Published: Aug 03, 2008 10:19 AM
Modified: Aug 03, 2008 10:19 AM
Is feeding wildlife for the birds?
Some people go through incredible pains to keep squirrels from getting in their bird feeders. A trip to your local wild bird store shows you the myriad feeders designed to keep those pesky rodents out of the bird seed. Slick poles, metal skirts, pressure sensitive exclusion perches, suspended feeders -- all good ideas, but none totally squirrel-proof.Love them or hate them, you've got to respect the fluffy-tailed gray squirrels for their ingenuity, persistence and raw ability to outdo our best attempts to thwart them.There is one way to prevent squirrels from getting into your bird feeders that is very nearly 100 percent effective. Remove all food from the feeder, and then remove the feeder. There are several advantages to this radical approach. There will be fewer obese squirrels in your yard; the birds will be less concentrated and therefore less likely to fall prey to neighborhood cats or even hawks, for that matter; and your hair won't be pulled out by the roots from frustration. Alternatively you could give up and feed everyone. There are some very entertaining squirrel feeders on the market. Better yet, you can plant a wildlife garden and supply diffuse feed and beautify your yard at the same time. Local plants can be drought resistant and supply appropriate food for local wildlife. Food for thought. If you have questions or know of wildlife in need of help call Piedmont Wildlife Center 919-572-9453.
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2008 The Chapel Hill News