Wild About Birds

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Trim tree limbs and branches 6 to 8 feet from buildings and feeders to keep squirrels from leaping onto feeders and roofs. Squirrels simply slide off when they try to leap on or hang on to the dome exterior. Like other types of bird feeders, squirrel proof feeders come in many different shapes, colors and designs. A variety of heated bird baths are available or heating elements work well in any bird bath. Arkansas’s rehabbers are often stretched to the limit and cannot be expected to drop everything to pick up an injured bird. Hang the bird feeder between two trees which are far enough apart so the squirrels cannot jump to the feeder.

You may see a tree squirrel engaging in unusual behavior, such as repeatedly falling over or circling a small area. While we have not heard of it, it may certainly be possible if it is a smaller trap for animals like squirrels. They can live in cities or in the country, in tree cavities or in nests made of leaves and twigs. They find that the change in diet is popular with cardinals, house finches, chickadees, nuthatches and mourning doves, but the safflower doesn’t appeal to squirrels. It provides a welcome supplement to a bird’s diet and offers hours of great bird watching for you.

Squirrel Proof products utilize Mother Nature’s way to control squirrels and contain only natural, food grade seeds and chili peppers. I’m afraid, however, that this presents a new set of problems – I recently saw a shadowy figure hunched over the squirrel feeder in the moonlight and silhouetted against the snow. My parents feed birds regularly, and they’ve lost 2 squirrel proof feeders to the squirrels. These are durable, well designed squirrel guards that will keep the squirrels puzzled and frustrated. If your feeder is pole-mounted, you’ll need to keep the squirrels from climbing the pole or jumping onto the feeder from the ground.

Pole-mounted feeders should be about 5 feet off the ground and protected by a cone-shaped baffle (at least 17 inches in diameter) or similar obstacle below the feeder. If the woodpecker seems to be making a round hole big enough for it to enter, you will need to stop this by blocking access to the hole with bird netting, metal flashing, or some other barrier. Try specially designed feeders that have doors which close when triggered by a squirrel’s weight on the feeder.

Keep in mind that none of these will be effective unless the feeders are located at least ten feet away from trees and six feet off the ground to keep the critters from leaping over the baffles and directly onto the feeders. Also, consider feeders that that are set off by weight with barriers that limit squirrels’ ability to get to the seed. You also don’t want to place them in or near shrubs where it would be easy for them to jump on. Place your feeders on a shepherd’s hook that is also equipped with a baffle (see above) to ensure it is unable to be climbed or jumped on by these pesky critters.

Some bottom-fill feeders come with a funnel-like opening at the bottom of the container, through which the feeder is filled. Students at Bel-Rea Vet Tech School voted The Zen Birdfeeder as one of their Top 25 Bird Blogs of 2015. If you use a bird feeder that is mounted on a post, you should place the feeding receptacle at least five feet from the ground. And if you’ve had plastic feeders gnawed to pieces by squirrels, try switching to metal, which they’ll be less likely to chew through.

Squirrels are generally great chewers, so it is important to look for a chew-proof cage. Second, we use a pole feeder from Droll Yankee that is advertised as being squirrel proof, and for us it has been so when properly installed. Your song birds will have no trouble reaching the food but squirrels (and larger birds like pigeons) will be frustrated by the bird feeder and hopefully move on to an easier target. How to keep squirrels away from corn – keep the corn fenced in, or get a dog to roam the corn field.


Squirrels have long been a source of fascination and frustration for gardeners and bird enthusiasts engaged in a near-constant battle to keep them away from the nuts and seeds put out for birds. You can eliminate problem squirrels by using live traps to harmlessly catch them. Eastern Gray Squirrels are full of spunk and personality, and they sure aren’t afraid of you. Traps for the squirrels either humane ones and then relocate the little devils or perhaps develop a taste for squirrel stew.

You could even dust chilli powder onto your bird food, turning the heat up for the squirrels while your birds won’t be affected. Mount the feeder on a smooth pole made from metal or PVC pipe that is at least 5 inches in diameter (Fig. But rain can wash pepper off the seeds even if you’ve applied oil, so you have to continue adding pepper to the seeds to deter the squirrels. Lucy loves birds and she has some feeders posted on shepherd hooks in her backyard.

Squirrels will stay within their own territory with tempting treats such as nuts, corn and berries. Another option is to use Diversion Feeders These are feeders that will attract them away from your bird feeders. Squirrel-proof feeders are both safe and effective means to guard bird feeders against hungry squirrels. Although there is some relief out on the market today with products like Squirrel Buster Bird Feeders, but we wanted to compile a list of things you can do with common household items to keep these unwanted visitors at bay.

I have a bird feeder hanging from a 6-ft shepherd’s hook, and watched one tree rat climb thr pole halfway, secure himself with his back feet and tail to the pole, and stretch out perpendicularly, grab the feeder, and pull it towsrd him, where he then proceeded to eat to his heart’s content while suspended parallel to the ground. If you are troubled by squirrels in your garden and on your feeders and bird tables then you really have three options.

Squirrels climb up the pole and end up inside the cylinder, with no place to go, so they come back down, stare at it and try again several times before giving up. Fun to watch! Squirrels know that when they hear the seed spill into the feeder, you’re calling them to dinner. Hot sauce and cayenne pepper can also cause problems for humans if they get those substances on their hands and then touch their eyes. You can see Lucy apply the products in a demonstration video at She has some great looking bird feeders. Apply a pepper-based repellent product, such as Critter Ridder spray , directly to your feeders to keep them away from your offerings.

If you hang your feeder from a branch or something similar, you will want to install a baffle above the feeder that tilts. Squirrel activity at your feeders may ramp up in the fall because it’s the time of year they actively store food for the winter. Many desirable birds like it while squirrels and many undesirable birds do not. Orioles weave a pendulous nest that hangs off thin branches 25-30′ off the ground, usually in the tallest deciduous tree.

The first step is to keep the squirrels out of feeders by either placing the feeder where squirrels can’t gain access to it, or using a feeder that is designed to keep squirrels out no matter where it is in the yard. To keep squirrels away from your feeder, string a line between two trees as high as you can and place the feeder on the string away from the trees. One way to outwit these furry-tailed feeder pests is to distract them by feeding them peanuts or dried ears of corn in a location some distance from your feeders.

How to Keep Squirrels Away From Your Garden: Unfortunately, this is very difficult, unless you completely screen off and enclose the garden in steel fencing, or have an indoor greenhouse. If that approach is impractical and you’re dealing with regular visits from these animals, you’ll probably have to take down your feeders temporarily. Cayenne pepper powder, sprinkled on the plants, may also help, and that applies to the below plants as well. Place a wire cage around the bird feeder with openings just large enough to admit birds but too small for squirrels to fit through. It is better to buy more bird feeders and put a single kind of seed into each one.

When you can’t seem to keep squirrels out of your bird feeder, another option is to serve them something they’ll find even more appealing than bird seed. Even if you have no restrictions for bird feeding in your neighborhood, we encourage everyone to plant native flowers, trees and shrubs for birds. Install baffles or guards above or below birdfeeders to keep squirrels from getting to the perch, portal and food of the feeder. When possible I use squirrel baffles to keep the squirrels foraging on the ground and off the bird feeders. As a bonus, it’s also fun to watch the squirrels slip off the hanger,” the 60-year-old orthopedic surgeon quipped.

Nowyj and Larry Jones, CEO of Cedar Craft Wild Bird Center in Auburn, said squirrels have the uncanny ability to leap some 10 feet from a branch or rooftop to get at a feeder – and are capable of vertical leaps of naerly 5 feet. If a bird has feathers and is able to hop around on the ground, it is likely a fledgling and its parents are probably nearby. The electronic bird feeders are capable of storing bird food for days and even weeks, depending on the feeder type and automatically replenish the dish once it is empty. I tried a couple of dome-shaped baffles, but the squirrels are so smart, they figured out how to get to the seed anyway.