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Nature & You: Naturalist wages war on tree squirrel's shenanigans

A clever squirrel matched the wits of a naturalist trying to protect his bird seed. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTO]

A clever squirrel matched the wits of a naturalist trying to protect his bird seed. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTO]

Tree squirrel is winner in bird feeder wars

I am in search of a logging chain. To my way of thinking, it would be a suitable device from which to suspend my bird feeder. Your response might be: "That's overkill." I need to further explain my dilemma.

It all began with my attempt to attract more songbirds outside of my home's window. A bounty of bird seed, however, quickly drew the attention of a tree squirrel. I countered that with the purchase of an all-metal feeder with feeding ports that slammed shut if a fat squirrel gained a hold on the attached bird perch. That ingenious contraption was suspended from a rope that was tied to a high tree branch.

The "fuzzy-tailed tree rat" with which I waged this battle of wits turned out to be smarter than the average squirrel. This seed thief descended the slippery plastic rope and hung upside down while it reached below the roof of the feeder so that it could pilfer seeds without activating the spring-triggered feeding perches.

I made a return visit to the store. I bought a metal cone to place above the bird feeder.

The squirrel's next ploy was to chew through the rope that held the bird feeder aloft. The bird feeder came crashing to the ground. Problem solved ... well, as far as the squirrel was concerned.

I cried "Uncle" and gave up the struggle.

— Neil Garrison, NewsOK Contributor

Neil Garrison was the longtime naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center.

Neil Garrison

Neil Garrison is an outdoor nature enthusiast. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University/Stillwater; he earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology. Prior to his 2009 retirement, he was the Naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center for 30... Read more ›