Feeding Squirrels in the Backyard

We added a small box to the backyard, and the beneficiaries are the squirrels.

squirrel in box eating,  finch perched on lid
Squirrel in box, finch waits

Squirrel feeder

It is made of pine with a Plexiglas front and a hinged lid. The inside measurements about four inches cubed. I mounted it on the back fence just inside the garden fence.

We load it with shelled peanuts on an irregular schedule. Sometimes, it is in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. Sometimes, a day is skipped. We know three squirrels have visited the yard.  The hope is by making peanuts available at a different time will give each of them an opportunity to dine.

Before the box was added, squirrels would venture into the yard to scavenge for leftovers from the bird seeders. Sometimes there were three or four squirrels in the yard or on the fence. The box provided a dedicated source of food for the squirrels while protecting them.

Out of my yard

Our two Labrador mix rescue dogs believe the backyard is their domain. Although I look for squirrels before letting them out; sometimes I miss one hidden by the deck or a planter. Every time, it is a race to see if the dogs can catch the squirrel before it disappears over the fence. The dogs have lost each race to date.

getting a snack

The garden fence keeps the dogs away from the box. Yet, the squirrels haven’t learned they are safe when at the box. They still disappear over the fence when the dogs are let into the backyard.  

The squirrels are not the only ones intimidated by the presence of big dogs. Every bird vacates whatever feeder they are on or waiting for when the dogs appear. The only ones vaguely in danger are those ground feeding. Though the danger is slight since the dogs seem focused on locating the errant squirrel.

squirrel
Out of the box

Aside from squirrels and varied bird species, yesterday eight or more deer passed by our fence. Deer were common before home construction reduced wooded areas making them now a rare sight.

More nature

Watching birds, squirrels, and occasionally deer from out back windows. What more should we ask for?

Do you have suggestions? Tell me using the comment form. I look forward to hearing from you.

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