Squirrels are a torment for those of us who love the company of our birds in winter but they can be vanquished (House & Home, January 9). Our tray feeder hangs from a shepherd’s crook, halfway up which my husband, who refused to be defeated by a squirrel, has positioned an aluminium garbage can cover that flops down when a squirrel leaps on it. Squirrels can crawl around anything that is fixed but they can’t climb on to something that won’t stay still. As for the bossy blue jays, at the advice of the Audubon Society, I have replaced sunflower seeds with safflower. It may as well be sold as blue jay repellent. They haven’t been back.

There is something deeply reassuring about observing birds. They set us an example of carrying on through the cold, in the faith that spring will arrive.

Margaret McGirr
Greenwich CT, US

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