Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Will a study about squirrels lead to more squirrel-resistant bird feeders?

A biology professor and a team of students will trap squirrels this winter in Chicago and its suburbs. They plan to take skin samples for DNA analysis, strap collars on the rodents and track them, and attach threads to acorns and hazelnuts to observe where the squirrels take the food and when they eat it.
Squirrels figure out how to outsmart devices designed to keep them away from food -- something naturalist Howard Youth learned the hard way. Squirrels broke into four types of bird feeders in his Maryland yard before he found one that they couldn't penetrate. So far.

"They will try something new and eventually, if one gets it, the other ones will notice and they will figure out a way to thwart the bird feeder," Youth said.
How are you faring in your efforts to thwart squirrels visiting your feeders?

Photo courtesy of RSPB


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