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Outwitting Squirrels: 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels Paperback – September 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-1556523021 ISBN-10: 1556523025 Edition: Second Edition, Second edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Second Edition, Second edition edition (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556523025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556523021
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ingenious tricks to keep squirrels from eating all the seed when the feeders fail.”  —Washington Post


“A masterpiece on squirrel strategy.”  —Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Bill Adler Jr. is an aerobatic pilot and the president of Adler & Robin Books, Inc., a literary agency.

Customer Reviews

Not that much on "outwitting" squirrels.
Andi
There are some books that you just HAVE to have - if only because the topic they're on is so funny.
Lisa Shea
There are no "squirrel proof" feeders or methods.
FOX

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some books that you just HAVE to have - if only because the topic they're on is so funny. This is one of those! Not only that, but it actually is handy for birders, in a practical way.
Whether you like or don't like squirrels, you have to account for them when you're trying to feed birds. Otherwise your birds end up with no food and you have many fat squirrels running around. This book gives you ways to handle this situation whether you mind the squirrels, or just want them to be in their own area.
It rates various feeders, complete with photos, showing you the drawbacks and benefits of each one. It talks about different kids of food, and different ways you can work with them to make them bird-only. It gives you ways to distract the squirrels. And it's REALLY funny!
A must-buy for any birder on your present list, and tuck one into your own stocking, too.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Larry Kahaner on March 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
We all love those furry little creatures but there comes a time when you must say "enough." With wit and humor, Bill Adler offers practical advice on how to keep squirrels from ruining your fun, hurting your lawn and gardens and taking food from the bird feeder. It's a must for anyone who owns a home.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I love both birds and squirrels. I don't mind feeding the squirrels, I just don't want them destroying my bird feeders. With the help of this book I was able to set up a bird feeding station that was safe from squirrels but also had a ground feeder just for them. It's a great book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kim on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this extremely humorous book. After reading it, any failure on any birder's part to get rid of his sleek, well-fed squirrels is understandable. They're great athletes, motivated and social to boot.

It is great stocking stuffer for your squirrel-obsessed birder spouse or friends!

**
It's been 11 years since this book was published. There are more creative supposedly squirrel proof feeders out there now: Some spin when the squirrel puts weight on the bird perch. Some are caged in steel, keeping the buggers and many of the birds out of the feeder. Some creative types have attached a bug zapper to the pole and attempt using Pavlovian conditioning to train squirrels via shocks. A few have developed squirrel chuckers (catapults). There's many funny videos on YouTube. However, the squirrels are still winning most of the time.

Enjoy reading the ratings on the various supposedly squirrel proof feeders. And consider buying chili powder in kegs. Can be mixed into bird seed and dissuades squirrels but not birds. And for our sensitive European readers who have squirrels that eat from squirrel feeders rather than bird feeders, our American squirrels PREFER eating from bird feeders and destroying them while doing so to any other sport except making baby squirrels.

Regards all!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
As I was standing at my double patio doors with my nose pressed to the window watching the squirrels raiding my bird feeders, I became so agitated I abruptly jerked the door open to scare them off and banged myself in the mouth with my door. I decided at that moment to wage war. Although I haven't won yet, the book offers good advice on how I can get revenge without doing bodily injury to the little monsters.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Norm Zurawski on January 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'll keep this review short and sweet, since the book isn't exactly the utmost in literary achievement ever produced. The book is decent, probably right on the 3 star mark given what it tries to do and what it does. The intention of the book is to, well, outwit squirrels - a silly notion given a day or 2 observing the little...um, natural friends. Wit isn't what makes the squirrel dangerous. It's the endless effort a squirrel will go through to get your food. The overall effort described here should probably be called, "Outenduring Squirrels," since that's what you will need to do.

Overall, the book is hit or miss with the advice it gives. Living in a neighborhood with approximately more squirrels than blades of grass, you tend to either pick up ways to stop them from getting to your feeders, or you stop feeding the birds. Or as some have done, you throw in the towel and get used to having your seed receptacles ravaged by these tree rats. The advice in this book is sometimes right, and sometimes off the mark. That opinion is based on copious amounts of personal experience.

I got this as a gag gift from my father-in-law, since he knows how much I hate these animals. It was entertaining enough, though at times his sense of humor wasn't exactly what I would call top notch. Other times it was downright irritating. So it goes. I don't think squirrel banter is going to be on prime time television any time soon. Until then, you'll have to make do with books like this, which are good enough but hardly knocking on the door of your local bookstore's best seller list.
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32 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a guide to keeping your bird feeder squirrel-free. Adler had a particularly pestiferous squirrel who found ways around every squirrel-barrier Adler could think of to protect his bird seed. The squirrel's notorious feats put Adler on the war-path. In writing this book, he is not only fighting that one squirrel, but all of squirrel-kind. If readers pull-off a successful squirrel battle because of ideas in this book, then Adler can declare victory.

Bird watchers, (or would-be bird watchers) are the intended audience for this book, so the book begins with some suggestions about how to attract birds, along with a list of suggested foods to offer and descriptive profiles of birds who commonly come to North American feeders. Adler then turns his attentions to squirrels and provides a supposedly thorough description of squirrels, their biology, and behavior. Next, he describes and compares common bird feeders according to how squirrel-proof they are. Following this are a list of anti-squirrel devices that can be added to a feeder, and a list of combative actions a bird-viewer can take to ward off squirrels. Adler concludes with "101 Cunning Stratagems" (an attempt at humor?), ideas for squirrel lovers, ideas for dealing with problem cats at feeders, and a list of resources for bird-watching and squirrel-fighting equipment.

It's hard to tell whether this book was intended to be humorous, or what. Certainly, the comparison of bird feeders is far too serious to be funny. (And unfortunately, the feeders are listed by brand-name, rather than by some grouping according to general type or shape.) Some of the "101 Cunning Stratagems" seem intended to be funny, but fall short of the goal.
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