The Sorry Incompatibility of Squirrels And Birds
At first, they are the perfect yard jesters, doing amazing acrobatics and performing antics that are truly circus-worthy. But then you realize: the best wild bird food (black oil sunflower seeds, nuts and suet) is just as appetizing to squirrels as birds. The result?
Squirrels become a challenge to your generosity as they take over the bird feeders. These furry freeloaders won't leave until they've eaten almost everything. Unlike birds, who typically have no problem sharing food, squirrels chase the birds away so they can have the feeder all to themselves.
Suddenly your bird-watching hobby isn't so wonderful; it's now frustrating. So how do you give squirrels the boot . . . and keep them away?
The best solution is to get one or more of our squirrel proof and squirrel resistant bird feeders. They're stylish, easy to use and a smart way to foil these clever critters from enjoying your bird buffet.
We have five different types of Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders and Accessories, each with a defense strategy designed to thwart squirrels in their persistent efforts to reach the seed.
Weight-Activated Squirrel Proof Feeders
Our Squirrel-Be-Gone® series is designed with a perfectly balanced, weight-sensitive mechanism that immediately closes the seed ports the instant a squirrel stands on it. But as soon as the squirrel leaves, the ports open again, and remain open, under the lighter weight of birds.
Decorative Squirrel Proof Feeders
Our selection of decorative squirrel proof feeders serves a dual function; they keep squirrels from getting to the bird seed and they are attractively designed. We have several beautiful styles, each bringing a special eye-catching flair to your yard, and they work hard at keeping squirrels at bay.
Pole Mount Squirrel Proof Feeders
A good way to prevent squirrels from reaching a bird feeder is to mount the feeder on a pole instead of hanging it from a tree. The metal pole should be at least six feet high and away from any structures that would allow squirrel access. Be sure to prune any tree branches or bushes within 12 feet of your feeder because squirrels can jump 10 or more feet.
Caged Squirrel Proof Feeders
Our ‘caged’ bird feeders consist of a simple tube feeder surrounded by a metal, chew-proof enclosure. Squirrels will not be able to get through the cage, but smaller birds can. This feeder also provides protection and prevents larger, more aggressive birds (like Blue Jays, Flickers and Starlings) from getting into the feeder, and because squirrels cannot chew through the metal cage, prevents damage to the feeder.
Squirrel Proof Feeder Accessories
We offer baffles and animal repellents that can support you in your efforts to keep those pesky squirrels away from your feeders. Just as with our squirrel proof bird feeders and squirrel resistant bird feeders, there are any number of ways to outsmart the pests!
Here are some additional ideas you might consider to protect your feeders from squirrels:
Placement of Feeders
Because squirrels can jump so far, put your bird feeders away from squirrel “launch pads” – the house, porch, wires, trees, fences and bushes. This will make it difficult for squirrels to gain a foothold on your feeder.
You can stop squirrels from climbing nearby trees by wrapping the trunks with a metal collar – 24-inches wide, about 6 feet off the ground. And if they're using overhead wires as highways, get a 2-inch diameter plastic pipe, cut it lengthwise and put it around the wire. Because it fits loosely around the wire, when a squirrel attempts to walk on it, it'll spin and the squirrel won’t be able to hold on for long!
You might be able to deter squirrels by changing what you serve your birds. Although birds love safflower and thistle seed, squirrels aren’t very fond of those types of seed. That’s good!
For the benefit of birds, be sure to keep feeders clean and supplied with fresh seed. Also, because squirrels are attracted to food both in feeders and on the ground, remove old, spilled seed and seed husk from the ground below your feeders. Not only will this help in keeping the squirrels away, but it will also ensure your birds are not eating bad, unhealthy food.
Provide a Squirrel Feeding Station
Instead of fighting squirrels, help them! Put up a squirrel feeding station, away from the bird feeders, and stock it with food they love; nuts (especially peanuts!), sunflower seeds, berries, corn, etc.
You get a triple benefit: 1) You get to delight in watching a squirrel's gymnastic-like antics, 2) You get the satisfaction of seeing your wild birds happily feeding, and 3) You don't experience the frustration of watching your delectable birdseed being rapidly consumed by an assertive squirrel. A squirrel feeding station allows you to enjoy both your birds and your squirrels, resulting in a multi-purpose backyard, stocked with wildlife entertainment.
Things Not to Do
Don't Poison or Exterminate Squirrels: You'll not only poison squirrels, but also the birds and other wildlife.
Don't Let Your Cat Hunt Squirrels: Cats are the #1 killer of wild birds – especially when wild birds are easy prey, innocently eating at your feeders.
Don't Grease the Feeder Pole or Hanging Wire: Grease is almost always unsuccessful as a means to keeping squirrels off feeders, but it always gets on the fur of animals and the feathers of birds, putting them at a high risk for illness and death.
Don't Shoot Squirrels: It's illegal in many parts of the country, and it's possible you might accidentally hit birds, or something far worse, instead.
Check out our squirrel proof bird feeders. They're a great way to successfully manage the age old backyard dilemma: Too much squirrel, not enough bird!
And, don't panic if you see an occasional squirrel at your feeder; it's inevitable that they will find it as, just like every living creature, they too are looking for food to survive.
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