Birds seem ravenous this time of year, feeders are being emptied at record rates, so nobody needs squirrels swiping seed! Partly due to the fall migration, and partly because resident birds know winter is coming soon. As daylight hours become shorter, birds flying south must fuel up for their long journeys, while many residents will simply cache seeds and nuts for future meals later in the season. Nuthatches and jays are famous for this practice.
Many folks think squirrel proof bird feeders just don’t work, while others are bummed because the popular Squirrel-Away powder is no longer available. It’s amazing how many non-believers there are; from face-to-face discussions at a recent show, to customers from our website, they just don’t believe anything will deter their superman-like squirrels from feeders!
Ah… but there are ways, and it’s mostly about placement of the feeders themselves and using baffles! One secret is the “horizontal launching point”. If squirrels can jump sideways from anything to gain feeder access, chances are they will – no, it’s guaranteed they will!
When placed correctly, baffles turn any feeders into squirrel-proof feeders. Be it hanging, pole mounted, or post mounted… they absolutely work at foiling the critters!
For hanging feeders, the baffle circumference must be a good bit larger than the feeder itself – at least 1/3 larger. A 20-inch clear acrylic baffle works great, we use them in our yard. The bottom of this feeder should be no less than 4.5 feet from the ground. Lastly, it must hang at least 8 feet away from a tree trunk, pole, or anything else a squirrel might jump sideways from to gain access.
For pole or post mounted feeders, again be sure the bottom of the feeder is at least 4.5 to 5 feet from the ground. Remember the horizontal launch point – anything squirrels might jump from sideways to gain access. One other consideration is a potentially taller launch spot; anything the critters might jump down from to get to the feeder. A lot of thought for just one feeder? Maybe so, but well worth the effort!
Some pole systems have built-in baffles that are excellent at thwarting squirrels. The Squirrel Stopper is one such system. It’s received fantastic reviews because of sturdy construction, durability and good looks! Hang up to eight feeders, baths or even flower baskets from this gem!
It’s a matter of “if you build it – they won’t come”. By putting some careful planning in place, you can squirrel proof any type of bird feeder against pesky squirrels!
When you’ve finally had enough of squirrel’s shenanigans, you know, chasing off songbirds, stealing all the food, and those constant acrobatics including hanging upside down from your bird feeder… it might be a good time for a one-time investment in squirrel proof bird feeders. Look at this guy acting as if he owns it!
Even if just one quality model that really works, absolutely lasts and has a lifetime warranty. For peace of mind and just to outwit the little critters once and for all, it’s so worth it.
Although this feeder has a dome or weather guard, it sure isn’t squirrel-proof. On the other hand, Squirrel Busters are, and they too now have an optional weather guard to keep seed dry and offer shelter while feeding.
Considering the amount of snow most of the country has seen this winter (and some still seeing it) the weatherguard could actually mean the difference between a meal and starvation for some feathered friends.
Dramatic? Consider that overnight lows with sub-zero temperatures take a wicked amount of energy for a bird’s survival mechanisms. Every calorie is accounted for, just to survive each night like that. Energy’s depleted by first daylight, so when the search for food begins, accessible feeders can be the difference between life or death. Not so dramatic in warmer weather 🙂
So how do these squirrel proof bird feeders work? First, there’s no batteries or power source to mess with, that’s convenient. An adjustable weight mechanism closes off seed access to squirrels, and bigger bully-birds too. Some other cage-type feeders may operate on this same principle, but they’re not as well made and don’t carry that lifetime warranty either. Like the Postal Service motto: Through rain, sleet and snow… your birds can eat!
Check out the video below, the squirrel action doesn’t start until about midway through, but there’s some cool close-up filming of cardinals, woodpeckers, goldfinches, titmice and other friendly fliers visiting for a bite to eat.
If you’re a little bird-crazy like us, keeping feeders filled is a priority that takes time – in fact it’s a daily chore lately due to some bully birds hanging around the yard. Only filling feeders about one quarter of capacity, because no matter what’s offered… it’s gone in a few hours! And we’re not even talking squirrels here… grackles, starlings and doves are the culprits. Isn’t it time for them to move on yet?
Because squirrels are enough menace in their own right, every single bird feeder has a baffle on it, even bluebird houses have baffles to protect nests from curious paws. But outwitting the critters really isn’t as difficult as some may think. Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders with cages like this are very effective against both squirrels and larger, less desirable birds. Some of the caged feeders are let’s say, kind of cheesy, but this large capacity model is super quality and made in the USA. With a big three gallon capacity, and built in seed tray to catch waste, this super squirrel-resistant feeder even has an innovative design that makes it simple to fill and clean. The PVC feeder tube will never yellow like some of the acrylic tubes, and stainless steel feeder ports retain their shiny new look.
Don’t get us wrong… we feed the squirrels too, but somehow that’s never enough either. May be time to look into one of these for our own yard? And although a bit overboard with our wildlife habitat, that’s not really us feeding this furry friend – although it is kinda cute!