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Got Squirrels? How about getting some squirrel proof bird feeders?

Updated on August 20, 2013

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...

Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder Model 7536
Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder Model 7536

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?

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!

  1. 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.

    Introducing Golden Marguarita - my rescue dog from St. Croix.

    Gizmo - my 8 lb rescue dog who was born to ride.

  2. 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-Pound

    Beware 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;

  3. 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.

C & S Products Squirrel Snak, 6-Piece
C & S Products Squirrel Snak, 6-Piece

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.

 
Songbird Essentials Ear Corn, Bag of 12
Songbird Essentials Ear Corn, Bag of 12

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.

C&S Sweet Corn Squirrelog Refill Pack, 32-Ounce, 2-Pack
C&S Sweet Corn Squirrelog Refill Pack, 32-Ounce, 2-Pack

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.

 
Woodlink Squirrel Munch Box Feeder
Woodlink Squirrel Munch Box Feeder

The corn refills fit right onto this box. A nail in a tree is still cheaper...

 
Heath Outdoor Products SQL-2 Corn Log Squirrel Treat
Heath Outdoor Products SQL-2 Corn Log Squirrel Treat

i think I'll try this Heath corn log. It go great reviews.

 
Heath Outdoor Products 903 Squirrel Feeder
Heath Outdoor Products 903 Squirrel Feeder

Another Heath product. Heath must have loved squirrels.

 

Please leave me comments, even if you hate the little beasts.

I suppose I might be nuts to like squirrels (sorry for the pun). - Do you?

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    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 5 years ago

      hahaha... I once watched a squirrel hang upside down from an adjoining branch to get at our bird feeder... they are crafty... will have to try one of these.

    • Frugal Bride profile image

      Frugal Bride 5 years ago

      I enjoy watching squirrels play and run around when they are OUTSIDE! They keep climbing in through a hole into my attic. It's so creepy when you lay in bed at night and hear them running back and forth. I think I'm going to pick up a couple of the feeders you featured here and put them as far away from the house as possible. Maybe that will encourage them to build a nest in a tree close to the feeder?

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      I think they are just darling! THUMBS UP LENS

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 6 years ago from Royalton

      I love watching the squirrels and chipmunks come to the feeder. They are as amusing as the birds. I like the corn cob feeder. I am sure that there are lots of birds and squirrel family members that would love that one.

    • imolaK profile image

      imolaK 6 years ago

      I love squirrels. They are lovely animals. Blessed!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Squirrels are cute - and I don't mind them. However, I prefer them to stay out of my plants... ;)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      You are nuts, but that's a good thing! Love the corn cob feeder for the rodents with bushy tails!

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 6 years ago

      I absolutely love squirrels - I think they are really so cool! I have 3 feeders for them, but, only one is hung up right now. We don't have enough trees at this house. At our old house we had six fruitless mulberry trees - it was great!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      We have both red squirrels and gray ones in New Hampshire. I see some people have created quite unique solutions using empty soda bottles on a rope with the feeder in the middle. I'll have to ask them if it is working.