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A squirrel-proof bird feeder

Squirrels had no trouble burglarizing the bird feeders I hung from trees and my house, and the only place for a post-top feeder they couldn’t vault aboard was the patio. Since a post would be a nuisance in summer, I designed a removable post. I bought a 2-foot-long piece of galvanized pipe inside which the feeder post fit snugly, dug a hole, and dropped the pipe in. I made sure the pipe was vertical and fixed it solidly in place by surrounding it with poured concrete. Then I covered the mouth with a rubber bathtub plug to keep out dirt while the bird feeder was in storage. In fall, I pull the plug and slip the pole in, where it stands upright and secure. In spring, I pull the pole and replace the plug.

To foil climbing squirrels, I cut out the top and bottom lids of a large juice can, slipped it over the pole and wired it underneath the feeder. An upwardly mobile squirrel can’t wrap its arms around the can or get a grip on it. If the squirrel stays on the pole, it ends up inside the can.

Caryl M. Kerber, Grosse Pointe Park, MI

From Fine Gardening 11, pp. 6