I do not See Birds, but the Seeds are Gone.
I did research.
How I got rid of the squirrel:
When I began bird watching I believe that my first feeder was a window feeder. Only the birds came to that one. Next I had several types of feeders which were all placed in one location. It was placed a good distance away from the house. I did research on how to do this and discovered feeder poles. I bought a single pole which had five hooks for the feeders. It was placed into the ground and the feeders were hung on the hooks.
At first all went well. The birds discovered it and told their friends who told their friends and soon the feeders were crowded. I was pleased. Then I noticed that the birds had been coming less and less and I wondered why. I soon found out that a squirrel had discovered the seeds and was eating them. In the beginning I was chasing it away but it kept coming back.
I had to find another way. Again I researched and soon came across the ‘squirrel baffles’. I looked on the Internet, in catalogs, bird magazines, and I compared them until I found one which I liked the price and results of. The squirrel could not get past it and the birds returned to the feeders! I had no other pests.
Crafty Gray Squirrel at bird feeder
Squirrels are sly ones:
They are able to climb trees. Everyone knows that because trees are their habitat. Up in the trees they learned to jump from branch to branch when they were young in order to obtain food as way to stay alive. So they also do this down here in our habitat of fences, wires, and such. They can also climb metal poles, brick walls, plastic poles and other types of walls.
They walk along fences made of wood, metal, iron, stone. They walk telephone wires, television wires, - (you have to touch wire and the ground at the same time to receive a shock) - clotheslines.
They are hard to get rid of. There are squirrel baffles which do this. They have made ones which seem to be motionless. As soon as squirrells land on these baffles they spin like crazy and throw them off again. They try several times but eventually give up. Others are to slanted and/or slippery for the squirrells to hold onto.
There are also bird feeders to keep squirrells away. Such as the one which closes each time that the squirrell lands upon it. I have photos of various others throughout the Hub.
The pests that eat the seeds:
You can always get up at the crack of dawn and stay beside the window to watch the feeders until the squirrels go to their nests for the night. It would involve going outside to chase them from the feeders every time that they come to them. The problem with that is they will keep coming back and eating the seeds again. Also, the more that you keep doing it this way, the more daring they will get until the minute you turn your back and you have taken 2 steps away they will return. You will also lose much time in doing your normal house chores.
There are other ways that work better. Have you heard of the squirrel ‘baffle’? It looks like an upside-down bowl and there are many types. The main type which is used is for the pole feeder. In order to use that one you also have to have your feeder(s) on pole(s). The poles may come with one, two or several hooks. The poles may also come assembled in one piece or you you may have to assemble more than one piece which are very simple to attach. Inserting into the ground has the center prong plus others which can be one to four other prongs. Normally it has a pointed end for this.
Then there is the wrap around baffle. It is generally used on square wooden posts (4”x 4” – 5”x 5”). The posts are inserted into the ground by digging holes slightly larger than the posts - I believe approximately 2' deep - (that is up to you). Then attaching the feeders and the baffle.
You can also get one which hangs from a hook but I believe that the baffles usually come without the hook which means that you have to supply that part.
I had my most recent feeder on a string and I made a homemade baffle. If you are interested in that just ask.
There are feeders which say that they are squirrel-proof but I have heard otherwise. I have observed squirrels almost as much as I have observed birds. They are very sneaky and cunning creatures. They will even go to those squirrel-proof feeders, and stay off of them while they spill the seeds onto the ground! Every time that you think that you have fooled them they will watch the birds until they figure out a way to get around something themselves. The only squirrel-proof feeders which seem to work are the feeders that come with baffles attached to them.
You are able to purchase these baffles at bird supply stores, maybe some pet stores, and garden stores (such as WalMart, Lowes).
The baffle usually gets rid of squirrels and raccoons but there are others who eat bird seed. There is the chipmunk, and bird ‘pests’ (such as crows, jays, and even hawks).
Another method for most creatures - including squirrels - is Cayenne pepper, maybe mixed with black pepper. That will take care of the creatures but there are still the larger birds.
Approximate prices of feeder poles
Lowest avge. price
Highest avge. price
Approximate prices of squirrel baffles
Lowest avge. price
Flange mount on pole
Highest avge. price
Feeder w/tube baffle & pole
Do you have a similar problem?
Peanut in shell
This is ‘for the birds’:
Find a spot in your yard which is away from the feeders but not where bird (pests) will not find or stay away from. Then sprinkle a few seeds on the ground – not too many yet - and see if the birds who you are chasing from the feeders go there. After they have found the seeds then you can place some more. You can probably use cheaper seeds for these birds. If they do not find the seeds at first what can you do is gradually sprinkle a few seeds at a time along a trail to lead them to the new site.
There are birds which are pests too:
You may have been watching blackbirds, jays and others just like the rest of the birds but they have now become annoying when they spill the seeds all over the ground right after you filled the feeders. Since the birds do not notice the pepper you have to come up with another way of taking care of them. After all, you do not want to harm them. So what can you do?
- Place a special container of different seeds/food for them away from the other feeders –squirrels and Blue Jays will eat peanuts (in shell or out) placed in a bowl away from the bird feeders;
- Use smaller feeders for the smaller birds so that the larger birds cannot get into them – such as tube feeders, sock feeders, etc.;
You can buy one large bag of unsalted peanuts in their shells in the supermarket for less than several cans of salted peanuts costs. I have used the ones in their shells and the squirrels & birds are very happy to eat them. The birds – and the squirrels – happily spend time (someplace else) cracking the shells to eat the nuts.
Author: Kevin - ©2013
© 2013 The Examiner-1