November 5, 2017
Protection from Squirrels
No one likes to be outwitted by a squirrel that is on a mission to eat all your birds’ food. These furry little creatures are acrobatic and are capable of jumping up to eight feet across and about ten feet down for food. That’s a great distance to go for some seed! There are a few ways to protect your bird feeders from squirrels. Let’s take a look…
Hanging feeders from a tree gives squirrels a launch pad from tree to feeder, so it is best to move the feeder onto a hook. Using an iron lawn hook to hang a feeder makes it more difficult for the squirrel to get to the food. Also, put the feeder on a spinning hook. Squirrels do not like to spin around.
In our Bird Section, there are two types of squirrel baffles: one for hanging feeders and one for platform feeders. Baffles are shaped like a dome, which makes it hard for squirrels to climb to the feeder, and they slide off. The domes either hang above for hanging feeders or below for a pole feeder. It is very entertaining to watch them climb the baffles.
Squirrels are baffled by baffles!
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
There are bird feeders that are squirrel proof! Some shut down when the weight of the squirrel lands on the feeder and it cuts off access to the feed. The birds’ weight won’t close the feed. Other squirrel proof feeders have a plastic wire cage around them. This is an attractive way to say NO to squirrels. The cage keeps squirrels away from the feed ports. The fencing also prevents larger birds from eating all the food and is the perfect perch for small songbirds. Here are a few we have at Bucks Country Gardens:
- The Perky Pet Feeder
- Brome Squirrel Buster Classic Feeder
- Audubon Squirrel-Proof Tubular feeder
Squirrel Proof Feeder
Squirrel Feeding Stations
Ceasing all backyard bird feeding for several days or weeks may encourage squirrels to move on to other food sources. You’ve tried everything and the squirrels still refuse to leave… After all else fails, create a squirrel feeding station! Instead of eliminating the squirrels, compromise by creating a squirrel feeding station away from the bird feeders.
Place easy-access feeders for squirrels with tempting treats like nuts, corn, berries, or single ears of corn on the cob! Attract squirrels’ attention while letting the birds enjoy eating without competition.
Create a squirrel feeding station! They love corn.
Food Squirrels Dislike
In the end, squirrels are just as much a part of backyard wildlife as cardinals, jays, and finches. While it is possible to squirrel-proof a bird feeder and deter fuzzy visitors from frequent meals, an occasional squirrel visit is to be expected at any backyard feeder. There are a number of foods which birds love and squirrels don’t. Some include:
- Thistle (Nyjer Seed)
- Hot Peppers
Mix these squirrel-deterring foods into any birdseed. Since squirrels don’t like the smell or taste, they will look for other food.
For all things birds and squirrels visit our Garden Center and as always let us know if you have any questions! We are happy to help. Happy birding… and who knows, you may love the entertainment that squirrels provide!
Nancy McIlvaine | Drygoods Manager
Heather Fesmire | Digital Marketing Assistant