Oct 162009
Those cute little furry and fluffy-tailed squirrels can be a nuisance when you are trying to feed and attract birds to your bird feeder. Since squirrels have amazing leaping, climbing and balancing skills, here are some tips to help squirrel proof and prevent those adorable little creatures from disrupting your feeder.

First, the placement of your bird feeder is extremely important when you are trying to keep squirrels away. They somehow find a way to get at the feeder.  It is essential to keep your bird feeder away from trees, fences and buildings where squirrels can easily access the feeder.

Second, a bird feeder can be set-up on a pole with a baffle. A squirrel proof baffle is sloped and has a slick surface so squirrels often slide right off.  You can attach a baffle above your feeder or below it on the pole.  An inverted baffle below the bird feeder will usually stop the squirrel’s climb up the pole.  A technique that many people have found to be effective is attaching a stove pipe to the pole.  Employing any of these ideas will stave off the ground assault.

Another tip to keep the squirrels from jumping and leaping onto your bird feeder is to place the feeder on a wire far from trees and branches. This may eliminate two of their acrobatic stunts but may not stop them from tightrope walking the wire to the bird feeder.

The next option to block squirrels is to buy a feeder that is designed to be squirrel proof. One type has a baffle on top with a long tube to prevent squirrels from hanging from the top and reaching the food. Another type is The Yankee Flipper, an effective and entertaining feeder that will spin the perch when the squirrel touches it (flipping them off unharmed). Some squirrel proof bird feeders have a weight activated perch which closes the seed tube feeding holes to prevent squirrels from getting to the bird seed. After the squirrel gets off the perch the door will go up and allow access to the food for the birds.

One simple remedy may be as easy as choosing the right bird seeds that you feed the birds. Feeding birds thistle seed, safflower seed or suet may help to keep squirrels away as these are not their favorite foods.

Finally, if you can’t beat them, feed them! Set up a station away from your bird feeder where you can place unsalted peanuts, other nuts, and sunflower seeds so that the squirrels can enjoy them and leave your bird feeder alone.