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Last Updated on January 12, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
Have you ever watched squirrels steal all the bird food you put in your feeder? If so, you are probably wondering how to protect your bird feeder from squirrels that decimate your seed supply! Here in Georgia, we get many varieties of birds that live here year round. There are also many migratory species that fly through on their way to or from their seasonal homes. As a result, my husband and I are very diligent about keeping our bird feeders well stocked, even during the cold winter months. Why go through all the work of attracting birds to your backyard if they are only going to find an empty feeder and fat squirrels?
I love looking out my window and seeing blue birds, tufted titmice and cardinals hopping about near our pond or hanging out on the bird feeders. Then, every once in a while I discover someone ELSE hanging out at my bird feeder! Ever look out your window and see a squirrel on the bird feeder? Annoying, isn't it? I know, they have to eat just like the rest of God's creatures but I don't want them decimating my bird seed stash in one day and they are pigs! If you have ever wondered how to protect your bird feeder from squirrels, here are a few tips you might find helpful!
Set bird feeders far away from anything else
Squirrels can jump up to 8 feet horizontally and 6 feet straight up so if your bird feeder is near a porch railing or an easy to access windowsill, you are going to have to move it. Even then, you will find a squirrel or two that is particularly nimble and can jump even farther. Be prepared to adjust the feeder location as needed.
Keep tree branches trimmed
A hungry squirrel can jump even farther than 8 feet if he is launching himself off of a higher tree branch. Get out the branch clippers and do some trimming.
Put cayenne pepper in your bird seed
Birds can't taste it but squirrels can and don't like it. You can even buy cayenne pepper bird seed on Amazon. Check out my post on other uses for cayenne pepper once you are done seasoning the bird food!
Avoid bird seed with nuts
While you may not attract quite the same types of bird to your feeder, the seed will be less tempting to squirrels if there are no nuts in it.
Provide them their own feeder
Squirrel feeders will keep your squirrels so busy they won't even care about that OTHER bird feeder any more! Of course, they are incredibly hungry little critters. You will definitely be shelling out some money to keep them fed and happy.
Slip the bird feeder onto a long wire and hang it between two trees. Keep it at least 8 feet away from any low branches. Before hanging, string empty spools of thread onto the wire to act as a deterrent when they try to 'walk the tightrope'.
Buy a squirrel baffle.
A squirrel baffle is a plastic dome that you attach underneath your feeder. It curves down and away from the feeder, which keeps them off the feeder itself. Make sure the baffle is high enough that they can't jump over it.
I am a huge fan of encouraging wildlife to take up residence in my yard but squirrels just seem to take over the whole place rather quickly! Knowing how to protect your bird feeder from squirrels will save you money and ensure that your feeders are full for the feathered friends who come to visit.
Do you have any other suggestions on how to protect your bird feeder from squirrels?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.