I'm constantly challenged by my feeding situation. I try to attract birds without feeding squirrels, starlings and pigeons. I'm not opposed to those three species, but I have limited space and living in an apartment I have to feed sunflower out of the shell to eliminate a shell mess on the ground, and that gets expensive for those three species to chow down in an hour. I used to put food out for the squirrels, but when the food is gone, they chew their way into the windows and those types of rowdy guests will cause an eviction of the Stitelers.
I had used a Twirl-a-Squirrel to keep squirrels, pigeons, and massive amount of starlings off of my feeder, but as you can see in the above photo, the squirrels learned that they can hang on the wall and eat out of the feeders, without causing the baffle to spin the feeder. So, I needed to find a window bracket that would extend out farther and would be strong enough to hold the baffle and a full feeder. Not as easy as you would think. I stopped into a Wild Birds Unlimited in Hudson, WI and came across a set up that I thought would work (pictured, right). I like how I can just start with a couple of pieces and there is room to add more feeders and eventually more brackets. It is strong enough to hold the motorized baffle and feeder and I have learned that is also strong enough to hold a pigeon trying to feed of the feeder while it starts to spin.
I put the new bracket up late in the afternoon and that night it snowed, sure enough the next morning a squirrel was eyeing the set up. He jumped over to the ledge, climbed to the top of the bracket and sat above the baffle--I was impressed, the bracket could hold a full feeder, a fat squirrel and a heavy baffle (the baffle looks small, but it's got a motor and three D-cell batteries that cause the feeder to spin when anything squirrel size gets on the feeder--it works well to keep large mammals and birds off, but I don't recommend it for suet feeders, pileated woodpeckers cause the baffle to spin the feeder). The squirrel tried to get around the baffle but appeared to feel uncomfortable with its footing on the thin wire of the bracket and went back to the ledge. The squirrels know than when their full weight is on the feeder, it will spin, so this one decided not to jump onto the feeder. I think the two story drop from my window helps deter them from that. Although, one day we had two squirrels battling on our ledge. I watched one get pushed off and land feet first on the ground and scampered away into a tree without any apparently limp--another reason why I think squirrel muscle is part rubber. Eventually, the squirrel jumped back into the tree and descended to the ground, but not without giving me the hairy eyeball (pictured, right). It must have been taking lessons from Cinnamon.
Incidentally, the Wild Birds Unlimited I was in, was the most masculine bird store I have ever visited--run by all men! Not that there's anything wrong with that, I think the bird store industry tends to attract more women. It's a nice store full of fun gift items as well as bird seed. They also have different events happening, including a Moonlit Walk on February 11, 2006.