As each year passes, we enjoy our woodland garden even more. We love the native plants as well as the shade-loving favorites we’ve added. However recently, we’ve been fascinated with some unusual behavior of the woodland wildlife.
This past summer we added a more attractive water source for our feathered friends in the form of a new concrete birdbath. Almost immediately we noticed significant damage to the bottom edges of the pentagon-shaped bowl. Wanting to know what’s eating our concrete birdbath, I made several telephone calls and shared detailed emails and photos with experts in the field of wild birds. I also contacted our County Extension office as well as our state Department of Natural Resources. All were surprised to see the degree of damage that was done to the birdbath. Some of the feedback noted that the bite marks resembled squirrel teeth damage, but the location and the depth of the damage to the concrete was uncharacteristic of squirrels.
Nature’s Uniqueness Never Ceases To Amaze
It appears we have a mystery on our hands. The feedback we received from the photos of the damage confirmed that the scratches are consistent with squirrel teeth. However, the bitten area of the birdbath is 22 inches above ground level, or 4 inches down from the top of the birdbath.
I could not find substantial support from my research or from the professionals I consulted to support that squirrels were the ones biting and damaging the concrete birdbath. There was plenty of support that squirrels will frequently lick concrete to access the salt and minerals in the mixture. They’re also known for chewing their way into attics and garages, and through wood, drywall, or plywood. However, we saw no remnant of concrete crumbs on the ground below the birdbath so we assumed that the critter in question ate the concrete. Also note that the degree of damage shown occurred very soon after the birdbath was in place. We’ve seen no additional damage since that time. But, we’re still wondering what’s eating our concrete birdbath?
Let It Go, Let It Go
Having spent significant time researching and reaching out to experts, I was ready to move on to repairing the birdbath so we can encourage a variety of beautiful birds to visit our yard. I was grateful that the store, where I purchased the birdbath, provided me with a non-toxic stain to match the color of our birdbath. I proceeded to lightly sand all three areas of the concrete damage just enough to soften the deepest teeth marks. One corner had significantly more damage than the others. I left that area a bit rougher so as not to destroy the hexagonal shape of the birdbath! Perhaps, I also left it that way as a silent tribute to the critter who went above and beyond the depth of mischief its predecessors had caused in our woodland garden!
Please let us know if you have had similar experiences with wild life as we have just shared. We look forward to your comments.
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