I like to feed the birds in the winter. It’s fun to watch them fly to my bird feeders and feast on the Black Oil Sunflower seeds that I fill my feeders with. I’ve seen Northern Cardinals, Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, Gold Finches, Purple Finches, House Finches, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, White and Red Breasted Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Tufted Titmice.
The Chickadees are particularly fun to watch. They fly to the feeder, grab a seed and fly to a nearby bush or tree. They then hold the seed with their feet and peck it open, eat it, then fly back for another.
I had one big problem, though. The squirrels loved to climb on top of one of my feeders, hang down and eat my seed. The birds can go through a lot of seed without any help from the squirrels, but it takes quite a few birds. Just a few squirrels can empty my feeder in a BIG hurry!
At first I just pounded on the wall and that was enough to scare them off my feeder. Eventually though, they wouldn’t scare so easily, they’d be back in a minute or so. I had to do something.
I glued a strip of aluminum foil on each side of the roof of my feeder and connecting each to one side of an electrical cord. I plugged it into an extension cord that runs into my house (for Christmas lights) and plug it in briefly when I saw a squirrel on my feeder.
The first time I tried it I was unsure whether it would hurt the squirrel, it didn’t, but it did teach them to leave my feeder alone. I assure you, I NEVER found any dead or seriously hurt squirrels under my feeder. I don’t mind if they eat the seed that falls on the ground, they’re more than welcome to that seed, as long as they stay off my feeder.
The results were so funny that I set up my camera and recorded the ‘lessons.’ I put them together in the video below. If you watch the background, you’ll see them scampering away in some of the clips.
Droll Yankees is a company that makes a number of “squirrel proof” bird feeders. One of them, the Yankee Flipper, has a weight-triggered perch that spins the squirrel off. Here’s a promo video of that feeder. The good part starts after the 3:00 point.
They have a number of other “squirrel proof” bird feeders. Here is a link to the Droll Yankees YouTube channel for your entertainment and enlightenment.