Updated at: 05-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Permit me to provide you with six short recommendations for warding off squirrels from your bird feeders, eschewing ineffective strategies in favor of those that have proven effective in the past.

If you want to deter squirrels from your bird feeders, it’s a good idea to provide them with their own feeder and a supply of nuts. In addition, a squirrel baffle can be placed on the top of a hanging bird feeder to prevent the animals from falling into the feeder. A squirrel proof feeder can be quite effective.

How To Keep Squirrels Off Bird Feeder

I’ll just come right out and say it: feeding squirrels is the easiest and most effective technique to keep them away from bird feeders.

You probably wouldn’t mind if squirrels weren’t such a nuisance in your yard, but they need food just like you do.

Squirrels can be a nuisance because they steal food from bird feeders that you put out for the benefit of local wildlife.

Consequently, I provide you with my useful advice for warding off squirrels from bird feeders, while avoiding anti-squirrel deterrents that have a track record of failing – with only these top five ways that can work without a hitch.

Allowing squirrels to dine alongside birds is a great method to divert the birds’ attention from one another, making everyone happy and eliminating the need to devise new strategies for squirrel control.

Birds in the wild can use a squirrel feeder since squirrels can keep trying to use it.

Given that things won’t always go as planned, you can start by installing a squirrel baffle on a pole or on top of a feeder to stop squirrels from climbing up or descending on any hanging bird feeder, even a suet feeder that would otherwise be easier to reach.

Metal wire can be used to extend the length of hanging bird feeders, and a Squirrel Buster or similar feeder can be used to deter squirrels.

1. Distraction

Many people forget that feeding hungry squirrels can help deter them from raiding bird feeders.

Keeping in mind the needs of squirrels, please know that it is not cruel to refrain from feeding them if doing so will result in the starvation of wild birds.

Squirrels should be kept away from bird feeders so that birds can dine in peace and quiet. Most, if not all, birds will avoid feeders if squirrels are present on them.

One solution is to feed squirrels several feet away from the feeders, rather than luring them in with food.

Squirrels will leave bird feeders alone once they find their own source of food close by.

Squirrels can be fed by tying a specialized squirrel feeder around a tree trunk or by mounting a squirrel feeder in a hedgerow.

Birds will eat the peanuts even if they aren’t supposed to because it is in their instinct to do so. As long as the squirrels’ food source is readily available here, they won’t eat somewhere else.

2. Squirrel baffles

If you hang bird feeders from a pole, a squirrel baffle can prevent those pesky rodents from chewing through the cords and killing your birds.

Squirrel baffles are effective because they create an impassable barrier between the ground level and the bird feeders on the pole, where the squirrels are trying to gain access.

Upon reaching the top of a structure, squirrels would typically rest on the bottom of what looks like an upside down floppy disk, much like the cone of shame dogs are made to wear around their necks after a trip to the vet.

Squirrel proofing a bird feeder pole entails installing a squirrel baffle halfway up the pole to prevent squirrels from climbing up and knocking over the feeders. This can be done with a bird feeding station or a similar shepherd’s hook.

Because of this, the squirrel is unable to reach the top of the pole and subsequently feast on the birds from the feeders at ground level.

Put the baffle as high as four or five feet up the pole if you want to prevent squirrels from getting beyond it. Given that squirrels are expert climbers, some trial and error may be required.

All that gear can be used to protect a single bird feeder suspended from a tree or bracket by blocking the squirrels’ path to the feeder from above.

3. Long metal wire to hang

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Squirrels can be prevented from eating bird seed in feeders by installing and maintaining a squirrel baffle, which consists of a thin metal wire that is too uncomfortable for squirrels to climb.

Any bird feeder with a hoop on top can have a knot tied to it, and the other end can be connected to whatever the feeder is supposed to hang from.

A bird feeder hung from a metal wire on a bracket or, more commonly, a tree branch, is safe from squirrels.

Wires used to suspend bird feeders need to be exceptionally long so that squirrels can’t climb them.

Do use metal wire up to 2 feet in length, or much longer if the feeder is fixed high in a tree, to hang the feeder from the bracket or branch from which it was suspended.

The only thing a squirrel can’t climb is a thin metal wire, which can give it pain if it tries to grab on while descending.

You may prevent the bird feeder from spinning by attaching an additional wire through a hole in the feeder and securing it to a nearby stationary item.

4. Squirrel proof bird feeders

If all else fails, start switching out your ordinary bird feeders for their squirrel-proof equivalent.

There is a squirrel-proof variant of every type of bird feeder now on the market, and they can be had for next to nothing with minimal effort.

In addition to the other methods I’ve mentioned for discouraging squirrels from your bird feeders, a squirrel-proof suet, peanut, seed mix, or mealworm feeder is your best bet.

The only way for squirrels to get their hands on the seed mixes, nuts, and suet they crave is to put it out there for them.

In the event that a squirrel manages to circumvent your anti-squirrel bird feeder installation, this strategy should put an end to their antics for good.

These caged bird feeders will replace all of your currently available options.

The cage is made of metal to prevent it from bending when squirrels try to reach in, and the spaces between the bars are as narrow as possible to allow only small, common backyard birds to enter.

A benefit of using a squirrel resistant feeder is that it deters larger, more annoying birds.

5. Squirrel Buster feeder

In case the above-mentioned method of making squirrel-proof bird feeders doesn’t work, I’d like to formally welcome you to the Squirrel Buster series.

The Squirrel Buster feeder is a standard nut, seed, or suet dispenser with a lid that closes securely if it detects the presence of a squirrel.

A seed-based Squirrel Buster feeder is preferable because it attracts a wider variety of birds throughout the year.

Nothing can go wrong now because it’s not automated. In order to compensate for the squirrels’ extra weight, the Squirrel Buster’s bird feeder port hole will automatically close.

Because squirrels are so much heavier than the average bird, a Squirrel Buster has a sleeve that slides down while the inner feeder stays put.

Squirrel Busters are effective, unless your design permits the rodents to climb up and over the feeder instead of coming down to it.

Although it is not cheap, a Squirrel Buster may be the only thing you need to protect your bird feeders from squirrels.

6. Feed hated bird food

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As a final piece of advice, I did mention the types of bird food squirrels loathe the most, but this is often ineffective if the squirrels are hungry.

If you want to prevent squirrels from raiding your bird feeders for peanuts and suet, for example, you should only provide these foods to the birds themselves and not to any squirrels.

In the first place, squirrels continue to raid any seed mixes that contain a sunflower blend because they are a favorite food of squirrels.

Safflower and nyjer seeds are usually avoided by squirrels. What this means is you can put away the widely available bird seed mixes, whilst replacing them with these more specialty seed options.

Put each kind of seed into its own feeder, or combine them to make feeding birds easier while discouraging squirrels.

And don’t worry, safflower seeds are enjoyed by Northern Cardinals, whilst being a real favorite of Chickadees, Doves, Grosbeaks, and Titmice.

Similarly, birds that like nyjer seeds are many Finches, with Junco’s really enjoying nyjer seeds.

Keep in mind that even while squirrels don’t particularly enjoy these typical bird fare, that doesn’t mean they won’t eat them if they’re starving otherwise.

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