By Christine A. Smyczynski
It can be frustrating when your bird feeder turns into a squirrel feeder. You can do one of two things, you can either squirrel proof your bird feeders or you can surprise your furry visitors and put out a feeder just for them.
If you want to discourage squirrels from feeding at your bird feeder, you can get a squirrel proof bird feeder, such as the Yankee Flipper ($119.99) which has a motor driven, battery-powered perch that is activated by the weight of the squirrel and flips him off. The Heritage Farms Absolute 7533 Squirrel Proof Feeder ($69.99) has a counterweight that closes the feeding ports when a squirrel or large bird sits on the perch.
You can also fill you seed feeder with safflower seeds, as squirrels don’t like the taste of safflower seeds. Make sure you place your bird feeders in a place where squirrels can’t jump to them, as squirrels can jump up to 4 feet vertically and jump up to 12 feet horizontally.
If you want to have your birds and squirrels co-exist peacefully, put out some squirrel feeders and see what happens. Of course, put them in different areas of the yard; the squirrels will find them, as they can smell food from a distance.
Most squirrel feeders are designed to make feeding a challenge for the squirrel, which makes it entertaining for human observers. However, keep in mind that once you put out squirrel feeders, you may attract more squirrels than the area can support, so you will have to continue feeding them.
USA Bird Supply carries Birdola Squirola Cakes, which contain corn, sunflower seed, peanuts, and gelatin to attract squirrels. You can get eight 2 ½ pound cakes for $39.99.
The Heath Squirrel Feeder ($9.99) is made of weather resistant cedar and holds one ear of corn for squirrels to munch on. Heath also makes a Squirrel Corn Log Treat 2 pack ($9.99) to use in this feeder.