In my job I get a lot of
questions about bird feeders, our company’s social mission and the occasional
one about bird species or habitat (which, I’m not going to lie, I rarely know
the answer to; so, heads up if you’re thinking of asking me, I’ll just be a
disappointment) but, here’s the question that always comes up when someone who
feeds birds learns I own a bird feeder company:
“Are your feeders
squirrel-proof?” (Ha! Like that’s a thing).
Just spend 10 minutes on
YouTube and watch the elaborate ways and extreme measures ‘bird lovers’ have
taken to keep squirrels out of their bird feeders. THEN you will understand why
humans can figure out how to play golf on the moon, but they canNOT
keep squirrels out of bird feeders.
The number one reason Mr.
Canary doesn’t promote squirrel-proof feeders is that almost 100% of the time
(probably is 100%, but I’m being
generous) those anti-squirrel contraptions don’t keep squirrels out…but
they DO interfere with actually SEEING any birds. That said, if you prefer
seeing beautiful birds and nature through prison bars, squirrel-proof feeders
may be foryou!
It’s funny, you know, birds
don’t seem to mind squirrels a bit. They hang around in the same area eating
together like they’re at some theme-café. Occasionally you might notice an
annoyed look from some Mean-Girl birds when Jumbo the Squirrel thuds onto the
feeder scene; but it doesn’t cause them to leave the area or quit eating. Somehow,
birds and squirrels – different in so many ways, but members of the same Nature
zip code – manage to live in the same area…and share the same food. Without
controversy or barricade, they simply co-exist.
Only PEOPLE resist the idea
of birds and squirrels sharing food, which, is kinda ironic, isn’t it? The top-of-the-food-chain-non–member-of-either-species
genus (aka, ‘people’) can’t tolerate the idea of lesser living things, like
birds and squirrels, sharing food. I don’t get it. We commit to the idea of
experiencing the wonder of nature, then right away we have to start making
exceptions to the way it runs itself? What’s up with that?
But, I could be wrong.
Maybe humans should
set the rules of nature, I mean, it’s hard to argue with all the success we’ve
enjoyed through the ages with our judgy-ness, preconception and discriminatory
practices, right? Maybe it’s time we join together and firmly impose
our rules on the lower rungs of the food chain, you know, decide which species really
areworthy of living on our planet.
Or MAYBE we could check our
egos and let Nature show US how every living thing needs every living thing
– even when – or maybe ESPECIALLY when – we can’t discern the particular need. What
if, instead of seeing squirrels as the birding anti-christ, we could justconsider the fact that we’re all part of the same natural neighborhood and
we all need to eat. THEN, maybe our First Rule for Feeding Everything
could be this:
SHARE FOOD WITH EACH OTHER. No
Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. #DontBeAHater
Author: Jan Long
Published: January 21, 2020
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