I love to feed birds, but I admit I really love feeding the squirrels and chipmunks the best.
Most bird lovers know the frustration of having very intelligent sneaky squirrels stealing the expensive bird food and keeping the birds away. So I decided to take a different approach and put some distance between the feeders and then coaxed the squirrels to use their very own feeder station. You can get so much of the supplies online now too.Credit: morguefile.com
Not only did this keep my birds happy, it saved my expensive song bird food, that just used to end up in a mess on the ground. I don’t know how squirrels and chipmunks communicate, but I thought it would take a lot of work to attract them to their own feeder, but once a couple of them figured it out, the rest just seemed to follow.
Unless you plan on turning your backyard into a fortress you simply are not going to outsmart the squirrel. You could spend a lot of money on “critter proofing” your feeders and some do work better than others, but they will keep trying to figure out a way while scaring away the birds.
My dad used to grease the pole of the bird feeding station and that worked for a few weeks, until one Saturday morning, he was laughing at the window and we all saw a squirrel turn around and using his back legs, he kicked dirt up at the pole. This stuck to the grease and eventually created a surface he could shimmy up. They are determined.
Squirrel and Chipmunk Feeding Station
So give them their very own station. Make them work a little bit for it, as they are used to, and at least you get to be entertained! They also need to chew and gnaw which helps keep their teeth healthy and keeps them busy.Credit: amazon.com
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Full Shell Peanut Feeders
These are really cool. You simply fill them with whole peanuts and watch the squirrels chew away at the shell and get the peanut. This will also double as a feeder for the very large birds such as blue jays and cardinals, which I didn’t mind because my bird feeders were more for the smaller song birds.
This type of feeder will keep them busy, as they try to get a peanut out of the feeder. You can get whole peanuts online as well or in local hardware stores.Credit: amazon.com
This block is a mixture of seeds, corn, peanuts and more. It is in a gelatin base, and can be placed in a cage style feeder. It can be broken up and placed in a suet feeder if that is what you have, but it is a good balance of nutrients for the local squirrel, especially in the winter months. It is equal to 8 cobs of corn, so it is pretty dense.Credit: amazon.com
Bungee Cord Feeding
This works well with the squirrel block as well. It is definitely entertaining, as it is spring loaded, so the critters have to work a little bit at keeping it stable. It is durable and holds, the block as above or cobs of corn.
Feeding the Squirrels and Chipmunks
If you have a lot of these critters in your yard, and you want to enjoy your birds more, then consider giving the squirrels their very own station. Make sure it is the other side of the yard away from your bird feeders.
They will have to work a little bit at this food, it is not simply handed to them the way the bird feeders were spilling it out, so it is better for them and their teeth and fun for you to watch.
Rather than spending so much on special bird stations to avoid being pillaged, give them their own place. If you stock it with the right foods, they will spend hours here. Their natural instinct is to forage, and this is what they will be doing.Credit: mine
I find it quite entertaining watching the many different ways in which they get the food. It brings the yard to life especially in the winter. So make sure you keep a patch clear to your feeders as soon as the snow flies, so that they don’t run out. Once you start you should keep it up, the extra nutrition is helpful in the colder months both for squirrels and birds.
Give Peace a Chance in Your Backyard
You will be surprised to find how long your bird seed now lasts. This system has worked for me so far, and so instead of fighting them, give peace a chance, and work with them.
They add some life to your yard in those cold dark months, plus the birds get used to them being “over there” and continue to feed, and you will see a lot more birds than you did. Give it a try, they are cute!