Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cardinal Virtues

This past weekend we all spent time at the window watching the action at our bird feeders. My husband confessed to getting hooked on the show. We are beginning to recognize the regular visitors.

Has anyone found a squirrel-proof bird feeder that lives up to its name? We have noticed a black and grey squirrel who arrive together for some partnered thievery.

The black squirrel has conquered the feeder and hangs precariously, dropping seeds down onto the deck where his grey cohort awaits the feast.

A small chipmunk and red squirrel try to join the gang, but are chased off with much chattering and agitated tail waving. Squirrels deserve to eat too, but after a few minutes I knock on the window to chase them away so the birds can return.

The chickadees and sparrows are becoming used to my presence and do not leave when I go outdoors. The cardinals are much more cautious and approach timidly, the brilliant colour of the male easily seen in the bare lilac bush.
My father sent me a link to an interesting web site call OEDILF, The Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form. It is worth a look! I entered the word “cardinal” and a number of definition limericks were displayed. Here is one of them.

After hearing a birdsong, I search,
Find a cardinal high on a perch.
His hue, I alert you
Is his cardinal virtue;
He's dressed like a Prince of the Church.

Entries for this unique dictionary can be submitted by anyone, and once approved, are listed with the author’s name. I am too slow at limericks to do this in my spare time. I am not ready to quit my day job yet!


  1. Oh, the squirrels will find a way if there is one! The only feeder I've found that works for me is from Wild Birds Unlimited and it has a hinge that closes off the feeder holes when the weight of the squirrel is on the ring. Of course, the downside is that if too many birds light at one time, it also closes off access to the seed! :c) I love the cardinals too... so pretty. Neat limerick web site! Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely day.

  2. Thank you. I really don't mind the squirrels, but they get bolder and greedier each day. Both squirrels mentioned in my post are now able to dangle from the feeder. I will have to look for the feeder you mentioned.

  3. There is NO such thing as a "squirrel proof" feeder. There are "squirrel resistant" feeders, but it really depends on the IQ of your squirrels. The majority of them are really smart, but if you are lucky, you may get the dumb ones at your feeder.
    Good trick is to feed the squirrels their own food (dried corn on the cob, etc) on their own feeder, away from the bird feeders.
    Many of my birder friends have taken up the slogan, "If you can't beat them, enjoy them!"

  4. Only one squirrel had a higher IQ, but he taught the others his tricks. I do put food out for the squirrels, but they gobble it up and go for the bird feeder. Oh well, at least our critters are cute and fluffy. My family in Mexico contend with garden reptiles.

  5. We have that type of bird feeder and it worked for a while, but then the squirels destroyed it. They hung on the metal cage and chewed the plastic openings larger so they could get the seed een when the doors "closed". On one of the feeder they dismantled the top so the feeder fell and they got all the food. Hope you have better luck!! The birds loved this feeder so I was quite sad about it.

  6. In the 3 weeks since I wrote this post,the squirrels have destroyed the top of the feeder. I have tried hanging it on a longer wire and placed an inverted planter over the top of it, but nothing works. Like Susan said, there appears that there is no such thing as a squirrel proof feeder.


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