When I began to garden and feed birds no one warned me about squirrels. If you are an experienced gardener you are probably already chuckling by now.
I enjoyed watching the squirrels play, but it annoyed me to no end that they would literally raid and destroy my bird feeders.
My first ingenious idea was to place out squirrel feeders with corn cobs. Somehow, I thought that if the squirrels were distracted by their own food they would leave the bird seed alone. Not so. They took the corn, squirrel feeder, and still stole the bird feeder.
Over the years I have learned to cope with squirrels and even, somewhat, peacefully co-exist with them.
Keep Squirrels out of your bird feeders by placing them on a pedestal
This is the no brainer and the solution which every garden center in America facilitates by offering long poles from which to hang bird feeders. These are inexpensive great ways to suspend your feeders away from squirrels.
It took me a while to figure out what to do with four random poles that were in my garden, from a previous home owner. Then, I realized that because they were round and elevated they were perfect for holding bird feeders. Why hadn’t I thought of that sooner?
Strategically placed bird feeders keep squirrels at bay
You don’t like thorns. I don’t like thorns. Squirrels don’t like thorns. Place your bird feeders over your rose bushes. I can almost guarantee that the pesky Squirrels will not try to climb and sway from your rose bushes to reach the bird food.
Eco-friendly bird feeder caters to birds, not squirrels
I found the cleverest idea for a bird feeder in Birds & Blooms, March 2009 issue. A reader created a tall bird feeder inaccessible by squirrels, as long as it wasn’t placed within jumping distance. Using a long tree limb, the reader cut off extended limbs to about two inches. Empty orange halves were used as birdseed holders. They were simply skewered into place on the branch extensions. To make a home for the birds they hollowed out two to three inch holes. The bright colors and welcoming home for the birds invited a batch of 40 to 50 orioles over a three week period.
When large birds leave no seed for smaller birds
This is a relatively easy problem to solve. Suspend the bird feeder to keep the squirrels at bay. Use an old cage or bird feeder and adapt it so that only small birds can get to the food. Full grown birds were eating all the suet leaving fledgling birds scraping and scratching for food that wasn’t there. The larger birds now have their own place to feast, but can’t enter the smaller cage turned feeder once they reach a certain size.