My bird feeders have taken a lot of abuse this winter. This photo was taken the morning after a big snow storm that dumped 20″ of snow in several hours. Most of my feeders were dwarfed by the snow; a situation that was made even worse when we started to make paths to get around the property. If it wasn’t for squirrels this wouldn’t be a problem at all, but we have been over-run with these nasty little varmints and they wreak havoc on the feeders. Unless you buy really expensive metal or synthetic feeders, the red and gray squirrels will chew through anything you put out. Nothing tweaks my butt more than filling the feeders, then watching the squirrel brigade storm them and clean them all out in a matter of an hour or two. Bird seed is just too expensive to feed it to squirrels. I wouldn’t mind if they ate a little, then left, but these guys are gluttons and never seem to get enough.
The snow banks were so high this year that the squirrels used them to leap onto the feeders, simply by-passing the baffles that are meant to keep them at bay. Out I would go, shovel in hand to carve out the banks in hopes that it might put an end to the feeder raids. After two weeks of constant vigilance and battle, I’ve given up. The squirrels have destroyed or damaged several of my feeders and now they’re chewing on anything else they can find. Years ago they destroyed the electrical works to our hot tub, which was twice repaired at great cost, then finally converted into a small patio garden. They’ve chewed on wires to the cars, window screens, wood trim around the garage and other miscellaneous objects and structures. I don’t like them and I consider them vermin. For 17 years I had the greatest barn cat who kept our varmint population down to a dull roar, but he’s been gone about five years now and that’s all it’s taken to become completely over-run by this prolific bunch of marauding raiders.
I keep filling my feeders because the birds need something to eat, but while doing so I’ll have to concede that the squirrels are going to be well fed too.
Jan 27, 2011. 8:41 AM EST.
Canon EOS 7D
ISO:125, 41mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.6
Lens: Canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
PS5: HDR toning
Lightroom3: Brightness/contrast adj.