Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Success Tips

If you live in the U.S., chances are you’ve got squirrels running around your backyard. While fun to watch, they can be a real nuisance, especially if you’re a bird lover. Squirrels can easily ransack bird feeders, leaving them empty of both seed and bird visitors.

And then there’s the squirrel proof bird feeder, which can help combat these persistent bird seed stealers. Once you get your squirrel proof bird feeder, use the advice below to ensure its success. These tips even work well for other types of bird feeders, such as oriole feeders.

Good Placement is Key

Just because the bird feeder is squirrel proof doesn’t guarantee the squirrels won’t try to mess with it, and scare away

Photo by John K

your birds. No bird feeder can repel a squirrel; they can only make it difficult for the squirrel to get the seed.

The first step to install your squirrel proof bird feeder is finding the best location. The best location is one in which any tree trunk, limb or rooftop is at least 8 feet away.  Also, based on your installation type, keep in mind the following:

If you’re hanging your feeder on a tree, look for the ideal branch. Here’s what the ideal branch will look like:

  • 8 feet from any tree trunk or limb
  • 5 feet (higher is better) above the ground

If you’re hanging your feeder from a line, make sure:

  • the line is at least 8 feet long
  • the feeder is 5 feet (higher is better) above the ground
  • the line is made out of piano wire or monofilament fishing wire

If you’re pole mounting your feeder, make sure:

  • the pole is at least 6 ½ feet long (so you install the pole at least 1 foot underground while keeping the feeder 5 ½ feet high)

Stop Using Mixed Bird Seed

Photo by Corrupt Kitten

Mixed bird seed may be economical. But in the end, it’s not worth it. Birds eat particular seeds. If the only bird feeders you have contain mixed seed, they will rifle through, discarding the ones they don’t like. Your squirrel proof bird feeder becomes a squirrel buffet. And although the squirrels can’t get to the seed within the feeder, they can still scare away your birds.

Give Your Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder the Advantage

Use a squirrel repellent around your squirrel proof bird feeder and now the feeder has the advantage. Not only can the squirrels not get to the birdseed, they won’t go near it. Squirrel repellents will have no effect on the birds since birds have no sense of smell. The best squirrel repellents are effective for around 30 days.

Your next step should probably be learning more about bird feeding, now that you know about how to get the most out of your squirrel proof bird feeder. Post written by guest blogger Michelle Anderson.


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