Keeping Squirrels Out of Your Birdfeeder: 5 Tips to Ensure Success

Taking care of our feathered friends has been a passion of man’s for the past 150 years. That tradition can continue today. Just set up the bird feeder and sit back on an outdoor patio storage bench to enjoy nature without interfering. You might even be able to inspire a child to take an interest in the great outdoors.

Plus, the birds may just “tweet” a thank you too. Considering that there are over 100 species in North America that visit birdfeeders, there should be no shortage of patrons. This is especially true when weather conditions such as snow or ice make finding food more difficult. Migrating birds may also appreciate a stop at your facilities.

Of course, the problem is that squirrels have a way of inviting themselves to dinner. When they steal the valuable feed, they take not only from the birds, but they interfere with our enjoyment as well. Unfortunately, squirrels have a way of circumventing most of our plans to keep them out.

However, don’t give up at the first skirmish. Here are five tips that will help you succeed.

Tip #1: Use Inventions on the Market

There have been several clever inventors that have created designs that successfully stop the squirrels. Spring-loaded weights have been used to cut off access to the seeds, and metal cages will keep out the squirrels but not the birds. A baffle with a spring bounce is another useful tool.

Baffles are umbrella-shaped domes that provide the squirrels with a slippery slope they find impossible to hold onto. They can be either clear or colored and can be added to the poles of existing feeders. By placing the baffle above the feeder, squirrels will be unable to jump onto it. Placing it under the feeder a minimum of four feet from the ground will make it difficult for the squirrel to scale the pole.

Tip #2: Serve Something Unappetizing

Though squirrels aren’t picky eaters, they do have their dislikes. For example, house finches may love white millet seeds, but squirrels don’t. Also, go ahead and feed nuthatches and woodpeckers their suet and goldfinches their niger or thistle. As far as the squirrels are concerned, they can have it.

Tip #3: Placement! Placement! Placement!

Squirrels possess an amazing acrobatic talent. They can climb almost anything and jump incredible distances. They can even hang on upside down. That’s why placement of the feeder is so important and can have a huge impact on the success of your mission.

For best results, the feeder needs to be 12 feet from any launching point. A minimum would be eight feet. From the ground, the feeder needs to be at least six feet. Just remember, those pesky squirrels can leap incredible distances.

Another tactic is to mount the feeder on a strong monofilament line. Its thin, slippery surface does not give even the most athletic squirrel anything to hold onto. To make it even more challenging, add obstacles like plastic soda bottles or sections of garden hoses.

Tip #4: Out Smart Them

Try to come up with your own home remedy. After all, there are some pretty clever people out there, and you just might be one of them. For example, filling old nylon stockings with mothballs can be an effective deterrent. So can PVC pipe wrapped around the feeder pole. These were invented by your “average” people.

Tip #5: Give Up – Feed Them Too

So, you’ve tried everything under the sun and nothing seems to work? Have you tried feeding the squirrels? Put a feeding station near the ground and fill it with some dried cracked corn or even some peanuts. Give them easy access to food they love, and they won’t bother with the challenging bird feeder. You may even discover that you can enjoy the squirrels too.

So follow these five tips to convince the squirrels to leave your bird feeder alone. Your birds will eat in peace, and you can enjoy their presence. Who knows? You might even develop a fondness for squirrels.
A Little about Stan Horst
Dreams do come true. Stan Horst knows, because he spends most of his days outside. With his business partner and wife, Deb, Stan runs Cabin Creekwood. When the two are not “on the job”, they can be found hiking or camping along with their two teenage children.

Stan has also managed to include his love of wood into his current life. Drawing upon his expertise as a former carpenter, he publishes Among many things, you’ll find bench reviews and items such as a garden bench for sale.

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2 responses to “Keeping Squirrels Out of Your Birdfeeder: 5 Tips to Ensure Success”

  1. Is it OK to re-post this at Allegheny Almanac? Should I give Stan Horst a byline? Do I need permission from him? Nice article!

  2. You will need permission form Stan Horst. He likes to know where and when hisa articles were posted.

    It fun trying to keep squirrels out of the birdfeeders!

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