Anti-Squirrel Safeguards

  Squirrels are a notorious nuisance for birds and the people trying to feed them. These rascals have uncanny acrobatic abilities and a seemingly unstoppable determination. Follow these three simple steps to spend less time chasing these persistent pests and more time birding from your backyard.
Exclude them: Squirrels are best excluded by placing feeders on a pole in an open area, at least five feet off the ground and as far as possible from your house and nearby trees; keep in mind that squirrels can jump as far as six feet.
Baffle them: A popular method is to attach a baffle or deterrent to the feeder pole. You can buy special squirrel baffles, or you can attach an inverted sheet metal cone at least 18 inches in diameter. PVC pipe or stovepipe at least 6 inches in diameter and 18 inches long works as well. If your feeder is suspended from a horizontal wire, old record albums, CDs, or plastic soda bottles threaded onto the wire can keep the bushy-tailed rodents from tightrope walking over to it.
Distract them: Why not provide them with their own feeders? Stocked with blends that are especially attractive to squirrels and chipmunks, this will reduce competition for high-priced foods offered at bird feeders. The squirrel feeder to the right has a corn ear holder that once outfitted with an ear of corn, will keep them well fed and busy. Locate squirrel feeders far from bird feeders to avoid them crossing over.
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