who has been eating at that feeder tells his friends that there is less air traffic in our back yard, and convinces them to come on down. However, I doubt he’ll do that. He is pretty possessive about “his” feeder.

Comments

  1. Danna, My sympathies! We had a squirrel die in the attic once. Fortunately my brave husband got it out before it began to putrify! Now we have chipmunks digging holes everywhere and I’m nearly positive they’re living under the house. Fast little devils, too. Grrr.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Yikes, Susan! So far the squirrels haven’t made it into the attic, so I guess we’re taking the bird feeders down in time. It’s a shame they ruin it for defenseless birds.

  2. I feel your pain. I feed 5 squirrels and a chipmunk w/ our bird feeders. They’re on shepherds crooks and the squirrels shimmy right up. The chipmunk can’t make the climb on the crooks, so the little rascal figured out that he can travel by way of the bush underneath, climb to the top of it and then hop on. I feel like his efforts and ingenuity should be rewarded. :) But, I just saw my first brown-headed nuthatch two days ago, which is my favorite bird, so I’ll hang the feeders up, hopefully out of reach, but enjoy the fun until I do. :)

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Laurel, we have really great bird feeders that are squirrel proof, but for extra protection, we got squirrel bafflers also. Unfortunately, they know they can find food at the bottom of the feeders. It has only been two days, and my husband and I both really miss watching the birds.

      (I just looked up brown-headed nuthatches and they are precious!)

  3. We had two houses with wood siding and had problems with the downy woodpeckers tapping holes into both houses. The bird feeders drew a lot of birds. One morning I remember waking up to rap-a-tap-tap on our house. We saw the downy woodpeckers tapping holes into our house. So after the siding was fixed, we decided not to feed the birds as we were attracting them to our house with the seed. We recently went back to feeding them again as we now have vinyl siding.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Lynn T, lucky for you to have vinyl siding! I knew I would miss the birds, but didn’t know just how many times during the day I looked out my window to watch them. Now when I look out >>> I just see the back yard. (Occasionally I see a Hummingbird, but not very often.)

  4. Squirrels dig in my garden and pots. Last year they bit into several of my tomatoes. Even worse, feral cats poop in my garden. I feel sorry for them but when you come up with a handful of poop (with gloves, thank goodness), I chase them away. I don’t do bird feeders but have plants like coneflowers that they enjoy. Love the goldfinches!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Those pesky pests, Sally F! Yikes on your frequenting feral felines!

    • Sally F, I use “Deer & Rabbit Repellent” by Liquid Fence on my outdoors plants. This stuff really does work. But a word of caution, this stuff really, really, really stinks!! So stand back when you spray and try not to spray when the wind is in your direction. I got this at Home Depot but I think it can be bought elsewhere. It is sort of expensive but each application is just a small amount.

      • Danna - cozy mystery list :

        Linda C, that Liquid Fence sounds pretty potent. I wonder if it would have worked on our squirrels to keep them away, while allowing the birds to continue to enjoy the seeds… (Do birds smell? >>> I mean do they have the ability to smell?)

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