Connie MooreDSC_0096
Photo courtesy Russell Moore Photography

For decades, mankind has been baffled by a smallish, gray, furry, and unquestionably cute creature. Oh, they have come to know all sorts of technical information about the rodent — structural makeup, strength of limbs and muscles, living habits, eating habits, etc. — but what baffles so many scientists and common folk alike is just exactly what goes on in that tiny little brain that gives them the edge over inventions meant to thwart their upward and outward trek towards contents of bird feeders.

Yes, we’re talking squirrels, those intrepid backyard animals that make feeding the birds a challenge par none. The extent to which writers over the years have gone to document the cuteness of these creatures can be seen in a simple count of the Clark County website catalog of books. Over 200 books line the juvenile bookshelves. There are series such as Those Darn Squirrels and Scaredy Squirrel. Four titles are simply Squirrel. There are titles that hint of what a squirrel can do such as Frisky, Brisky, Hippity-Hop and Aw, Nuts.

In the story books, all squirrels are named. Mick, Mack and Molly play together while Bob and Rob have their own adventures. Then there are Mario and Isabelle and Merle. One of the older squirrels of course is Squirrel Nutkin, from author Beatrix Potter. Yes, there is much to read about those little furry bundles of energy.

On the other hand, only one book shows up in the adult reading section on how to cope with — nay, outwit — the residential squirrel. Actually, we should use the plural, because if there is one squirrel then there is more than one. Our backyard and adjoining trees are home to five. But we have them baffled when it comes to our large bird feeder. More on that in a minute.

It seems that at least one man has had the courage not only to investigate and experiment, but also to document his findings, failures and all. Bill Adler, Jr. wrote Outwitting Squirrels: 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels. The title says it all. The 101 list is in the back of the book, but we recommend you read the whole thing. It is truly an eye-opener into the world of squirrels. And for the most part, the entire world around your bird feeder. Written in 1988, the book is in its 3rd edition, so that tells you it’s a must-read for anyone thinking of feeding birds.

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