Thursday, January 10, 2013

Squirrel-proof Birdfeeders for Hours of Entertainment

It's cold, damp and windy outside. There are hungry birds out there—time to fill the feeder. But wait—what's that hairy, vampiric rodent hanging off your bird habitat, sucking down seeds like a shop vac while you curse its persistent existence? It's a squirrel, of course.

If you live in a house surrounded by trees like I do, I bet you've got a lot of pesky squirrels about. And they're tenacious. They'll eat your birdseed, belch, then look at you expectantly for a refill. Why do you think they're hanging around? They're not admiring your pristine landscaping.

I don't care how fluffy their tails are. Squirrels suck. We've had squirrel invaders off and on for the past few years, due to our stupid "open roof" concept. Back in the day, housing developers did not have to supply a sub-roof under roof tile here in sunny California, so there's our ceiling, its beams, some insulation and finally, roof tile between us and the world. Squirrels have figured out that our house is completely penetrable and have taken advantage whenever their invasive natures take over. If I were to hang a feeder, it would be squirrel Armageddon, and those little furry mess-makers are scrabbly in nature. You don't want them in your insulation or wiring, believe me.

But I like birds. I do! I'd love to have some bird feeders around here. In the spring and summer, we've got birds aplenty—no need for feeders, but in the winter, they avoid our yard. Nothing to attract them, I guess. Feeders would be FUN. But squirrels would RUIN the fun. That's what squirrels DO.

I did a little sleuthing to find the best bird feeders for the squirrel-phobic. Here's what I came up with—feeders that whirl and spin! A squirrel-sized thrill ride of foodless oblivion. Not that I'm going to get any of these. Then we'd have to deal with the rats too. So just forget it. Still, if you want to see hysterically spinning squirrels, and who doesn't, just push "play."

This is perhaps the finest spinning-squirrel video on the Internet, in my opinion. It consistently satisfies. See if you don't agree.

There's a lot of slow-mo freaks on YouTube. How many have seen a squirrel spinning in slow-mo? Not many, I'd wager. Well, here you go. Should have been set to dub-step, but that's the breaks.

For sheer tenacity, this squirrel has everyone beat. Look at him/her go! And go! And go. Jeez, stupid squirrel.

In all seriousness (ahem), the following is probably the best feeder for thwarting squirrels: The Squirrel Buster Plus. Its ingenious mechanism (go to 3:00 to see it in action) uses the squirrel's weight to close the feeding holes. So while spinning and tipping feeders are fun-filled for all (except for squirrels, and who knows—maybe they like it, the little bastards), actually closing down the source of food makes the most sense to me. Those whirling feeders are great at whirling seed all over the ground too. The squirrels that hang on the longest get the most seed. Fuckers.

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