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How to Make Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders
by Lee Dobbins
Do your backyard squirrels get all the bird seed before the birds do? There are many backyards that have problems with squirrels getting into the bird feeders. During cold months, these pesky squirrels will try any trick to get at this food.
If you want your backyard birds to benefit exclusively from the bird seeds on the bird feeder, then you need to consider squirrel proof bird feeders.
So, how do you make your bird feeders squirrel proof?
You can do this by putting your feeder in a suitable place where no squirrels can access it. Hanging it in high places will do the trick. Large poles will also help in mounting your feeders, but you need to be sure the squirrel can't climb up the pole!
You should also use a type of feeder which is designed to be squirrel-proof. There are feeders designed with screen and the likes which help prevent squirrels from eating the seeds. By doing so, you can place the feeder anywhere without worrying about squirrel attacks.
If you’re also wondering why some feeders are topped or covered with a large dome of plastic, the answer to it is because it helps prevent squirrels from invading the feeder. The logic is quite simple. The squirrels will try to climb onto the device from a pole or suspension lines but will encounter a baffle which in turn will prevent them from getting access.
The squirrel often falls on the ground along with a few seeds which will provide him a sort of small meal in every attempt. Some squirrels are also smart enough to know how to completely spill all the bird seeds on the feeder once they bounce from it.
More complex, sophisticated, and of course expensive feeders are now made to avoid access through the use of a "mechanical principle". These equipments utilize equal baffles wherein it closes the port of access when an animal weighing as heavy as the squirrel comes to invade. New designs which use the principle of exclusion are appearing every now and then, and some latest models feature a cage that does not permit squirrels and other large birds, while letting the smaller ones access the feeder.
One smart solution includes a system which is homemade wherein a bird feeder is hanging from a transverse wire and made up with baffles. This will prevent animals like squirrels from scurrying across like what they do when they are crossing on a telephone wire.
You can also make a blockade for squirrels to prevent them from further climbing into the feeder. This is cheap, quick and very easy to make and use. Here is how you can make a blockade:
- Gather any pot such as planting pot which has a minimum of 12-inch in diameter. You will also be using corner braces, about 4 pieces, to hold the pot.
- With the use of a scissors, cut the lid of pot to make the edge smooth. The logic here is that squirrels will have nothing to hold on to which in turn prevents them from climbing.
- Cut a hole at the center of the bottom pot. The size of the hole is 1/4 bigger than the diameter of the pole.
- Mount the corner braces with the use of screws or hose clamp about 6 to 7 inches below the feeder.
- Lastly, place the pot in an upside down direction. Remember to place the feeder about 8 feet away from any branches to prevent squirrels from jumping to the feeder.
The next approach in solving the conflict between the squirrel and bird feeder is to utilize foods that squirrels hate. You can try replacing bird seeds with safflower seeds in the bird feeders so that when squirrels eat it they will dislike it and eventually discourage themselves from going back.
You can also apply some oil or grease on the pole to prevent animals from climbing it. If all else fails, you can opt for feeding the squirrels with their food of choice, to prevent them from climbing the feeder anymore.
These are just some of the tips and advice on how you can make your bird feeder a squirrel-proof one. Try checking online and asking some professionals when it comes to bird feeding for other effective tips.