Oh, Squirrels. In many cases, they’re a birders worst enemy: constantly try to crawl or jump their way into your feeders, spreading seed all over your yard and chasing your favorite visiting birds away. So how can you keep these tenacious critters out of our feeders? We’ve got a few suggestions to increase your Squirrel Defense.
A brief review of Squirrel eating habits
First, it’s important to know why Squirrels go after your feeder. For them, it’s all about opportunity: squirrels naturally go after whatever food source is easiest to obtain. When you place a big tube of seeds right in “their” territory, it’s simply too good an opportunity for them to pass up. Which brings us to our first suggestion.
Put your feeder out of reach
This is no easy task, but if your yard is large enough, simply making your feeder inaccessible to squirrels is a great solution. Just keep in mind how talented squirrels are at jumping – they’re able to leap 8 feet horizontally or jump 11 feet down from a roof or tree branch. For the best results, you should place your feeder at least 10 feet from any jumping-off point.
Lock in your food with a cage
While our Locking Hood and Cage is designed to help protect your food from extreme weather and larger birds, it can also serve as another line of defense against those furriest of felons. Depending on their size, a squirrel may have a difficult time reaching your food through the cage. However, unsuccessful squirrels may attempt to chew their way through the sturdy material, damaging your feeder in the process. This is why we also suggest the next option.
Install Squirrel Baffles
If you’re using a post system to hang or mount your feeders, we highly recommend installing a Squirrel Baffle. There are a few different types of baffles on the market, from tilting ones you can install above a feeder (making a squirrel attacking from above slide off) to post mounted baffles like the Harmony Bird Squirrel Baffle ( which keeps squirrels trying to crawl up the post from reaching your feeder). A friendly word of caution: never apply any sort of grease or glycerin product to your post, as this can be extremely harmful for any passing wildlife – not just the squirrels.
When you can’t beat ’em… Feed ’em.
Finally, there’s one other simple solution for squirrels getting into your feeders: give them one of their own. Remember how we mentioned that squirrels go after the easiest food source? A Squirrel Feeder is a great way to give them just that, hopefully giving them enough to eat that they’ll be too full to bother with your bird feeders. Also, since squirrels are territorial, your former nemeses will lay claim to the feeder, chasing away any other squirrels that try to come into your yard. Just don’t forget to place it at least 10 feet away from your bird feeders.
What about you? Are there any other options for keeping away squirrels that you’ve used in the past? We’d love to hear about them – let us know in the comments below.
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