STOP THE WAR!
THE WILD BIRDS FOREVER
OK, YOU"RE A FIGHTER AND WANT TO BEAT 'EM!
There are many simple and elaborate feeders available to foil these fury bandits, but the best ones we've seen have a cage protecting the feeder from squirrels, but allowing small birds inside to feed. Click here to see some pictures of squirrel proof feeders.
We've also heard that squirrels are not fond of safflower seed. Try switching to safflower in your bird feeder. There are bird seed and food additives available containing hot pepper. The hot pepper will not bother your birds, but the squirrels don't seem to be too fond of the hot stuff! Check out our Squirrel Away Hot Pepper Additive NOW!
NOW!! A complete book
full of 101
cunning stratagems to
the egregious misappropriation
of seed from your
birdfeeder by squirrels!
TRUE SQUIRREL CONFESSIONS!
"I've been having trouble with squirrels trying to take over the feeder. Especially early in the mornings. But by adding a tablespoon of cayenne pepper to 10 pounds of birdseed and mixing it well into the seed. I find that the next time they came to the feeder it was probably the smell or the taste of hot pepper...and away they went. After a couple of tries they gave up without eating. It does not hurt the birds evidently the pepper has no effect on birds as they certainly enjoy feeding without interruption. I enjoy your Friendly Bird Tips."
"FYI someone may want to try this solution.
"Yes indeed, I'm quite familiar with all the problems mentioned. Last year was my first experience with birds, feeders, etc. I learned so much through trial and error. I found an absolutely sure way to keep squirrels off my pole feeder. Vaseline!! If you use a plastic or nylon pole that they sell at Wal-Mart, simply coat from the top of pole down, even a foot or two, and the varmints slide on down as though they were on a rescue drill at the fire barn! My neighbors enjoy sipping rootbeer and watching the show. This won't work on wood poles as the Vaseline gets absorbed. A method for this I found to be Duct tape but on inside-out (sticky side out) and they jump right off.( Capsicum pepper sold at Wal-Mart had no effect whatsoever.) As for the seeds sprouting, I suppose a feeder with one of those trays to catch stray seeds would help. (oh yes, the Vaseline needs to be re-applied after heavy rain storms) I'm glad you mentioned chickadees. I've had 3 or 4 precious experiences where I held a little cup of seed and they landed on the clothes line and I slowly moved forward and one took a seed from the cup. The biggest thrill was the day I held seed in my hand and a chickadee actually ate from my hand. I smiled inside and out that I had gained his or her trust. They are so sweet. Right outside my bedroom window I get to view nuthatches, a Downey woodpecker, tufted titmice, finches and chickadees. Not bad for one feeding season! I never used to even notice birds, now I'm hooked!!
"Last winter I put out corn cobs for the squirrels, it took them awhile to come to them. Once they found them, they also discovered the bird feeders. At first it bothered me, but squirrels have to eat too. I have two tube feeders filled with finch food, three hanging feeders filled with mixed sunflower and sunflower hearts and safflower which I find the birds like better than the mixed blends you buy in the stores. I also have suet for the woodpeckers, and two feeders on poles one of which the squirrels eat out of. At one time I had 9 squirrels eating at the feeders and off the ground. Needless to say I spent a lot of money on bird food last year. So far this season I have only seen 2 squirrels, but I am anticipating having more. I have plenty of food out there for everyone,so I don't mind if the squirrels eat too. It is not a year round feeding station for the squirrels so it is not that bad. I know a lot of people go crazy trying to get rid of them, but sometimes you need to enjoy what nature has put out there for us for you never know when it won't be there anymore then we will miss it.
"While living in Texas and now Virginia, where there are a lot of squirrels,(other than the politicians in this area), The solution that I have come up with has worked very well, in keeping squirrels off my feeders, and destroying them. What I do is I chose a limb of a tree that extends out at least 5-10 feet from the base, and is probably at least 10 feet or more above the ground, and is big enough to support my feeder. Once I have chosen a limb, to be able to hang my feeder, I use a slingshot, to shoot up over the branch anything that I can tie a long length of twine to and heavy enough to pull the string back down. Once I have successfully done this, I tie on to one end of the twine some wire and pull it up and over the branch (I bought a roll of electric fence wire). After I have pulled it over the branch and I have both ends of the wire, I cut it off and pull it tight. Keeping both ends together, I then use my drill and place the ends in it, tighten the spindle, and turn it on, and twist the wire. (Don't over twist), it will cut into the branch, or break off. Once it is twisted, I can then cut it off as to where it will hang my feeder about head high. I use a rain shield above my feeders. So far this has been very successful in keeping the squirrels off my feeders, and the birds seem to really like it. If anyone wants more help let me know,"
"An old squirrel-proofing solution that has probably been given before but one that I find works well AND provides a great deal of amusement:
"Hello..I have found a way of keeping those pesky squirrels from getting to my feeders. I have an 8 ft pole that I coat with black auto grease. The rain doesn't appear to wash this grease off easily and its somewhat comical to watch the squirrels attempt to climb the feeder pole. They may get a few feet, but quickly slide down again. About once a year I have to clean off the old grease and replace it with new grease. The poles I have are black and I was able to find black grease at a local hardware store so the grease is not easily seen from a distance. I still have to be concerned with placing the pole away from tree branches as you have mentioned but so far I haven't had anymore problems with the squirrels getting at the feeder. By the way, I supply food for the squirrels by using a platform feeder that I lay on some blocks on the ground and fill with sunflower seeds. This keeps us all happy. We have a child day care business in our home and the children really enjoy watching the birds and the squirrels munch away in the front yard. Hope this little hint may be of some help.."
"Squirrels cannot climb a 4 inch diameter PVC pipe. Sink one 4foot tall in the ground and insert small 1/2 inch dia. pipe inside about 5-1/2 foot tall and mount your bird feeder using a shelf bracket and no more squirrels getting to that feeder. They cannot get enough purchase on a 4 inch diameter PVC and it is smooth and slick."
"I've read the published suggestions on your website and have tried them all - baffles, Vaseline, pepper..... The most (but not very) effective solution has been a 4 inch diameter PVC pipe over the pole UNTIL NOW! The best ever solution has been an 8 inch galvanized furnace pipe. The diameter is too wide for them to grasp (unlike the 4 inch I first tried), the metal won't get soft so the claws can dig in (unlike the PVC), it looks cleaner and can be hosed off, I don't need to worry about Vaseline, and it only cost about $7 for the standard 4 foot length. It only took nine years to discover this but I look forward to saving money on bird seed from now on!"
"I make suet from a RECIPE I found in a bird book from out local home improvement store called MIRACLE MEAL. I had problems with starlings and squirrels eating it all up before the downeys or chickadees could even get to it, because I was putting it in the regular metal suet feeders that has wide openings. I happened to also have a wooden cedar suet feeder that was covered with the same kind of mesh oranges come in. Well the squirrels ate a big hole in that and carried off chunks of suet. I bought some 1/4" metal cloth from a little hardware store (they're the only ones that will sell it by the foot) and stapled it to the wooden suet feeder. It hasn't stopped the squirrels or starlings from trying to feed from it but they only spend about 30 seconds trying. I now have the red bellied woodpecker enjoying it along with the nuthatch in addition to the Downey, wren, and sometime chickadee. This has been a real find for me because we can have in our little back yard in Riverdale Maryland at one time 20 pigeons, 100 starlings and 15 squirrels. My husband also fashioned a peanut bag (idea from same bird book, "Enjoy Bird Feeding More") from the 1/4 " metal cloth and only the chickadee, titmouse,Downey and occasional finch enjoy it. I put a plastic baffle on the top of it to annoy the squirrels when they do try to eat. It seems that in our yard all the birds like Safflower seed so we put one globe of it up in the rafter of the deck ceiling for the chickadee/titmouse. Although in the summer a bluejay landed on it practically upside-down to feed her baby and that baby still looks for it. Wonder how long before he tries his mother's approach. We've been certified by the NWF so we are trying to outsmart all these unwanted critters. Thanks for your updates, ideas, and solutions. I enjoy receiving mail from you. Keep up the Great work!"
"After about 10 years of fighting the furry little things, I decided to join them. I have over 30 feeders in my yard...and two, especially for the squirrels. I keep them filled with grapes, apples, peanuts, suet, bread, etc. This keeps the five or so squirrels happy, and for the most part, away from the other feeders. Mind you, they still visit the bird feeders, just not as frequently."
"Thanks for your message and happy new year to you too. We love watching the black-capped chickadees feeding at our finch feeders here in wintry western New York. Sometimes if I stand real still with some oil sunflower seed in my hand the chickadees will actually land right on my hand and grab a seed.
We run into all kinds of varmint problems here on the shore of Lake Ontario. Raccoons ripping down the feeders are a big problem. It's amazing where these animals can get to. Of course, spilled seed attracts rats and mice. I do know what to do about that. We have cats to patrol the yard, but unfortunately they are a danger to the birds too. So we keep the feeders up as high as is practical.
A couple of weeks ago a peregrine falcon, probably swooping down at a bird near our feeder, smashed right into our back window. It was momentarily stunned, but took off as soon as I went outside to look at it. It flew high up into the air and circled for awhile.
The only protection against I know of against squirrels is a disc
shaped squirrel guard between the feeder and whatever it is hanging from. We get a few unusual birds coming through our area during the winter. Some of the ones I've seen are evening grosbeaks, spruce grouse, hairy, Downey, and redheaded woodpeckers, and nuthatches at our suet feeders. Common winter birds here are buntings and juncos, usually feeding spilled seed on the ground under the feeders. We get many cardinals all winter.
"Good morning,its always so nice to read your messages on our feathered friends. Did you know to keep squirrels from invading your bird feeders sprinkle cayenne pepper in the feeders. It won't harm the birds but it will keep away the squirrels. I don't mind the squirrels, I have 10 bird feeders around my house, so if the squirrels are at the feeders the birds can go to the other. I live in the interior of Alaska, 20 miles north of denali national park and now I have many redpolls at the feeders. I
also have a pair of flickers that have been here for two winters. I put suet out for them, when its real cold and the suet is frozen, it sounds like someone is pounding nails on the outside of the house. I have made feeders made from the plastic one gallon containers that juice is in that you buy from your grocer. On the side of cranberry juice plastic containers there are six panels. I cut every other one out making sure that you leave a high enough lip on the bottom to keep the food from falling out. I punch two holes on the top right under
the cap and insert a wire and hang them up. I put seeds, suet mixed with peanut butter in the bottom. I hang these around my house and the squirrels cannot get at them.
"I decided to quit fighting with the squirrels over sunflower seeds after they destroyed two of my birdfeeders by chewing on them until the feeders fell out of the trees and broke. Now, I have four feeders. Three feeders with nothing but black oil sunflower seeds ( two for the squirrels) and one with bird seed/sunflower mix for the birds which the squirrels happily leave alone."
"I saw your comment in the section about 'beating the squirrels' that
they don't like safflower seed. I had heard the same thing, and started using it regularly. Tufted Titmice, some finches, Cardinals, and other birds love it!! And for nearly a year, there was nary a squirrel in sight. Suddenly, during the late summer, two or three of our local 'tree rats' were perpetually munching on the safflower at a hanging house type feeder. Now, it seems to be their favorite food, even when whole corn is available. So - another myth shot to #@#%!)_#@* !!!! I think I'll take your other advice, and start offering whole peanuts for their enjoyment - in an area far away from the bird feeders."
"Hi Wildbirds Forever,
"Please advise readers that they should not use GREASE on poles or anywhere. It is very toxic to squirrels, which may make some people happy. However, for the people that like, yes like, squirrels, I find this a terrible practice. They are very clean
animals, as are most, therefore, they injest the GREASE when cleaning themselves. Please put this info in one of your newsletters.thank you
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