- Pets and Animals
Got Squirrels? How about getting some squirrel proof bird feeders?
Squirrel proof bird feeders - more easily said than done.
I personally love watching squirrels so I haven't put up squirrel proof bird feeders. However, a lot of my friends get totally irritated when their bird feeders are emptied by what they call "rats with bushy tails." How they can say that is beyond me as I just love the little fellas. I love how they sit and warn others off with their squirrelly angry tails flashing left and right. I love how they chatter around the bird feeder, much like workers collect at the water cooler. I just plain old love the little guys. I find squirrels fascinating - in some ways, I find them much more interesting than the birds I started out to attract to the bird feeders.
But, if you're one of the anti-squirrel contingent, I certainly can appreciate your position also. Squirrels not only rob your bird feeders of seed, they can also be devils and keep the birds a bay. And, let's talk poop! I have to clean up squirrel poop frequently - like cleaning up after 6 dogs isn't enough...
Eh, it is what it is. This lens will hopefully give you some relief from your squirrelly problem if you're looking to keep squirrels out of bird feeders.
The picture attached to this module shows one squirrel on the feeder and another on clean up duty on my deck. I still think they're cute....
Let's get started with a fun squirrel agility course video
I've seen a similar agility course set up in a backyard here in Maryland. The guy who set it up decided that, if he couldn't keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder, he was going to make them work for it and provide entertainment at the same time.
This clip is one of my favorites. I love the music and agility course! Sadly, his squirrel proof bird feeders probably didn't work...
The Heritage Squirrel Proof birdfeeder
This one really works - at least it prevents squirrels in my yard from getting the bird seed. The squirrels try and try and then give up. I can almost hear their squirrely sighs...
An adjustable spring closes the top to the birdseed when a squirrel tries to steal the bird food. I've seen it close up two when 2 crows landed on top - handy!
Wild Bill's 8 Station Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Well, even if I don't love the concept, I gotta love the name. Wild Bill. Sounds threatening, doesn't it? Well, it is a bit threatening to the squirrels as it gives them the teeniest weeniest shock as they try to raid the bird feeder. After a few tries, it must get through their little heads that it just isn't worth it.
Let's take a poll...
Should squirrels be discriminated against and kept out of bird feeders?
Yes. They're really just rats with bushy tails. Let 'em fend for themselves.
Some humane ways to keep squirrels out of a bird feeder
These tips will work for any kind of bird feeder - either squirrel proof or not. They're tried and true methods that I've used. A few might be unconventional, but they work!
- Rescue a dog! My Australian Shepherd Killian has a command of "Get the squirrels" and will run to the door and immediately give chase. This serves two great purposes: 1) Killian gets exercise 6-10 times a day and 2) Rescuing a dog will save a life. I have 6 dogs - 5 of which are rescues. All of these dogs, when outside in the backyard, deter squirrels from getting to the bird feeder. And, the birds have become accustomed to the dog activity and just go about their birdy business.
More about my rescued dogs can be found in the articles below:
Hops, my 3-legged wonder dog. Sadly, Hops suffered a stroke May 16, 2011 and I had to let him go. He is missed.
- Add hot pepper flakes to the bird food. Birds are unable to taste hot, spicy flavors but mammals, which squirrels are, can taste the spice. Adding red pepper flakes to any bird food will keep the squirrels away.
F.M. Brown's Bird Lover's Blend No Squirrel Just Birds, 7-1/2-PoundBeware though: adding a lot of hot pepper flakes to the bird food not be humane to the squirrels. The red pepper flakes hurt their paws and, in certain cases, squirrels have chewed off a paw to try and stop the pain. Add just a teeny bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the birdseed and increase the amount as needed. Start off small though for the most humane way to keep squirrels out of a bird feeder.
This birdseed has crushed chili peppers in it to deter the squirrels from the bird feeder;
- Squirrels have a 9' jump range so, if you really want to keep the squirrels from the bird feeders, place the bird feeders 9 feet from any surface, horizontal or vertical.
Give the squirrels their own feed station
I went ahead and bought two of these squirrel feeders so that the little critters would, hopefully, leave my bird feeders (squirrel proof bird feeders, by the way) alone.
Not so much. But I do like to watch the squirrels feed anyway.
Treats for the squirrels
I personally like the squirrels, and I do give them special snacks throughout the year. My squirrels love the big suet blocks I put out - these alone keep them out of the birdfeeds.
I have a large holder for this type of food, right on the side of my tree. I make the squirrels work for it though as it's difficult to get to.
Squirrels will eat the corn out of here first.
These are fun to hang on the trees. They take the squirrels awhile to eat - perhaps a week or two.
Squirrel proof bird feeders on eBay
Amazon has pretty good prices but check eBay too for the best prices for squirrel proof bird feeders.
If you can't beat 'em, how about joining 'em?
Instead of setting up squirrel proof bird feeders, how about giving the little fellas their own feeding station. By giving them their own area and filling it with the tastiest squirrel treats, you've got a good shot at having a happy medium (maybe not in your wallet as all of this wildlife stuff gets expensive). Here's some fun way to keep the squirrels happy and the birds even happier.
I put a large nail in one of my older trees and screw one of these corn logs onto it for the squirrels. Once they know it's there, they prefer it over the bird feeders.
The corn refills fit right onto this box. A nail in a tree is still cheaper...
i think I'll try this Heath corn log. It go great reviews.
Another Heath product. Heath must have loved squirrels.
Please leave me comments, even if you hate the little beasts.