In this episode of BirdNoir, the Private Eye hears from his friend Danny, who is having his bird feeders pilfered by a pack of rowdy squirrels. While a determined squirrel thief is hard to stop, the detective gives Danny suggestions on the best ways to foil these clever critters.
BirdNoir: The Squirrel Mafia 🐿️
Written by Mark Bramhill
This is BirdNoir. I’m Private Eye Michael Stein.
[Music : “A Shot in the Dark”]
Not all thieves in the animal world are sneaky. Some of them will rob you in broad daylight, like what happened to my friend Danny.
Danny: [on phone] Michael, I need your help. Me and my neighbors’ bird feeders are being robbed blind by a pack of squirrels! [to squirrels] Hey, you watch it!
[Squirrel chittering, almost like a taunt]
Danny: How do we keep these punks out?
The easiest thing is to use food that squirrels don’t want — nyjer thistle seeds, or jalapeño suet in the winter.
Danny That’s great Michael, but my feeder is chock full of black-oil sunflower seeds. Only the best for my birds, you know.
Well in that case you’ll need more layers of security. First, hang the bird feeder on a tall pole away from your roof or trees — squirrels can jump 9 feet across, and they will if there’s a good snack waiting for them.
[Squirrel chewing on a nut]
Danny (on phone): Michael, my feeder is already up on a pole — the squirrels just shimmy up it like it’s nobody’s business!
Ah, how about a second line of defense: a squirrel baffle. It’s a big cone or tube on the feeder pole that blocks a squirrel’s path.
Danny: So that’ll keep my seeds safe for the birds then?
Well, mostly — a determined squirrel can make it past the tightest security. But there’s one last trick: you can set up a protection racket with your squirrel mafia. Leave the squirrels some cheap food, like dried corn, away from your bird feeder. Hopefully they’ll accept the bribe and choose the easy meal — and leave the feeder to the birds.
[Squirrel chittering and birds chirping]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein, Private Eye.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Content Director: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Eastern Gray Squirrel ML 305921 recorded by Brad Walker and Eastern Gray Squirrel ML 107231 recorded by Wil Hershberger.
Music : “A Shot in the Dark” Henry Mancini from The Ultimate Pink Panther 2004 BMG Music
© 2022 BirdNote November 2022
Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# noir-09-2022-11-03 noir-09