Envocare logo: Go to Home page
The Frustrated Squirrel
This page illustrates the effectiveness of a Heath-Robinson device to thwart a destructive squirrel.
By Gordon Shaw

In an urban environment, when it is cold, wild birds need to be provided with food if they are to survive. The resident squirrels also need a source of food but they will destroy the feeders and scatter the bird food if left to do as they want. These photographs illustrate the effectiveness of a simple device which doesn't harm the squirrels but defeats their persistent attempts at wanton destruction and theft.

How its made ...
The bird table is supported on a 25 mm dia. wooden dowel (in effect a long broom handle) and the the anti-squirrel device is simply an inverted biscuit tin with a 25 mm hole drilled in the centre of the base. It is loosely retained by two jubilee clips at a critical height (about 1.1 m). It is protected against the weather with a coat of Cetol™, which is refreshed at the end of the season for a virtually indefinite life.
The dowel is hammered into the lawn and situated in clear space (about 3m all around) so that squirrels can't jump across to the table and predators such as cats can't hide in wait

... and does it work?
See for yourself. The device worked for many years and never, to our knowledge, let a squirrel past. That is until we moved house and were forced to repair the set up. The subtle changes made quite a difference and when we get time to explain what happened and how we overcame the failure we'll post it here.

(All the images can be enlarged, for a closer inspection, with a left click from the mouse)

This way should do it!   The squirrel has an absolute fascination with the seeds and peanuts and fancies its chances by shinning up the pole. It soon encounters the obstacle and decides to try another way.

Ever persistent
and hopeful he thinks this approach is more likely to succeed.
  Or this could be a better way

So, humph, here goes   Here goes. Hup and stretch!
The squirrel has claws which allow it to climb trees, plastic pipes and even rough brickwork but the varnished, tin plated, steel doesn't allow any purchase. What adds to the problem is that the tin is not a rigid platform and tilts with the slightest pressure.

Having to admit failure the squirrel releases the tin and clings to the pole, unable to do anything except slide down, clinging desperately with his face pressed close to the pole.   Thwarted. I don't believe it!

Phew! Never mind there's plenty of food on the ground   And so the episode is closed with the tail touching the ground before he will jump off.

Now that's a truly down-to-earth Mission Impossible

Oh and by the way, the squirrels do get plenty to eat from the ground; the birds have terrible table manners.

Envocare Ltd Facebook Link Google+ Button Twitter logo 40


© Copyright 2003-2013, Envocare Ltd.
For legal matters see the section "About Us & Contact Us".
Originated: 30 May, 2003; Last amended: 29 October, 2013