If you enjoy feeding the wild birds in your yard, many times you'll notice that the cute but pesky squirrels can move in, uninvited, and give the hungry birds a hard time as they're trying to relax and enjoy the seed you bought them. You may be one of those who have spent the time and money to set up beautiful little bird feeders filled with fresh bird seed for the wild birds to eat from, only to be wildly disappointed when you notice a frisky squirrel blow through, jump on the feeder, and devourer all the bird feed.
If you're like me, you know these furry little creatures have to eat too, but they need their own place so the birds can eat in peace, and you can enjoy watching them from the porch or through the window. One trick to use on the squirrels is to set up their own personal area to eat in; it can be as simple as getting a big, empty pickle jar, cleaning it up and laying it on its side under a tree. Put cracked corn in the jar and soon the squirrels will discover their own special eating area. Using the jar will keep the corn dry in case it rains.
After you've made the private squirrel cafe, take a look at your bird houses and decide how you can "squirrel proof" them. If you have metal poles that your birdhouses hang from, or are attached to, some squirrel proofing tricks involve running the pole through a "slinky" and securing one end of the slinky at the top of the pole. The squirrels will drive themselves nuts trying to climb that slinky to get to the bird feeder, but usually have little luck as the slinky sinks toward the ground with the weight of the squirrel.
Some people have had luck making the feeder pole out of PVC pipe. These smooth, plastic pipes make it hard for the squirrels to get a good grip and they'll just eventually slide back down to the ground.
They're are all sorts of contraptions that people have experimented with involving the bird house itself, but the most luck seems to come with squirrel proofing the pole. Anything that will humanely make the pole hard to climb, will help in keeping the squirrels out of the bird food! Some have even smeared vaseline on the PVC pipe! You may even brainstorm and come up with a brand new idea!
The best place to start with the squirrels, however, is to give them their own special place to eat away from the bird feeders, as mentioned before.
Happy bird watching and bird feeding and good luck with those pesky little squirrels! And be sure to contact us should you have questions about wild bird feed.