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Squirrel Proofing Bird Feeders

29 18:25:11

I am known as the “squirrel lady” on my street because I love to feed them, but I also love to feed the birds and other backyard critters.  So, squirrel proofing bird feeders was something I had to do to keep the peace in my backyard.

As many bird lovers know, squirrels are very smart when it comes to stealing bird food from the feeders.  No matter how hard you try to make it difficult for them to get the food they somehow manage.

I remember as a kid my dad taking on the bird seed theft as a personal war.  He didn’t want to hurt them but he did not want to be feeding them with his expensive bird seed.  The worst part about it, is that the squirrels did not eat all the seed, just the sunflower seeds and the corn and basically scattered everything else on the ground and made a big mess.  He would see the birds sitting up in the trees basically waiting for their turn.

He would buy super high bird feeder poles and then even grease the pole so that the critters could not climb.  That worked for about a day, until the next day when he looked outside and saw the “tree rats” as he called them kicking dirt up onto the pole with their back feet.  The dirt stuck to the grease and now they could climb the pole.  He sighed.

This war has gone on for decades, and I still hear people complain that when they try to feed the birds the squirrels show up.  So, after much research and feeding all my backyard critters, I found this special food for the birds.

squirrel proofing bird feeders

Best Way to Squirrel Proof a Bird Feeder - Change the Food

So instead of coming up with all kinds of contraptions why not simply put out bird food that the other critters will not like?

I didn’t think it could be that easy, but I can tell you that I have been using this food for over a year now, and not one squirrel liked it!  There are crushed chili peppers in this food, and birds don’t seem to care but the squirrels hate it.

The first day I used the food the usual posse of them showed up to do their usual acrobatics to get at the feeder and one nose dive into the food and they suddenly sat up moving their mouth around and then left.  One of them sat at the base of the pole simply looking up and still moving his mouth around, and then left.

Squirrel Proofing Bird Feeders(139290) F.M. Brown's Bird Lover's Blend No Squirrel Just Birds, 7-1/2-Pound
Amazon Price: $13.33 $7.76 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 17, 2014) I absolutely love this bird seed and so do the birds.

Set Up a Squirrel Feeder

It didn’t seem to hurt them, they simply looked puzzled at the base of the feeder.  So, me being the softy that I am when it comes to the critters, I set up a feeder just for them.  So, once they figured out that this bird feeder didn’t taste so good and there was one for them now, they left it alone.

But every so often a new squirrel shows up and gives it a try and then gently slides back down the pole.

Songbird Essentials Whole Peanut Wreath
Amazon Price: $11.79 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 17, 2014) They love peanuts in the shell, but make them work for them a little bit so they will entertain you. Woodlink Picnic Table Ear Of Corn Squirrel Feeder
Amazon Price: $31.39 $16.89 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 17, 2014) Add a dried corn on the cob to this feeder and they will entertain you and leave your birds alone.

You Can't Smell the Chili Peppers

If you are concerned that this bag of food is going to be strong smelling or hurt your skin or hands, you have no worries, it simply looks and feels like normal bird seed.  The crushed chili peppers are infused in to the food.  When I first opened it, I was skeptical that it would work, but I can tell you from experience that it does work, and now this is the only bird seed I will buy along with a suet ball or two.   You can even put some of this seed on the suet ball to put the other critters off too.

We live in an older well established neighbourhood with loads of large mature trees so there will always be “tree rats” here.  So if you can’t beat them, then make friends with them!

You may find that it costs a little bit more, but I was amazed at just how long it lasts.  I didn’t realize just how much bird seed I was going through with the squirrels and chipmunks taking their share. 

C&S 608 Squirrelog Refill Pack, 2-Pack
Amazon Price: $7.59 $2.39 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 17, 2014) These are compressed corn and work well on the squirrel feeders, simply fit them on the spike.

Best Squirrel Proof Feeder? - One with the Right Food

I still get every bird I got before, not one bird has disliked this food.  It is a good quality food that attracts a variety of birds.  I have setup a bird station and now I have set up a squirrel and chipmunk station too.   In actual fact my hubby’s pocket has become a chipmunk feeding station!

They love peanuts in the shell and corn, and you can get lots of dried corn that is still on the cob as well as peanuts in the shell online for a good price. 

squirrel proofing bird feeders(139289)

I was concerned when we downsized and moved in from the countryside that I would not see as much wildlife, but in fact I am seeing more in town than I did out in the country.  It is a different set of critters.  We didn’t get squirrels at our other place as it was farm fields and not the same amount of trees. We had coyotes in the countryside so not too many smaller critters would venture out in the open.  Since we now live amongst tall mature trees and gardens they are everywhere.

My neighbours didn’t know quite how to take us when we first moved here as I kept checking out the squirrels like they were something new, pointing at them from the windows.  I have everything set up outside my kitchen window and can watch them all the time along with the birds.  I think I will like it here.

 Where I live now is full of trees.  We love to sit outside on the back deck and enjoy the birds, squirrels and chipmunks.  Even my hubby has a soft spot for the chipmunks as you can see in this picture, he puts the peanuts in his pocket and the chippy dives in.  So squirrel proofing bird feeders is as simple as changing the food.