Anyone who enjoys watching birds in their backyard can understand the frustration of watching squirrels take over a feeder and not let up until every bit of seed is gone. There are many strategies you can try to discourage squirrels from getting in the way of your bird watching enjoyment.
The first step to solving this problem is finding the right squirrel proof bird feeder for your particular situation. You may not be able to hang your feeder so in this case you should look at mounting it on a pole or post. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you also incorporate a baffle below the feeder so that the squirrels cannot climb up the pole. Make sure it is high enough so that the squirrels can’t just leap over it.
If you decide that you want to hang your squirrel proof bird feeder then we recommend installing a deflector above it to deter their access to your feeder. The ultimate goal is to try and not give squirrels the option of getting on your feeder but with the many clever designs available today, you don’t always have to go through the effort of installing these accessories.
Another method that you can try is to spray or sprinkle a squirrel repellent in the area where you do not want squirrels to be. There are also animal repellents available that claim to keep most animals away by emitting a sound that is annoying to them but cannot be heard by humans. And of course, there are motion detected sprinklers.
The last strategy is to setup a squirrel feeder. This is a good way to keep all the visitors in your yard happy. The squirrels will be occupied with their own food and will most likely put much less effort into accessing your bird feeder. The squirrel feeders available are actually quite entertaining so this may help you be less frustrated dealing with your situation.
Most squirrel proof bird feeders rely on a weight activated devise to close the feeding station or ports when a squirrel steps or climbs onto it. Obviously if your feeder is hanging in a location where the squirrel can just reach over and grab a free meal, it doesn’t matter how good or effective the mechanism is.
There are quite a few different designs available for squirrel proof bird feeders. The first one as we mentioned is the weight activated device. This will keep squirrels and larger birds from taking over your feeder. This is a very simple design and seems to work quite well on most of the feeders available. The Brome 1024 Squirrel Buster is a great example of this type of bird feeder and it is our #1 recommended product.
The next design incorporates a motor that automatically starts spinning when a squirrel gets on it. This is very effective and works very well. It is quite entertaining to watch. The only drawback is the battery needs to be recharged periodically and will need to be replaced at some point in the future. Also, the motor will eventually have to be replaced. They can also be a bit expensive. The Droll Yankees YF Flipper is a good example of this type of bird feeder.
Another very simple design is to have a cage that surrounds the seed tube so that squirrels cannot fit through the holes to access the seed. This is a good idea but will only allow small birds to use the feeder. Some very small squirrels or chipmunks have been known to fit through these cages. The Droll Yankees SDC Domed Cage is a good example of this type of bird feeder.
It is important to look for a squirrel proof bird feeder that is made of durable, long lasting materials. A squirrel will chew through pretty much anything to get to the food so it is best to look for materials that are made of strong durable plastic and metal that is resistant to rust. Check to make sure that the cap fits very tightly or screws on. A squirrel can easily pry off a cap that is not secure. Try to look for a design that will keep seed from getting wet or at least allow some kind of ventilation to keep it from going moldy.
Hopefully these simple tips will help you make an educated decision on what type of squirrel proof bird feeder or related products will work for you. Enjoy your backyard!