After all the effort and time, I'm beginning to lean towards letting the squirrels have their way with the bird feeders. It bugs me to no end, but short of annihilating them, I don't really know what to do. They are crafty, resourceful, and relentless, and whatever method I've tried to discourage them has failed. The only thing that really worked was when we let the cats out, and then we'd end up with dead critters all over the yard. It was a little too much of a solution.
I guess in the end we have plenty of seeds and if they eat their share, it's not the end of the world. Part of the problem is that squirrels are hoarders and will take every seed that is offered to them. They'll find some place to bury them. Plus, when they're getting their fill, it denies the birds their chance. Oh well, survival of the fittest, right? That's why mammals rule the world.
I'm still not a fan of them, but maybe it's time to just get along. We'll see how long that lasts.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Kevin Champion for the pic.