Spring is an excellent time for bird watching with all the new “families” getting started. The best way to watch them is to mount a feeder in your yard. I consider myself an expert on bird feeders since we've been through so many at our house.
We bought our first feeder several years ago. It was a rustic little cedar model with clear, plastic sides. We dutifully filled it with seed and set it on the rail of our front porch expecting the peaceful little birds to flock to it.
Some sparrows came, but the feeder was too close to the house to attract the shyer birds like cardinals. But the squirrels didn't mind.
We had placed the feeder in front of our living room window so we could watch the birds, but after one of the squirrels scared the life out of me one morning by attacking the window screen, I moved the feeder to the deck rail far away from any screens.
At first we thought the squirrels at the bird feeder were cute. We even named them, Earl and Pearl. But once they started emptying the feeder every other day, they became a nuisance. They even learned how to remove the top and climb inside the feeder to finish off every last seed.
Now there are such things as squirrel proof feeders and squirrel guards, but we were too cheap for that. My husband had a better idea; his 410 shotgun.
Blam! So much for that feeder.
Next we bought a plastic Spanish hacienda style feeder and mounted it on a pole. Guess what? Squirrels can climb poles. Some could even leap from the deck rail up to the feeder, so we raised the pole enough to prevent that.
To keep them from climbing the pole, I greased it with vaseline. It actually worked for a while, until I kept forgetting to re-grease it.
Our next feeder was the standard white with blue roof plastic model mounted back on the pole. We went through two of those.
This senseless destruction of bird feeders was ticking me off, but our son thoroughly enjoyed it. Every time he saw a squirrel on the feeder he would yell, "Squirrel, squirrel. Get the gun, Daddy."
Together, the two of them would race outside, then sneak around the corner of the house like a cat slipping up on a mouse.
One day I looked out and noticed a tiny round hole in the feeder. Our son had been shooting at the squirrels with his BB gun.
I don't know how many other feeders we went through before getting our current one. It has survived for several months now.
It's a slightly different style from the others, tall and narrow, making it a little more difficult for the squirrels to lie on.
There's only one problem with this one. It has white columns on all four corners and a sharply sloped turquoise roof just like those outlet malls. Every time I look at it, I get the urge to go shopping. But don't tell my husband, or...Blam!