The battle of the bird feeder between man and squirrel is an ongoing one that has produced solutions that range from economical homemade solutions to up-scale, high tech ones. Gaining the upper hand on those cleaver squirrels is a challenge for backyard birdwatchers everywhere.
Squirrel Proof Feeders
Squirrels are little social butterflies that are very entertaining to watch. But they can empty a bird feeder in a matter of hours either by eating the seed or hording it away for later. They can also be very destructive trying to get to the last bit left in the feeder. Investing in a squirrel proof feeder is a good way to deter them away from your seed. There are four major types of feeders on the market:
- Caged Feeders
- Weighted Feeder
- Spinning Feeder
Solutions for Existing Feeders
If you already have invested in bird feeder and not looking to trade it in, there are a some things you can do to make it “squirrel proof”.
- Install baffles to the top and/or bottom of the feeder.
- Place the feeder 10′ away from trees or platforms where squirrels can jump onto it either by hanging it on fishing line between two trees or placing it onto a tall pole.
- Placing the bird feeder on top of PVC piping instead of a pole is another option. Squirrels are unable to climb the slippery surface.
- Slip a slinky over the pole by hanging it from the bottom of the feeder making if difficult for a squirrel to climb.
It is not recommended to apply a product to the pole that causes the surface to be slippery. While this method is effective to detour squirrels, the product can coat the birds’ wings and cause them harm.
Choose Seed That Squirrels Do Not Like
Making a few substitutions to the seed you choose to ones that do not appeal to squirrels may help reduce some of your struggles. Choose from the following list:
- Nyger (thistle) Seed
- Safflower Seed
- Canary Seed
- Canola Seed
- Add Crushed Pepper Flakes to the mix. Mammals are detoured by the capsacian that it contains, where as birds are unaffected.
Our next article will feature environmentally sound ways to turn your backyard into a year round bird haven.
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