Squirrel proof bird feeders offer a very good way to protect your bird food from disappearing unintentionally.
Most bird watchers do not hang bird feeders for squirrels to eat from.
The goal is to attract a gathering of songbirds that a bird lover can enjoy looking at, without the interruption of furry four legged kind.
Feeders designed specifically for squirrels are the best option for entertainment by these frisky creatures.
Squirrel resistant feeders will keep most squirrels out, so the birds can be seen.
But, the caged feeders further down the page will not always stop small red squirrels or chipmunks, as they can usually squeeze through the openings.
Some squirrel proof feeders will not allow squirrels to damage them by munching on them, but will allow a small bit of food to be eaten with a good deal of maneuvering and patients on the squirrels part.
Surrounding your feeder with a cage keeps larger unwanted squirrels from getting at your bird food.
The feeders pictured below are suitable for allowing small birds to enter.
Larger birds and squirrels are out of luck!
The smaller red squirrel, baby squirrels or chipmunks will be able to squeeze through though.
How to Baffle Squirrels!
These types of squirrel proof bird feeders, work differently than others.
They do not use a specialized perch to prevent small animals from eating from them.
Instead it is a platform bird feeder with a horizontal grid that covers the feeding area.
The grids leave spaces which are too small for paws and large beaks to reach in and get seed.
Some types have a double grid to make the openings very small.
The grid can be removed to turn the feeder into a bunny or squirrel feeder.
This is a nice versatile feeder that can be used easily to fix problems if needed.
This small black seed is a safe seed to use if squirrels are a particular nuisance. Most squirrels are not attracted to this seed. (But I am not guaranteeing anything here, as one visitor to this site said squirrels ate her nyjer seed readily!)
Nyjer seed requires a special feeder with very tiny holes. If this seed is placed in a regular feeder it will blow away in the wind and a refill will be needed right away.
This is a terrible waste as it is expensive. And yes, that's how I learned a specific style of feeder is necessary for offering this type of seed. ;-)
But, as is true in many circumstances, if times are tough for these little furry animals, you may look out your window one day to see a four-legged critter hanging onto your Nyjer feeder having lunch!
That is what I saw. Perhaps this little guy didn't like the seed but felt compelled to dine anyway. I am not sure because I only witnessed the scene a couple of times.
Safflower is a white seed with a hard shell that is grown mainly for the production of oil. This very reason makes it a good food for birds with its high oil and protein content.
The interesting thing about this seed is that squirrels do not typically like this seed.
It is also often rejected by the bully birds like Grackles, Cowbirds, Blackbirds, and Starlings.
Safflower seed does not require a special feeder either.
Just clean out a hopper style or platform feeder well to eliminate the scent of other seed like peanuts and sunflower seeds which Squirrels love.
Then fill it up with just safflower seed, a baffle on the pole won't hurt and enjoy squirrel proof bird feeders!
How to Baffle Squirrels!
Do not use seed with cayenne or other hot peppers to deter squirrels. The capsaicin in hot peppers causes severe pain in a Squirrels mouth, just as it does in ours.
If you have sprinkled hot pepper powder on your bird seed, and had it blow in your eyes you know how good that feels! (Sarcasm intended.)
do the same to Squirrels and wild bird eyes.
It will eventually teach the squirrels to not eat the seed, but some animals have been known to harm themselves when trying to get rid of the burning sensation.
There has not been sufficient study to prove it's use, especially in colder climates.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology does not recommend it's use and that is recommendation enough in my opinion.
Another important detriment to using hot peppers is that capsaicin is toxic to bees.
You can verify this at the National Pesticide Information Center.
Our Bees have already declined to alarmingly low numbers.
Let's do our part to preserve all wildlife.
Keeping furry friends happy with their own special place to nibble treats they love best, will in and of itself make your feathered friend's feeders, squirrel proof bird feeders!