Harmful animals

An Obstacle Course for Squirrels

Squirrel obstacle course

By Larry Hodgson

If you’re like me, squirrels are both friends, as you can have so much fun with their antics in the garden, watching them run from branch to branch, negotiate phone wires like tightrope walkers, chatter angrily at each other, etc., and ennemies, when they attack our vegetables, cut the flowers off our tulips and magnolias, strip tree branches of their bark and steal our tulip bulbs. 

Bird lovers who set up feeders to attract their feathered friends often find squirrels particularly annoying, as they steal the seeds they put out and scare off the birds who no longer dare to feed on them, ruining their pastime. They often come to consider squirrels as nothing more than bushy-tailed bandits.

But here’s a funny video made by a novice bird watcher, Mark Rober, who, frustrated with his inability to prevent squirrels from raiding his bird feeder, at least decided to give them a good run for their money before they got their share of the seeds by having them go through a complex obstacle course.

Here is Mark’s video, over 20 minutes long.

Video: Mark Rober

Is there is a lesson here for the home gardener? Sure! You might as well learn to share your garden with the local squirrel population, as they’re always going to win!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

11 comments on “An Obstacle Course for Squirrels

  1. Nope. No like, no picnic table, no obstacle course, no welcoming mat. 🙂

  2. marianwhit

    Rober is an amazing engineer, who is going a long way towards getting people interested in the profession. I love his work in booby-trapping package thieves during the holidays, lol! Google “glitter bomb” for hours of giggles.

  3. Thankfully we only have a couple of squirrels who visit us once or twice a year but I do love watching their antics to get tiny seeds. Asks the question ‘who’s evolved?’ Obviously squirrels.

  4. Thanks so much, that was really enjoyable – I’ll check out his other videos (here’s a link to his channel, in case it’s useful to other readers
    Larry, if you prefer not to link to other people’s social media on your blog, delete link and please accept my apologies.)

    Maybe this’ll help me find a way to live more companionably with my local squirrels.

    Also, I might be wrong, but is your first sentence intended to be “if you’re like me, squirrels are both friends and enemies”? If yes, you’re missing “and enemies”. If no, I guess I’m projecting my attitude to squirrels onto you!

    Either way, thanks again.

  5. Too funny, it’s like the game show Wipeout but for squirrels.

  6. Jessica Crawford

    Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I watched the whole thing! Too funny and very persistent builder & squirrels. I have new appreciation for the little @#$&?!

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