Squirrels can be wily creatures, especially when it comes to getting at your feeders, but there are things you can do to live with them!
From a squirrel’s perspective, bird feeders are a candy dish filled with tasty bird seed, glistening in the sunlight, just waiting for a crafty creature like themselves to partake in the bounty.
Unfortunately for our smaller, feathered friends, they see the squirrel as a stealth-like thief. Often performing courageous twists and turns, the squirrel, out of desperation tries its best to take what it can.
As bird lovers we know this can be frustrating to watch provisions for our beloved birds become snatched by pesky squirrels. However, contrary to popular belief there are a few things you can do to prevent squirrels from invading your bird watching privacy.
• Location, location, location - Hang your feeder away from any launching point that might help the squirrel get to the feeder such as trees, bushes, nearby roofs or poles. The bottom of the feeder must be at least 5 ft. from the ground.
• Baffles - Adding a domed baffle to your feeder helps protect your seed. Baffles can be used over top or underneath your feeder. Pole baffles are also an option. Metal baffles are the best choice.
• Caged feeders - Feeders with a surrounding metal cage are a great option to protect your seed and small birds.
• Squirrel proof - Perky-Pet® has several options to choose from when it comes to feeders that protect against squirrels. Check out their newest edition to the Squirrel-Be-Gone™ family, The Baffler. This one has it all... a baffle, dome-shaped top, all metal ports and perches, and a weight-activation mechanism, which shuts off feeding ports with a squirrel's weight.
• Squirrel feeding station - Yes, you heard it right! Adding a squirrel feeding station just for squirrels, complete with their favorite nibbles, will allow you to distract them from nearby bird feeders. A few of their favorites are corn, seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, etc., as well as fruit. Dried fruit and fruit scraps they find as equally delicious.
Other solutions that are often suggested include adding chili pepper to seed mix, or putting out traps. These we do not recommend because they are both in-humane and take more work than necessary.
Ultimately, squirrels can be just as entertaining as birds and they are a part of our living habitat. Whatever your stance, you do have options so keep on birding and forget the rest!
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