Saturday, December 12, 2009

How to Keep Squirrels Away From Birdfeeders Naturally

Have you ever wondered "How in the world do I keep the squirrels from emptying out our birdfeeders?" It's a common problem that so many of us have while trying to feed our fine feathered friends. We spend all kinds of money adding seed to the feeders to feed the birds only to have it thrown all around on the ground by gray and brown furry acrobats! It doesn't matter how high your feeder is squirrels are not acrophobes and have an uncanny ability to get into things they shouldn't or we think they couldn't! Today I found the solution! And to make it all even better it is 100% all natural!



I call it the Predator Squirrel Preventer! Or PSP 1.0 for short.




hawk, bird of prey,squirrel,wildlife, picture


It's low maintenance, takes care of itself, and is nothing short of fascinating to watch swooping through the yard after it's prey! Obviously the first part of this post is just silly but today I was looking outside the window when I saw the hawk fly across the yard and grasp something in its talons and land in these branches. I couldn't see what it was the hawk picked up only that it appeared larger than most of the birds around here and gray. I ran to get my 200mm lens to see what it really was and found the picture you see in this post. Our hawk friend sat there for several minutes waiting while I snapped pictures. Don't blame the hawk for capturing this squirrel in fact you might blame the person who let their two dogs run loose in our neighborhood today. They were out and about chasing rabbits and squirrels and this unlucky squirrel ran across our yard to try to escape them while the hawk took the opportunity to find lunch.

The squirrels usually don't visit our feeders often but they have in the past. When they do I stop feeding the birds for a few days and the squirrels go away, for a little while at least. This is a different hawk than the Sharp-shinned hawk I saw other day, it's much larger and the tails are different. The hawk is probably a red tailed hawk which is very common. Although it may seem strange to some I think that it's fascinating to watch nature take its course!

Have you seen anything fascinating with wildlife recently?


9 comments :

  1. I believe this is an incredible capture here. I have seen a hawk flying with a snake hanging in his grasp...We all have to eat....

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  2. Dear Dave that is one spectacular picture you took .. a bit gruesome, but amazing !
    The wild life I see here .. are the neighbor's cats, squirrels and raccoons (thankfully only once in a while ? haha) .. we have to have our cameras ready ALL the time right ? LOL
    Joy

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  3. Good catch, Dave! I think you have a Cooper's hawk, also the resident hawk here at Hawk's Haven. Even greater news if you happen to be a fan of Alice Cooper, as we are, but even if not, this is one fine hawk.

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  4. Dave, That is a fantastic photo! I have a few squirrels and chipmunks that will be fat and tasty, so send Mr Cooper over here.

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  5. That is pretty amazing! I haven't seen anything that exciting around here, just lots and lots of birds.

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  6. Darla,

    You're right we all do have to eat. It's just one of those natural things that if it didn't happen we would be overrun with squirrels and small rodents.

    Joy,

    Keeping the camera ready can be a challenge! I usually end up having to switch lenses before shooting then get to the shot right after the creature has flown away.

    OFB,

    I forgot to check the Coopers hawk before posting but it sure does look like one. It seems that hawk hunting season is upon us, for the hawks that is!

    Gail,

    Thanks, are you sure you want him to visit? You seem to like your squirrels! ;)

    Catherine,

    Thanks! It was very neat to see it swoop across the yard, if only I had my video camera ready!

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  7. That is Nature, taking care of her own. My Dad would *love* this post. :)

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  8. Really like that photo! had me going for a minute there, I really thought I was missing out on natural squirrel repulsion (that exists!?) Darn things eat every suet feeder I put out. Now how do I get more birds of prey in my yard!?

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  9. HF,

    The only problem with birds of prey is they are a non-selective pest prevention method! They like the birds as much as the squirrels. If you really want more birds of prey in your yard you could build a perch for them. I don't know the exact dimensions needed though. Feeding the other birds works too - everybody's got to eat!

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