It’s the powder

A grey squirrel contemplates how he will gain access to a pair of bird feeders

One of the nice things about my home workspace is when I’m at my keyboard I can look out the window at the new double-arm bird feeder pole.

And at the squirrel who hasn’t yet figured out how to raid the seed supply.

The problem is, apparently, the paint. The bird feeders, two of them, hang from opposing arms near the top of the eight-foot-tall, one-inch square pole. I wondered, when I stuck the mast in the ground, how I’d stop those pesky rodents from cleaning up the corn and seed mix.

They’re smart, I’ve learned over the years. I have video of one who would push the cover back on a five-gallon pail to get at the sunflower seeds. So I got smart and put a big rock on the cover.

Next thing, the rascal had cut a hole through the pail, just under the cover. Somewhere I still have a picture of him poking out through the hole, obviously laughing at that dumb human who thought a rock was going to save the seed.

We bought a squirrel deflector – a plastic gizmo that, when properly installed, forms an upside-down funnel. The idea is our furry friend can’t get around it. If she tries, the funnel tips. Oops.

It worked — for awhile. Then one of the little devils figured out how to chew through the nylon wire ties that held the two funnel halves together.

If a feeder has been empty for a couple days, it takes a couple more for the squirrels to discover it’s been refilled, and a few hours after that for them to empty it.

Clearly, climbing the poles in the back yard is not a problem. I figured the one in front of my desk window would be no more difficult.

It turns out, powder coating is slippery.

In the back yard, it’s fun watching one of the guys climb to the level of a feeder, then stretch out from the pole to the feeder — holding onto the pole with its back feet, and pulling the bird seed container closer with its front.

But when he tries that trick on the front pole, his back feet slide slowly down the pole until, shortly, his front grippers must let go.

One day, I’ll have the camera out and be quick enough to get a shot.

If you like what you’ve seen here, please …

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