How to embrace the squirrel when you’re trying to attract birds to your garden

Peter McNish

squirrel feeder

We’ve all experienced the annoyances of topping up your bird feeder, only to find a pesky squirrel gobbling up the nuts and seeds the moment your back is turned! Whether you love or hate the little fluffy garden visitors, the amount of bird feed they can get through can quickly become irritating.


You’ll find that it isn’t just your wallet that feels the effect of these bird seed burglars, but also the garden birds themselves. Not only will they go without their dinner when the squirrels come calling, but many of them will be scared off too. As such, it’s well worth considering the different ways of reaching a happy medium.


If you’re wondering how to stop squirrels from eating bird food, then you might benefit from our top tips for welcoming squirrels into your garden, whilst keeping your feathered friends happy all at the same time.


Try some outsmarting techniques


There are a number of tricks to try out on your current feeding system, that could outsmart the squirrels. Try these techniques out alongside the other tips below, to boost your chances of deterring squirrels from the bird food in your garden:


  • Position your bird feeder in the middle of the garden, away from any trees or other structures, as squirrels can jump up to 10 feet outwards.

  • Coat the bird feeder in a slippery substance such as vaseline, to make it more difficult for them to climb up the pole. This will need to be done quite regularly.

  • If you use a hanging bird feeder from a line, try feeding the line through a piece of hose pipe or plastic tubing that will sit either side of the hanging feeder. Squirrels will have a harder time balancing on the wobbly plastic tubing.

  • Dust a small amount of chilli powder onto your bird feed. Birds will happily continue to enjoy the nuts and seeds, whereas squirrels will begin to stay away as they aren’t keen on the heat of the spice.

  • Place some lion manure repellant around the area that the bird feeder is located. Garden lovers all across the country use lion dung repellant as a way of deterring cats, but the smell of a predator has been found to stop squirrels in their tracks too.

Invest in a squirrel proof bird feeder


If you find all these outsmarting techniques to be a bit of a faff, why not save yourself some time by investing in a squirrel proof bird feeder from our range? They are as simple and easy to fill up and use as a standard bird feeder, but make it a little more difficult for squirrels to get their paws on the bird food inside.


Some of our squirrel proof bird feeders even have their own specialist technology, that enables the feeding holes to shut when squirrels or larger birds land on the feeder. Take a look at our Squirrel Buster collection that comes in mini, classic and plus sizes!

Alternatively, if you are the owner of a Droll Yankee ‘Lifetime’ or ‘Ringpull’ 2-port seed feeder.

You can purchase a Bird feeder guardian that fits over the feeder and prevents both larger birds and squirrels pilfering the seed!

 

Treat them to their own meal


There will be plenty of bird lovers who are also a fan of squirrels too, and if you’re hoping to keep both of these garden visitors happy, why not invest in a squirrel feeder and some squirrel feed? Simply position the squirrel feeder in another area of the garden away from the bird feeder, to minimise the chances of the squirrels scaring away the birds and going for the bird food too.


You will find it very difficult to keep squirrels out of your garden and even when they are on the lookout for bird food, they can in fact bring a lot of joy into your garden. These nifty suggestions will therefore keep you and the birds happy, all whilst welcoming squirrels into your garden at the same time.



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