Monday, May 5, 2014


     It's time. Time for a truce. I guess it's really a virtual truce because I don't think the combatants knew there was any conflict.  I'm talking about one squirrel and two cardinals, all of whom like to dine at our bird feeder. It's a story that has been developing since last Christmas when we received the feeder as a gift. I'll try to be brief. That's not easy for me.

     Our gift givers were kind enough to hang the feeder for us on Christmas night.  We watched every day for the flocks of "Wild" birds we assumed would gather to dine at our feeder.  The birdseed that came with the feeder indicated it was ideal for "wild" birds (as opposed to domesticated birds, I suppose) so being located adjacent to a state park we took as a sure sign that we'd be refilling our feeder on a frequent basis. But for the first week or so we did not see any feathered friends.

     Somewhere in the first or second week our morning ritual of hopeful bird sighting was marred by tragedy; there was no bird feeder anymore! But upon further inspection the feeder was found on the ground underneath the tree where it had been mounted. There had been some strong winds the night before this happened so we chalked it up to mother nature. We hung up the bird feeder again, this time with bungee cords on the top and bottom. It may not be nice to fool with mother nature but it wasn't very nice of mother nature to mess with our feeder either, so we considered ourselves even on that score. 


Still, no visitors to our feeder, none that we could 
see, anyway. Finally, we decided to mount the feeder on a shepherd's hook, thinking perhaps the tree was not too inviting. And furthermore, we started to suspect that some one else or some thing else was discouraging the winged creatures...

If you look closely just to the right of the white vertical
post and at the edge of the grass you will see a furry critter. We have tagged him "Pedro" for reasons I'll explain later. But we assumed the birds were avoiding our feeder because they would have to compete with this critter. 

Okay, I said I was going to keep this short so here's what we did in more or less chronological order.

1) Mounted feeder on shepherd's hook.
2) Moved said hook up onto the lawn.
3) Experimented with Cole's "hot" birdseed
4)Started bringing feeder inside at night. 
5)Chased the squirrel away by yelling .
6)Chased squirrel away by clapping.


When some cardinals started showing up on a pretty regular basis it became apparent they and Pedro were sharing the birdseed via alternating shifts. There are two of them, male and female. The birds feed the first thing in the morning, occasionally mid-day, and early in the evening. Pedro feeds in the middle of the morning and the middle of the afternoon. He and the cardinals seem to have worked out a mutually agreeable dining schedule. And Pedro doesn't eat that much so we haven't had to refill the feeder very often. 

Why did we name him Pedro? Because we poured Coles "hot sauce" cured birdseen on the top, his favorite place to climb inside and feed, and it didn't deter him one bit. The product was advertised to be fine with the birds and would create smoke coming out of the squirrel's ears. Not for Pedro. 

So the truce, if we can call it that, is not between the cardinals and's between us and Pedro. We're not chasing him away anymore. 

Cardinal is on the state park fence.