The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 17, 2012

Krohn: Watching birds begins so innocently


“ot a ste?”

I moved my feet, “not a step.”

I always wondered, if the top step on a ladder isn’t a step, why do they put a step there?

Major limbs are now off the tree. It looks kind of lopsided, but there’s enough space between branches and the feeders. Now the squirrels are peering over the edge of the house roof, sizing up an attack from that side. Cutting off pieces of soffit is probably out of the question. I’ll have to buy some new feeders.

Squirrels getting into feeders has spawned an arms race to build better squirrel-proof feeders. There’s even books out about it, like one called “Outwitting Squirrels.”

It usually takes a squirrel about an afternoon to figure a way past a squirrel-proof feeder. And soon they all know. The information must be passed around on some kind of squirrel network.

My favorite squirrel-proof bird feeder on the market might be the Squirrel-Off, a $160 solar-powered feeder that provides a shock to squirrels.

The Humane Society doesn’t like bird feeders that shock squirrels.

But it would sure add a lot of fun to bird watching.


Tim Krohn is a Free Press staff writer. He can be contacted at 344-6383 or

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