Squirrels in Bird Feeder

Squirrels in the bird feeder can be eliminated with devices like baffles, hinged trays, PVC collars or repellents.

There are many contraptions to try to prevent squirrels from ransacking your feeder. Hanging the feeder from a chain with a ‘squirrel baffle’ just above the feeder usually works well. The baffle is a bowl shaped plastic guard that tips and dumps the scavenger to the ground. The baffle works well on a pole feeder by placing it on a swivel just below the feeder. It needs to swivel so when the squirrel jumps up and attempts to use it to get to the feeder, it tips and dumps the pest to the ground.

Another popular squirrel deterrent is a feeder with a hinged seed tray cover attached to the perch. Small birds do not weigh enough to close the trap door, but when a squirrel gets on it, the door shuts to guard the seed.

One of our old home remedies was to install a large 20-inch PVC collar over the pole of the pole feeder so it slides easily. Then attach a light spring or a medium rubber band from the feeder to the bottom of the PVC pipe. When the squirrel jumps to the feeder and grabs the PVC, it slides down scaring the squirrel. It works well and is fun to watch.

The last product we have is Tanglefoot, a repellent for birds and squirrels. It is not actually a repellent, but similar to a non-hardening clear caulk. It comes in a caulking tube and a squeeze tube. You can apply it to the feeder pole that a squirrel will not leave alone. When the animals get the sticky substance on their paws, they hit the road. It is also good for preventing birds from nesting in areas they should not. A couple of beads of this compound in an awning, a gable vent, or even a wire over the car will safely prevent the animals from inhabiting that area.

Bird feeders are like having pets but without all the hassle. Some people constantly grab their Guide of North American Birds in an effort to identify some of the feathered guests at the feeders.

Place the feeder where it is easy to view from the house. We like to watch from the kitchen table. Select locations near trees or shrubs for the birds to feel safe but not too close to objects squirrels can jump off from.

Avoid placing over ground cover or dense plants to discourage rodents.

Squirrels will do anything for a free meal; they are smart and relentless. If they cannot get into a feeder to eat the seed, they will shake the feeder violently until enough seed falls to the ground.