I’ve had to contend with only two real antagonists in my lifetime. They are a couple of squirrels that have raided my bird feeder daily. I paid dearly for complicated “squirrel-proof” feeders trying to thwart the little ravenous beasts. The designs were quite ingenious and they all worked, one for almost a week before Bonnie and Clyde, the aforementioned squirrels, figured them out.
The wintry day that I hung the first of these expensive contraptions on a back yard oak limb I watched from my window as the thieving pair approached. Clyde struck first, climbing the tree and leaping onto the feeder. He looked surprised to discover that his weight had brought down a protective shield that closed all the feeding holes.
He returned to the ground to explain the problem to Bonnie. They appeared sad as they ambled off to search for buried acorns and open garage cans. They returned the next day. Clyde climbed the tree again and gnawed at the stout hitching line until the $50 feeder plunged to the ground and split open. Dinner was served.
Another imaginative design had a small feed compartment in the middle of a seesaw platform. Any would-be diner heavier than two or three catbirds would tip the platform steeply sending him flying. Bonnie and Clyde worked as a team, each climbing to an opposite side and taking turns at the feeder while a flock of hungry sparrows screeched expletives from a nearby tree.
And so it went until I installed a clear plastic feeder that attached to my man-cave window with suction cups. I can now sit and watch cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches and an occasional redheaded woodpecker chow down. Several weeks have passed and Bonnie and Clyde have not yet figured a way to climb up aluminum siding.
I saw them in the yard this morning, looking up forlornly at a squadron of feeding finches. It looked like Clyde’s mouth was watering. Maybe I’ll go out and toss them a handful or two of Cheerios and peanuts from time to time until some neighborhood birder puts up a feeder that’s not Clyde-proof. I can’t let them starve. It looks like Bonnie may be expecting and is scrounging for two.