Evicting Squirrels (It Never Ends)

_MG_0492Anyone who has a nest box for Screech Owls soon realizes one eternal truth: Squirrels are Bugs Bunny, and you are Elmer Fudd.

I have posted advice over the years about evicting squirrels. Since right about now seems to be a peak time for squirrels squatting in owl boxes, I thought I'd try again with a summary of techniques I've learned.

1.  Most important:  Evict the squirrel and get rid of all the leaves he has crammed in there. If you see a squirrel bringing leaves into the box, wait till the end of the day and then clean out the box. Rinse and repeat, weekly if necessary.

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Some Stiles Thomas Humor

For those who sorely miss Stiles and Lillian -- and Stiles' unique sense of humor -- I wanted to share this old, tiny classified ad that Stiles gave to Patty and me in a pile of odds-and-ends when he left.

It says: 


Still no takers for this dead-end job. We need a stenographer and someone to do the donkey work. Pay isn't too bad. Incidentally, our office (insurance) is near the liquor store. Phone Mr. T ...

Mr. T?

More classic Stiles Thomas insurance ads are here.

Monday Mystery Answered

_MG_0530This week's mystery was a toughie. The strangely plumaged bird I photographed with a bunch of House Finches on New Year's Day in DeKorte Park was .... a House Finch.

I know, it had a lot of yellowish orange feathers, but there's an explanation, here.

I wish my photo had been better but the bird could have been more cooperative.

(A thank you to Chris Takacs for pointing out the bird.)

My Next Talk -- and Your Fave Bergen Bird


As part of my talk for Bergen County Audubon on Wednesday, Jan. 16, I am asking folks to name their favorite all-time individual birds of this region -- not species.

Is it Alice the Eagle?  Ralph the Redhead?

Some of the candidates may surprise you.

 The talk begins at 8 p.m., after the annual Crowphy presentation.

The program,  free and open to the public, will be held  at the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, 20 Puffin Way, Teaneck.

If you haven't taken the short and entertaining SurveyMonkey survey, click here to take it now.

E-mail me at celeryfarm@gmail.com if you want to write in another candidate.


NJ's Battle Against Plastic Bags

Scott Fallon of The Record, who has been doing some great articles on the far-reaching impacts of plastics on the environment, has an article in the paper today about New Jersey's legislation to band plastic bags, plastic straws and foam containers. You can see discarded plastic bags hanging from many trees in New Jersey and elsewhere.

(But ask many a cashier to forgo the plastic grocery bags, and they react like your a crazy person.)

The plastic lobby is already gearing up for a fight -- as if they care about the environment. You can read the story here.

You can read more from Scott's series here.