Monday, June 05, 2017

Outwitting Squirrels by Bill Alder, Jr.

This all started because I wanted a book that would explain why this squirrel in my yard runs up a tree about six inches and then does a backflip. But all the books seemed to be about getting rid of squirrels. Fortunately for my curiosity, Outwitting Squirrels has a chapter titled, “Know the Enemy.” And the book's subtitle, 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels, is a clue that Adler isn't entirely serious about dealing with his nemesis.

Adler's amusing stories of squirrel, and birdwatcher, behavior are interspersed with practical advice on both attracting birds and discouraging squirrels, though most of his 101 cunning stratagems are jokes. #38. “Dig up their nuts during the winter.” I never did find out about the backflips, but many other behaviors I've observed were explained. Anyone who watches birds, or squirrels, can have a lot of fun with this book.

Apparently writing about squirrels makes even sober authors a little nuts. Solving Squirrel Problems  by Monte Burch is not as funny as Outwitting Squirrels, but it is more recent and therefore of more use to you if you actually have problem squirrels. Burch includes several recipes for squirrel, which I have not tested.  The library catalog says Outwitting Squirrels is also available as a digital book.  

Review by Carolyn Caywood, retired from VBPL 

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