Red Hot Nuts


Bird Feeder Mark III (aka The Borg Bird Feeder)



Bird Feeder Mark IV


Yep. They got to it again. I suppose I half expected it.

Our pesky squirrels are back with a vengeance. Bite Out Of Ear and his partner in crime, White Spot On Nose. The metal reinforcements had held up perfectly. The trouble is, they just turned their attention to the old wooden top, gnawing away until the fixings were revealed and then completely undermined. I’d really like to avoid having any more metal on the feeder. Not that Mark III had any realistic claim on ‘rustic charm’. So Mike has just replaced the top with something more durable. There used to be an old treehouse at the far side of the lawn. He’s just pinched a bit of the old decking from that.

Nevertheless it was time for a strategic review. A little shift, shall we say, in the fine line between defence and attack. Nothing significant. Chemical weapons ought to do it.

I purchased a bottle of anti-squirrel spray. Capsicum Chilli. Pepper. It’s sprayed all over the bird food. According to the label squirrels HATE the taste, but birds don’t seem to mind it. Sure enough, the birds came and went and didn’t seem to notice it at all. Then the squirrels came and went. And didn’t seem to notice it at all. A brief shake of the head from Bite Out Of Ear, then business continued as normal.

As suggested by the RSPB, neat chilli powder came next, straight out of the spice drawer. It was even within its use by date too. Woodrow the woodpecker turned up at the feeder and we held our breath. Absolutely no reaction. We waited. White Spot On Nose. A sniff in the air. Something wasn’t right. As soon as he got it on his paws he knew it. Rubbing his paws against his body did not help. Now he had it there too. And then against his face..

If you’ve ever done this while cooking you’ll know how it feels. His little eyes closed and he rubbed even more. It was a heart stopping moment, I’d never intended to harm them. He spent a long time preening. A good 20 minutes, getting every last bit of pepper off. Now surely he’d just jump down off the bird table and scurry away. Yes?

No. Five seconds later he was back on the feeder for more. Those peanuts must be seriously worth it.