What the squirrels taught me about the welfare system
I learned something about the welfare system from a squirrel. We have this new birdfeeder but when I put it up the only thing feeding on it was squirrels. I lost sleep trying to devise a way to keep those damn squirrels from jumping out of the tree and onto my bird feeder. I nailed so many obstacle pieces of wood to the top of the bird feeder that it looks like the Swiss Family Robinson House. But the squirrels kept figuring out a way to defeat my best laid plans and steal a free lunch.
It was killing me that I couldn't outsmart a squirrel. And then I realized two things: I was trying to fight nature and I have way too much time on my hands. Oh I could win. I could have nails sticking up through the roof of the bird feeder and shish-ka-bob the next freeloading squirrel that jumps onto it but that is harsher than I am prepared to be. The fact is the squirrels are willing to work harder than the birds to get my free food.
And if you feed the birds in such a way that they don't have to compete for their food are you teaching them to be dependant on you and not their instincts? Maybe. Are you fooling with Mother Nature? Yes. Do condoms fool with Mother Nature? Yes. Is it a good idea to fool Mother Nature sometimes? Big-time yes. But yet birds need help to survive. Squirrels don't need any help. Squirrels are the welfare queens of the backyard eco-system. One time at the golf course a squirrel stole my 5-wood clubhead cover. Don't trust squirrels.
What's my point? How can the nuts in Washington make sure welfare goes to birds and not the squirrels? I'm not sure but unless you're willing to sit near the feeder with a B.B. gun my guess is, if you're giving away free food to the birds you're always going to end up feeding squirrels, too.