Those Darn Squirrels?
One issue many have with feeding birds in their backyards are squirrels. Squirrels love the seed we put out for birds perhaps more than the birds themselves. For them, it’s real simple, easy calories. The problem for bird photographers though is that the squirrels tend to scare off the birds if not totally prevent them from feeding at the feeders. If you want to photograph birds, this makes them darn squirrels, pests! There are some measures you can take to deal with pesky squirrels. One is the anti-squirrel bird feeders which close off the feeding holes by the weight of the squirrel landing on the feeder. I got one of these for The Ranch to see how well they work. They do keep the squirrels out but the White-tailed Deer have figured out how to eat from it. Too funny! But I want to ask the question, those darn squirrels?
I realize they can eat one out of house and home, making feeding birds expensive. They can scare off your main subject, birds! But can you turn the tables on the squirrels? I too have squirrels in my feeders and in the beginning, they were annoying but then I thought about turning the tables. That is, I started to photograph them being, squirrely. I stopped trying to scare or deter them. Just like photographing birds coming into the feeders, I photographed the squirrels waiting their turn to feed. I found in time, the birds would hold their own with the squirrels so they all had an opportunity to feed. In the meantime, those photographs of the squirrely squirrels were making us money more than paying for the seed they were consuming. What I’m suggesting is that rather than looking at the squirrels as a pest, look at them as a revue stream. Then you might have a whole new meaning to, those darn squirrels!