Thwarting the chipmunk

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the chipmunk that lives under my front porch was emptying the walkway bird feeder faster than the birds would notice that it was filled.


He'd climb the pole, jump to the feeder, then climb into it and stuff his (her?) cheek pouches. Return a minute later and repeat the process until the safflower seeds were all gone. Not anymore!

***


The solution came in two parts. First, I added a length of PVC piping, thinking that the diameter of the pipe would be too great for the chipmunk to grasp.

I don't even think it noticed that the pipe was there, as it scampered up and continued stuffing its cheeks.

Seeing the pipe out there for a few days let my brain work on the problem without me knowing it, and this weekend I realized that the pipe could easily hold up a "baffle". I knew that a baffle or obstacle was needed, but I didn't know how I was going to attach it to the pole securely enough. The pipe solved that problem.


So I drilled a hole in an unused plastic plant saucer, slid it onto the pole (which is just a straight shot -- no "fork" at the bottom like some of these have) slid the pipe back on, and there you go!


The feeder has now been returned to the birds...


...while the chipmunk needs to be content with picking up the dropped seeds -- of which there are plenty:


I don't know if this would work with squirrels too, as there is a tree overhead that they could jump from, so I'm not going to be switching from safflower seed back to the less-expensive sunflower -- especially with so much planted underneath the feeder (sunflower seed hulls do not make good mulches!)


The chipmunk seems happy enough, so I think everybody wins here.

.

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Lisa  – (July 1, 2014 at 4:08 PM)  

I would have just put a BB through the chipmunk's hind parts.

I'M KIDDING! But ooooh the chipmunk that lives in my woodpile is on my last nerve. He dug up and nibbled on most of my Asiatic lilies. The first one tasted horrible - what made him think the others would be any different??

Brilliant baffle - I would have loved to see the look on his little chipmunk face!

Maywyn Studio  – (July 1, 2014 at 5:43 PM)  

Great solution! I'll tell my bird feeder friends about it that use shepherd's hooks for their feeders.
I'd paint the pvc pipe to match the garden, and mottle paint the barrier thing so the droppings don't show.

Alan  – (July 2, 2014 at 7:29 AM)  

Maywyn: I'll paint it up at some point, but I have a feeling it won't happen this year -- these things tend to get pushed down the list.

Lisa: I have an ornery old neighbor who does exactly that (with the BBs). He's a decent guy but has the opposite philosophy from me when it comes to wildlife.

I'm not so worried about the chipmunks now, as I just saw a woodchuck (ground hog) hanging around in my yard yesterday for the first time this year.

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