I like to keep bird feeders outside my windows. The birds are entertaining, and have benefits in ecological gardening, and I just like them.

I am not so fond of squirrels. They scare away the birds, they empty the feeder onto the ground, where birds are subject to cat predation, they dig holes through mulch, allowing weeds to grow, they eat large amounts of the bird seed. Im not opposed to their existence - squirrels also have an ecological role. I just want to keep them out of my bird feeders.

I've discovered that squirrels can jump over 6 feet from nearby structures and trees, into bird feeders. I've even seen them climb up the siding on the house, to access the feeder.

Do I add cayenne pepper to the feed? Do squirrel-repellent feeders actually work? Do I put up a squirrel feeder elsewhere?

Does anything work for these "living trolls of the garden"?

Tags: squirrels

Views: 108

Replies to This Discussion

Sydni,

I may have to get another feeder. Annoys me because I already have 3, one is new.

I tried again relocating it to hang from the eaves, in front of a window. I watched as the squirrel tried to climb up the vinyl window framing, 3 times failing to get to the feeder. I'm half expecting to see the critter out there with an Acme rocket launcher or cannon tomorrow.

My grandfather used to feel sorry for the squirrels in the winter, and sat on his porch feeding them. Then in the summer, they ate his precious peaches, and he sat on the same porch with a beebee gun trying to keep a few peaches for himself.
Sydni, looking at your photo, they are cute. The little beasties.
Don,

I would be more amused by the squirrels if I could find a bird-feeder with a little catapult, that would fling them into the neigbor's yard.

I don't know if there's a difference between red and grey squirrels. Looking at how far our grey ones had to jump to get from tree to feeder, I think they can almost fly for about 4 feet.

The Marten sounds helpful. Can you send it here for a month? Where are Boris and Natasha when we need them?

The vaselline/foil method might help.
A few days ago as I was in my home office typing away on the computer, a squirrel again tried to climb the vinyl framing between 2 windows. It took the little beastie about 10 minutes, climbing and sliding, climbing and sliding. It then jumped about 2 feet from that precarious location, onto the bird feeder. Amazing! I then ran outside and scared it out of the feeder. The critters have remarkable skill! Now what, vaselline on the window vinyl? Seems messy! But I might.
I am taking that personally, AND I AM PISSED OFF!
Just kidding....
You have every right to be! This is not a squirrel-friendly post! I won't be sitting on the deck shooting at them, I beleive in live and let-live. I just want to be able to feed the birds.
I have watched very professional home movies of the numerous clever ways that squirrels access bird feeders. This woman had made a study of it and would devise methods that seemed squirrel proof but were defeated by these cute critters.

You realize that a feeder in an open area with a steel pole is squirrel proof? but then you can't watch the birds up close?

My squirrels are not very numerous. I have 3 or 4 and thats it. They like my black walnuts and seem to like the horse chestnuts? but that is questionable? I feed them unsalted peanuts in the dead of winter. I feed my birds cracked corn only so this seems to keep them out of my feeders. I plan on offering black oily sunflower seeds this winter in hopes of attracting more species...soooo, I will just have to get clever...squirrels like sunflower seeds I think? I scatter a lot of cracked grain on the ground which attracts a small (100) flock of quail in the winter.

Born in the South (New Orleans), me and our black maid would scheme to shoot the plentiful squirrels, stew them up and serve over white rice. Every maid in the area would show up at the back door to participate in this lunch...sure were good... (No, I don't shoot them anymore...laughter) Pigeons also...New Orleans was a pigeon haven.

Trapping will do no good whatsoever so I suggest you feed them and try to use alternate feeds (unattractive to squirrels) for your birds. I never offer the multi-seed birdfood as it just starts all kinds of undesirable weeds. Cracked corn reigns as far as I can see. Not much of a birder, just like birds. (and squirrels...laughing treacherously)

Have a hummingbird feeder.

Or, learn to love the squirrels.  I find them incredibly cute, but then I was never that interested in birds. 

The American Grey Squirrel is very tough and adaptable. They were imported into Britain over a hundred years ago and some were released into parks, woodlands and forests where they quickly found their niche and multiplied rapidly in competition with the native European Red Squirrel. They have better digestive systems and are much more aggressive than the Red Squirrel which subsequently went into decline and now only survives in a few protected areas. They are considered vermin by some who refer to them as 'tree rats'.

Their meat is edible and this may have been the reason they were imported from America.

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