Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Ultimate Feeder

A while back now—could it have been as far back as April? probably—our bird feeder got clogged up and needed cleaning. In the process, unable to locate the problem, I began a hasty disassembly of it. Eventually it was clean, but when I set to work putting the thing back together again, I found that the central rod that makes it all work splendidly was simply (if also mysteriously) at least half an inch too short. I couldn’t get the holding nut even to start at its bottom.

As so many things nowadays—what with me now in violation of the three-score-and-ten length of life—“fixing the bird feeder” became a major project, indeed, as it developed, a kind of great ambition, not to call it a crusade. No matter what I did, no matter what I tried…absolute failure. Now of course these battles came at intervals—days, sometimes weeks apart. And what with simple replacement one of the obvious options, the journey was also one of discovery.

We discovered that our bird feeder, the SquirrelBuster Plus, made by Brome Bird Care, Inc., a Quebec operation, is not simply a bird feeder. Using the world of cars as an analogy, reaching for an ultimate peak of automotive perfection, SquirrelBuster Plus is actually a Lamborghini, the ultimate feeder, with a matching price, of course (over $80 from Amazon, more like over $90 at Lowe’s). Therefore the project of fixing it acquired a monetary side as well. It was all there, in a way. I just couldn’t get it all to go together again.

Finally—one eventually does the obvious, even it is last in line—I went on the Brome Bird Care website and found a parts list. Was there some part I had mislaid? The page showed a telephone number. I dialed the number. An actual human voice answered my call—a lady who was immediately helpful and technically expert. Within about a minute, she had diagnosed my problem with great precision, identified the parts I needed, and told me that she’d send them immediately, for free, just as a gesture of good will. Brome Bird Care. Remember that name. One rarely encounters a Lamborghihi kind of operation these days, much less a human voice on the phone, and least of all a competent responder!

In a nutshell, my problem was that two parts of the feeder at its bottom had become jammed together but in such a way that simply looking at them did not reveal that. Indeed, our SquirrelBuster had once fallen—thanks to a jihadist squirrel attack. With the parts arriving two days later—and a small crow-bar applied to separate the old jammed parts—our SB-Plus Lamborghini is back on road again. But you have to be a bird-lover to know what you are looking at. The Ultimate. The inserted image shows it all.

Now, in the meanwhile—this is about birds, after all, not owners of prestigious “vehicles ”—we had been using a humbler feeder (shown at left), the sort of thing used by the masses—call them the 90 percent. It did its job—but caused endless feuding among the sparrows that that are our most frequent visitors. The photos show two side of today's political debate: the splendid tower serving the 1 percent and the humble thing for the masses. As for our birds, they seem only to care about the seed, alas. And being birds they don’t even get to vote. We can only guess at their opinion (polling birds is difficult), but we think that they like the SquirrelBuster Tower much better because it contains much more—and has six (not just a measely four) splendid seats at the table—and the food never seems to run out.

I made another interesting discovery while writing this. Lamborghini, it turns out, is owned, these days, by Volkswages (VW). The word in German means “people’s car.” Evidently the ordinary people actually own the 1 percent in this case—but word of that has not yet penetrated to the top...

The kudos here, however, belong to Brome Bird Care. Those folks have the product—and the service!


  1. I like our fancy-shmancy birdfeeder, but I'd trade it for a Lamborghini.

  2. Congratulations, Arsen, for having succeeded in your mission to get that "up-scale Squirrel Buster" restored to work again.
    But when you say..."this is about birds, after all..." my memory, for some reason, brought up an Arabic poem: "Bird Parliament", by Farid ud-Din Attar (trans. by Edward FitzGerald. Birds and their bird-nature are, in this vision, clearly meant to expose human foibles. The association my mind made, exemplified by the brouhaha of the current Brexit actions and reaction to arguments from both sides, the British and the EU Parliaments and even the voices or arguments made by the international and global communities. The birds as well as "We the People", after all, are always and endlessly, only arguing about who should be leading or governing us; should they be of our home team, or some other team?