Ninja squirrel

I have tried many different feeder styles and placements in my backyard, but the gray squirrels have defeated every one of my squirrel-proofing attempts.  Nothing had worked to prevent the squirrels from empyting the bird feeders when I’ve been gone for several days, until we covered the trunk of the feeder tree (the Ohio Buckeye) with stove pipe sheet metal to keep them out of the tree altogether.

squirrel-proof bird feeders

But is this really squirrel-proof?  

No, because now they try to jump to the feeders from the porch railing.

flying gray squirrel

I think it might be just one ninja gray squirrel that is doing all the pilfering. He’s quite an athlete.

flying gray squirrel

It looks like he might have the distance and the height for this jump.

flying gray squirrel

But it’s not just the distance that must be covered, it’s the grab at the end of the jump that’s important.  Note outstretched paws ready to make the grab.

flying gray squirrel

No joy. A clean miss. But the jump is not fruitless because he is usually able to knock some seed out of the feeder onto the grass below.  The angle of this shot is deceptive.  The feeder is really about 6 feet from the tree trunk.

This squirrel must have tried to make the jump at least 12 times before he finally landed — and I missed the successful attempt unfortunately, because I wanted to see how he did it.

gray squirrel on feeder

Success!

Based on Ninja Squirrel’s prodigious feats of athleticism, I moved the feeder closer to the tree trunk.  We’ll see how he manages now.

9 thoughts on “Ninja squirrel

  1. We had all grades of trouble with gray squirrels for decades until we discovered a particular kind of birdfeeder a couple of years ago that they have absolutely not been able to get into, no matter how hard they try, even if they can reach it. The birds have complete access to it but the squirrels are out of luck. Email me if you’re interested, and I’ll send you a photo of the feeder. I don’t remember who manufactures it, but you’d be able to find it pretty easily once you see it. (It’s indescribable or I’d describe it!)

    • Thanks Alice. I got a recommendation of the feeder you are probably referring to from one other person, and they look like a winner. Next time I’m feeling rich (and frustrated with the squirrels), I’ll rush out and get one.

  2. Wow, that squirrel is insane. I agree, it’s usually just one squirrel with a screw loose. The squirrels have been staying out of my feeders this summer. The House Sparrows are more of a problem.

    The craziest one I had could jump straight up and catch the bottom of the feeder hanging from a shepherd’s hook. I have yet to find a feeder that critters can’t get into at least once in a while. This one is pretty good, http://wp.me/p2oND-8HK but occasionally something (raccoons probably, it happens at night) rips it down from the tree and gets the top off, then there is a feast on the ground.

  3. After years of trying to defeat the squirrels, I have finally found a feeder that actually works. I bought it with a gift card last January and have had it up since then. The squirrels gave up on it within a couple of days and now don’t even try. It is made by Brome and is called the Squirrel Buster Plus. It is expensive. I bought it along with the rain guard. I will recover the cost by winter this year from not having the squirrels eating most of my expensive bird feed. I had another Brome feeder that did a pretty good job but not as good as this one.

    • Thanks for the tip Joan. I looked into that feeder type, and boy, they are expensive, but I am sure that pays off in the amount off food you save from squirrel theft.

  4. Squirrels are that strange combination of frustrating, yet entertaining. And why is it that I see a squirrel and shoo it away, but I see a chipmunk and say, “Oh, how cute.”?

    • I should be impressed with their problem solving abilities (how to get to the feeder I have moved to a new location), but I am mostly annoyed with their feeder antics.

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