Stanley

My wife and I have always enjoyed a little bit of wildlife in our yard. To that end, we have multiple bird feeders and several plants that are known to attract native wildlife to our home.  Thus far, we have seen several species of bird including even the occasional hawk. We have also seen an opossum at least twice and a few chipmunks. We really enjoy the visitors.

Then there’s Stanley.

Stanley is a Sciurus carolinensis. His better known name is an Eastern Gray Squirrel. He has been with us for a couple of years now. I think he has a place under our mini-barn. My first experience with Stanley was awhile back when he destroyed a bird feeder in his quest for dinner. Squirrels are messy eaters and Stanley is no exception. Well, really, he’s just a slob.

What began after this episode was a mini-war with Stanley. He does his best to destroy my bird feeders and I do my best to thwart him. Let’s see how that’s going, shall we? I put a plastic bird feeder on a five foot steel poll. He crawled straight up the pole and ripped the plastic right off, spilling all of the sunflower seed on the ground. He took what he wanted and left the rest. The “rest” attracted the entire western hemisphere’s population of Starlings. Starlings are not native to Indiana and I did not want them in my yard. I scooped up what I could and they departed, but only after leaving a yard full of seed shells.

I was thinking that a bird feeder that was inaccessible to Stanley would be the ticket. I bought another plastic bird feeder and hung it on a hangar attached to the gazebo. He destroyed that one too.

On the front of my house, there is a peak on the roof line. On two occasions, I have seen Stanley sitting on that peak. He sits there chirping and barking. He does it for a long time too and it seems that he is staring at me the entire time he is up there and out of my reach. I have decided he is either trolling for a lady squirrel or (more probably) he is mocking me and telling the animal kingdom that his human is not very smart.

“Well, by golly, I’ll show him”, I thought to myself. I went and bought two bird feeders. One is advertised as being “squirrel proof” with a cage surrounding the seed container so that Stanley can’t get to the seed. The second one is a standard floor feeder but on a six foot pole with an “anti-squirrel” baffle on it. Both have, thus far, worked. I have observed Stanley on the ground, picking up dropped seeds from the floor feeder. He has attempted to get past both feeders to no avail. He actually fell off of the baffle. Hopefully, that taught him a lesson. I’ve not seen him on the peak of the house as of late.

My wife put out a plastic feeder on a tree limb that he made short work of.  That little victory will bring him up to the peak again I suspect. You know, he really is a pest but I like him and will probably put out some dried corn for him. Maybe then he will leave my feeders alone.

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