Squirrel Proof Suet Feeders and Secret Squirrels
If you live in an area where squirrels are active then you are probably well used to them invading your garden. The Grey Squirrels of the UK are tenacious creatures which will use their guile to reach any available food supply. This will include your bird feeders and suet balls. You will need squirrel proof suet feeders if you wish to preserve your supplies for the garden birds.
I happen to like squirrels but they are a rare sight in my own garden. I enjoy watching their antics and their ability to problem solve is always fascinating. I wouldn’t be so amused if they were invading my bird feeders for the peanuts though!
Despite my appreciation of these clever characters there was one occasion on which I was not quite so amused!
I was visiting Sequoia National Park in California. In addition to being the home of the awe inspiring Giant Sequoia trees, the park is a haven for a variety of wildlife However, what I really wanted to see was bears!. Sightings of deer, elk and even coyotes are common and there are some truly amazing insects!
There are many black bears in Sequoia National Park but that doesn’t mean that you see them very often. On my first trip to the park I only saw one bear and that was for fleeting moment. I was hoping that my second visit would yield more viewing opportunities.
You can imagine my delight when I was walking in one of the sequoia groves and found not one but four bears in quick succession. These animals are potentially dangerous and so I was careful not to alarm them. A bear attack is likely to prove fatal and I was keen to return from my holiday in one piece. As it turned out it wasn’t the bears that I needed to worry about.
Giant Pine Cones
After the excitement of seeing the bears I continued to walk in the forest. Then, without warning, I was struck on the head by a large pine cone. When I say large, I mean enormous. The cones of the sequoias reach epic proportions and, trust me, they really hurt when they have fallen from 250 feet. At first I put my brush with a brain injury down to chance. Although the cones can stay on the trees for up to 21 years, they will eventually fall off.
A few feet further down the path there was a loud thud as another cone dropped down and hit the ground. Then another! I was confused as there was no wind. Why were the cones falling off?
I decided to sit down for a while to conduct an investigation. It didn’t take long to unravel the mystery. The cones were not falling off the trees, they were being thrown down by Douglas Squirrels. These natives of the Western United States are smaller than our Grey Squirrels but equally resourceful.
A little research revealed that Douglas Squirrels will collect and then store up to 150 pine cones to provide a supply of food for the winter. As the Sequoia trees are so tall, the squirrels don’t climb down with their trophies. They throw them down instead and collect them up later. They aren’t too choosy about when they throw them! I was left wondering how you squirrel proof your head!
Squirrel Proof Suet Feeders
It was ironic that I was in a forest full of bears and yet nearly got injured by a tiny squirrel. Despite my flirtation with a skull fracture I ended up admiring these creatures even more. I just wish I had a few more squirrels in my garden. I had better not do anything to encourage them though because my neighbours have bird feeders in the garden. They do have squirrel proof suet feeders but their mesh peanut feeder doesn’t look too secure!