Birds vs a squirrel

ellenr22December 12, 2005

I'm feeding many birds and one squirrel in the front yard of the apt building. I've heard too many stories of human trying to keep squirrels out of bird feeders, and the squirrel always wins, so I don't mind feeding one squirrel. So far.

My question is, if I feed him his own food, is he likely to leave the bird food alone, or to eat that too?

In the couple of days I've been observing this little drama, the squirrel seems to eat continuously.

well I guess I'll find out, cuz that is what I'm going to do.

Wondered what others' experience is.

thanks,

ellen

BTW, I'm not going to try to outsmart the squirrel with an expensive bird feeder which is supposed to be squirrel-proof. I tried one, and it wasn't. Nor am I very good at building things. Besides I like the little fellow, and he deserves to eat too.

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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Ellen, I gave up on that too, I love my squirley guys. They really like the squirrel proof bird feeders don't they? Keeps them entertained for hours. I took one of the tube feeders that they had ruined and filled it full of BOSS and also threw some on the ground. I put the tube feeder on the ground next to the pile of seeds and those goof balls went for the seeds in the feeder, not the freebies on the ground.It's all about the challenge and keeping themselves entertained! ;D
Lisa

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 1:59PM
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ellenr22

haha. that sounds like my cat. she definitely prefers treats that she isn't supposed to have.
What is BOSS?

ellen

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 11:57AM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Oh sorry, forgot I wasn't on a birding forum.BOSS= Black Oil Sunflower Seed.
Lisa

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 1:10PM
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dreamweaver_

The Squirrels at my house used to live on the bird feeders so I finally put up a couple of Squirrel feeding stations with the corn cob holder & a Squirrel snack box & now they never come to my bird feeders, just eat at their own feeders. I do not put lesser quality food in the Squirrel feeders than I do the bird feeders & they are happy.
Bottom line is the Squirrel's are just hungry too, I love the little furry guys & they are lots of fun to watch... :-)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 7:44PM
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ellenr22

Oh, the cardinals love the BOSS!

I have some hedges in front of my window (I am on the ground floor), and since I started feeding the birds, they have been hanging out in the hedges, even tho that's not where I feed them. I get a great look.

For the squirrely I got this thing at Lowe's says it is made of corn, and outlasts corn by 24 times or something like that. It is round and dense. Then I realized if I put it out without a holder, he would probably take it away and hide it, and come back for more. so today I'm going to go get a holder, I think it has to be attached to something.

I'm glad to learn that there is a bird forum - i'm going to check that out too

ellenr

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 12:08PM
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buffburd(z5 NY)

I don't have to worry about the squirrels eating my bird seed, the neighborhood birds keep tabs on my feeder and mob it within a day of its being filled, staying and eating until it is empty.

The sparrows are particularly plump, as they just sit in my 'gazebo' style birdfeeder and chow down. Its nice though, I can set out feed on Thursday or Friday and I'm sure to have lots of guests for my Saturday morning viewing pleasure.

The chickadees, who live nearby, also stop by when there's food, if the sparrows give them enough room to get to it.

I saw another type of bird kind of hopping around last time I had a bird picnic, it was black and a bit smaller than the sparrows, though still bigger than the chickadees. Don't know what that one was.

My sparrows love to hang out on the burning bush in my front yard and the other bush that's closer to the feeder. That, and all along my fence line.

Kyle

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 9:57PM
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envirocop

If you feed one squirrel word will get around and you'll have many more before long.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 8:31AM
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ellenr22

I wonder if the birds are off some place warming their nest becasue snow and sleet is forecast for this afternoon. This morning the usual crowd did not show up. Altho squirrel was there. Or I wonder if it is because the cat from across the street has noticed that this is a good hunting ground. It is like the lion waiting at the water hole to see what will show up.
I hope I can figure out some way to discourage him, as I have been enjoying the show.

ellen

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:53PM
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keilamarie(z5 Mass)

Hi,

I feed both and also my beloved chipmunks...but they eat seperately because I noticed the squirrel will hog the feeders and not give the birds a chance to eat. I made a simple squirrel proof feeder which REALLY is squirrel proof and I have a small table made to match that I put food out on for them. I feed the same thing to the birds as my squirrels BOSS, nuts, other seeds, suet, all sorts of goodies, left over homemade bread...you name it. I could never turn down a hungry critter:) Here is a picture of both the table and the feeder! (normally the squirrels and chipmunks are on the table, lol...but in this picture the cardinals are enjoying breakfast!

Keilamarie

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:03AM
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ellenr22

What a cool feeding station Keilamarie!
No wonder they love it.

ellen

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 4:41PM
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dreamweaver_

Keilamarie...
What great feeders you made for your Birds, Squirrels & Chipmunks - they are all lucky to live at your house... :-)
Wish we had Chipmunks here, I've only see pictures of them.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 7:07PM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

Speaking of birds vs squirrels....recently while on vacation my husband and I heard a familar hawk scream and started looking around for a red-shouldered, a local and very vocal resident here at home. It came swooping in from our left and headed for the top of a nearby tree...and then the squirrel attacked. I have never seen this before but I promise you we had front row seats. That silly little brushytail scampered straight up and across some thin branches in the adjoining tree and then LEAPED at the hawk. I am completely serious. THe hawk flapped away with a bit of a surprised screech and then continued its usual keeeee-yah keeee-yah as it made for a different perch.
I have heard that predators that are not in the mood to hunt or eat can be driven off or even killed by prey animals in weird circumstances. Somone once told me that if you put a live mouse or a rat in a cage with a snake that is not hungry or in a mood to kill, it can harm or even kill that snake. Is this true?? I do know that despite being a bit smaller than a red tail, a red-shouldered hawk is still big enough to pose a risk to a squirrel in my opinion..
Very weird.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:06PM
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dreamweaver_

Oh my! I can't imagine a Squirrel going after a Hawk! Wonder if maybe the Squirrel had a young family it was trying to protect?
You were so lucky to be able to witness that... :-)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 4:43PM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Prey fight back. I've seen many hawk and owl feet that were bit (some infected) by the prey they hunted. It makes sense: the strong, ferocious prey fight back and some survive, making them the best parents for reproduction.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 2:00PM
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