Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Corny Compromise for Seed Snatching Squirrels

Our "squirrel proof" bird feeder was not living up to expectations. After weeks of yelling, "THOSE DARN SQUIRRELS!" We decided that maybe we might as well feed them on purpose. Maybe the birds would get more of their seeds. Maybe we would have fun watching the squirrels instead of yelling at them. What the heck, the squirrels are really cute! And, they're actually native here.

We did a quick internet search and found some very entertaining options, from the Yankee Flipper to the Squungee, and everything in between. You can buy both at Wild Birds Unlimited or ebay. However, we decided to see if we couldn't make one of our own. The least technical seemed to be the squungee...

The materials were simple. We found a small bungee cord, an eye-screw, a clip, a short length of chain, and a length of rope in our garage. Petsmart had a bag of corn for $8.

We tied the rope to one end of the small chain (old dog choke-chain collar) and looped it over a tree branch. We attached the bungee to the other end of the chain. A pliers worked great to close the small hook on the bungee. Lastly, we clipped the corn to the bungee (screw eye goes into corn).

We positioned the corn so it would be hanging above the ground. We were aiming for it to be out of reach of mice but still in eyeball range of squirrels. It still took a little while for the squirrels to "see" the food, but once they did, the corn was eagerly devoured.

Next, we raised the corn a little higher so the squirrels had to really reach. It was fun to see them use their tails for balance like a third leg.

Finally, we raised the corn high enough off the ground that the squirrels would have to leap for it. This is where we are now. The leaping, springing squirrels are really fun to watch! Of course, a video clip says it all....


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