One of the inevitable hassles of backyard birding are our furry friends the squirrels, who frequently hijack feeders. And once they decide that’s their territory, they won’t want to leave. In addition, they’re fast, they’re smart, they’re resourceful and they can jump up to 5 or 6 feet in any direction. It takes some creativity to keep squirrels away from your feeders, but it is possible. Here are some ideas:
Surround your feeder by 10 feet of air in all directions. This is by far the easiest solution, since no squirrel can jump that far. This means that your feeder should be at least 10 feet away from any trees, bushes, fences, posts or anything that can be used as a launching platform for a determined squirrel.
Be creative. Sometimes having 10 feet of space is not an option. No worries. There are other ways to make it difficult, if not impossible for squirrels to reach your feeder. You can hang an inexpensive, store bought Slinky at the top of your feeder post, allowing post to pass through the center of the Slinky. The squirrel will try to use the slinky to climb the post. Squirrel, 0. Slinky, 1. Another idea is to coat your feeder with Spam or some other oily substance that virtually eliminates friction. It’s hilarious to watch a squirrel slip and slide as it tries to grab on to parts of the feeder. If neither of these options works, you can always try mixing in hot pepper or cayenne pepper with your seed. The pepper will not bother the birds, but it will keep the squirrels away. As an additional option, you can check out our squirrel baffle here. It’s made of solid materials, and it’s easy to install/take apart. Our readers swear by it, so we think you should give it a try.
Feed the squirrels. If all else fails, you can always feed the squirrels away from your feeder. Many of our readers will attract squirrels with raw peanuts (their favorite food) on the ground a good distance away from the feeder. Because they’re highly territorial, squirrels will quickly decide that spot is “their” feeding area and will not try to eat birdseeds from the feeder.
We hope your found these tips helpful. Here at Harmony Bird, we are always looking for ways to help improve your birdwatching experience. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to keep squirrels away from bird feeders, we’d love to hear your ideas.
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