PHOTO: Woman Finds Squirrel Stuck Inside ‘Squirrel-Proof’ Bird Feeder

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Leave it to a determined squirrel to break into a woman’s ‘Squirrel-Proof’ bird feeder.

Fox News reported on a United Kingdom woman’s attempt to feed the birds while keeping squirrel pests away.

The determined woman purchased a ‘squirrel-proof’ garden bird feeder and checked on it one day to find the device failed spectacularly.

Trapped Squirrel Thwarted Feeder

She found a squirrel trapped in the feeder in an uncomfortable position. Birds can fit through the feeder’s metal grate covering and get at the food.

However, a rodent worked its way past the grate, getting trapped against the metal and feeding tube inside.

Ruth, an RSPCA worker, came to the rescue and freed the animal. She said the rodent trapped itself in a way that could have proved fatal if she had not rescued him. After Ruth’s intervention, the squirrel made a “quick getaway.”

Those tricky pests can still get caught up in any device meant to keep them out.

The RSPCA urged residents to check feeders regularly for trapped wildlife. If leaving for some time, officials say take the feeder down altogether.

Want To Keep Squirrels Away From Feeders?

Home expert Bob Vila lists things people can do to still draw birds in while keeping freeloading squirrels at bay.

First, keep feeders away from trees because squirrels can jump up to seven feet. Like the Squirrel Stopper, feeders on poles can work better than most squirrel-proof feeders. These polls can confuse the animal and keep it from getting to the seeds. If these polls don’t work, get a baffle or cone-shaped device that can keep the rodent from climbing. Slinkys also work.

Maybe lacing seed with hot peppers can work. The peppers affect mammals and not birds. A few more ideas may work, like keeping your feeder area clean, creating more obstacles, and feeding squirrels separately may help.

Bird-killing Disease Dying Down?

In February, warnings issued to American birdfeeder enthusiasts called for bird feeders to come down.

CNN reported that 19 people got sick from salmonella infections, and researchers linked them to ill or dead birds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted conditions in eight states, including California, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. Officials said eight people made hospital stays.

Experts said that wild songbirds and bird feeders could spread the disease and urged people to refrain from using bird feeders. However, there was no direct link to squirrels. 

Some states allowed residents to hang their feeders back up. In one Kitsap Sun news story, Washington state officials told residents they could bring back the feeders for birds and, sadly, squirrels alike.

An official said the disease still existed, but residents could have one or two birdfeeders. If two, the devices had to be spaced apart.