feed the birds, not squirrels

lily603February 21, 2014

5 ft snow mounds and I can't get to a feeder in yard. I scattered some seeds under pine tree and along house wall where some ground shows...but saw squirrels busy at it again. I had stopped feeding birds because of them. have tried several ($$$) feeders that were NOT squirrel proof and need advice later. but for the moment, any ideas how I can toss some seed to do the most good in this awful weather

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I've had some success by throwing out peanuts-in-the-shell for the squirrels and hoping the birds will get to eat the seed while the squirrels are off hiding their shell pack.

It's not a perfect solution but it helps a little. Not feeding the birds in winter is not an option for me.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:41PM
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I've read in a few places where if you mix a small amount of cayenne pepper in with the seed it deters the squirrels but has no effect on birds whatsoever. I've never done it myself - I'm afraid if the squirrels get it on their paws then rub their eyes it'll burn like crazy and I don't want to do that to the squirrels. They're not my best buddies (I much prefer the birds) but I don't want to harm them either. Google squirrel deterrent using cayenne pepper and see what comes up. Or just wait until you can get to your feeders and buy one that is relatively squirrel-proof. This is the one I use, it works by closing the feeder if anything heavy lands on it. So far so good.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:18PM
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What about hanging suet from under your eaves? I do that and the squirrels can't get to it, but the birds certainly enjoy it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:43AM
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I do the same thing Claire does; throw peanuts in with the BOSS on the ground for the ground feeders. The squirrels go for the nuts right away. I have 5 or 6 squirrels every day. Another thing I do is to scatter the BOSS in three different places so the cardinals, jays, juncos & white-throated sparrows can move around and still grab a bite. I bought a new suet cage called "suet palace" from Amazon and that has eliminated the squirrel/starling problem.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:28AM
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I gave up worrying about the squirrels. All my feeder are metal so they can't really gobble up stuff real fast. And I have loads of suet out there so they all share with lots left over.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:12PM
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I have a separate feeder for the squirrels that is about 30 ft from my bird feeders. I put out a mixture of sunflower seed, corn kernels and nuts. I put out a cool whip qt size of this mix daily in addition to a few corn cobs in a curly feeder by the bird feeders. I know there is some additional expense but this keeps less interested in the bird feeders. The birds also eat out of the squirrel feeder when the squirrels aren't around. Now the starlings...another matter...they are a work in progress...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:32PM
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What I found is the squirrels get easily to all my squirrel-proof birdfeeders.
I bought a squirrel-proof suet feeder -" exactly like this:

and they still manage to get to the suet and devour it within a day or two.

Also, a seed feeder like this is no brainer for them:

Even the feeder with weight control which is supposed to lock the feeder opening once a larger bird or an animal touches the perch - it does not work. These smart critters figured this out and now steal the sunflower seeds from the feeder by hanging upside down from the top of the feeder without touching the perchâ¦. Oh, bother - I guess, I canâÂÂt outsmart them and I just have to buy/make more bird food.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 3:45PM
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I have been using the below for eighteen months with 100% success as far as squirrels go.

Pricey at like $88.

My current focus is keeping the squirrels out of my suet cakes.

I have a new type suet holder that I am currently trying... it does seem to block the squirrels, but the birds have shown no interest. Will advise.

PS New poster here. Hope to learn a lot. In the northern MD suburbs of DC.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brome 1024 Plus

This post was edited by saltidawg on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 17:17

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 4:43PM
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This is the suet holder I am trying... again pricey.

Will advise as to effectiveness.

EDIT: After a week, 100% effective in keeping the squirrels at bay. Birds are just starting to accept it. Looks promising.

EDIT2: Had 4-6 inches of snow today. This apparently gave the birds enough incentive to accept and feed from my new squirrel proof suet holder.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lifelong Suet holder

This post was edited by saltidawg on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 13:24

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:20PM
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Here is my "squirrel-proof" birdfeeder. The picture is captured by the BirdCam:

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 4:15PM
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Thank you! An absolutely riotous picture!!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:14PM
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Gotta love those squirrels.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Greengo- I was fed up with the squirrels and bought something called a "suet palace" from Amazon and it works fine. They climb all over it but can no longer get to the suet but my birds can.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Doesn't look significantly different then the (obviously ineffectual) holder a couple of posts up.... I have one similar to yours, but it is not even in the mix because many desirable birds also can't access it because of the size of the grate.

I am glad it is working for you, however.


This post was edited by saltidawg on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 9:26

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:59PM
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Well, with the help of the snow, my pricey suet holder has been accepted by the birds. I just took the plunge and ordered a second one - of, course without consulting my wife.

Next purchase may be to purchase a second seed feeder for the front of the house.

I am looking forward to hopefully the return of my Barred Owl family... they've raised young for most of the last five years. I still have not found/seen their nest in the woods behind my home. There is a creek and a park to provide some ambiance for them. lol

Last year my wife and I were out of town (INDY or CT visiting granddaughters) when a young barred owl was found in the road on my street.

With the help of a rehabilitator and other neighbors they located the nest and got a tree climber to successfully return the young guy to its nest.

I read about it in the paper and really don't know who the neighbors were nor where the nest is/was.

I'm just a beginner in the birdwatching arena, but have developed a dislike for three crows/ravens named CURLY, LARRY, and MOE and also two (fat) squirrels named BAD and UGLY. I would not cause them any harm, but I don't want to feed them. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Again

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:15PM
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I'm hoping to fix my feeders up so the squirrels can't get at them. Right now the only deterrent I have is some wild crazy-eyed lady who comes storming out of the house waving her arms and yelling "Get the heck out of here you @$#%^ squirrels!"

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:41PM
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