If you love the feathered friends that come into our gardens, then you may be one of the thousands who has installed a bird feeder in your outdoor space. The problem here is that there are other creatures who, while they may look pretty with their long bushy tails, simply don’t play nice when it comes to bird feeders. These pesky critters, or squirrels, are the scourge of the bird table and wreak havoc on them on a daily basis.
There are several ways, however, to keep the birds safe and the squirrels happy too, the main one being the squirrel proof bird feeder. At one time, these were just a pipe dream for those nature lovers who lovingly put food out for the birds on their tables only to find the food stolen by squirrels and not a bird in sight. Thankfully, these are now readily available at little cost and ensure that the food you put out goes to the creature its intended for.
These squirrel proof bird feeders dispense with tables altogether, as the dexterity of squirrels and their lack of hibernation enables them to scale even the smoothest of surfaces to reach the prize at the top. The cage like contraptions are hung from trees with the food inside them. Even if a squirrel manages to get along the branch and onto the top he cannot reach the food, and, being smart, they soon give up.
These bird feeders can be bought as one or if you have a standard sized bird feeding hanger you can purchase the squirrel proof cage to go around it. The feed itself is contained in a vertical, plastic tube in the centre so it’s easy to see when it needs replenishing. The birds can get their heads through the bars and peck the seed from a hole at the bottom of the tube, or you can get them with several access holes.
If you are lucky enough to attract wild birds such as bullfinches into your garden, then another option may be viable as some bullfinches have trouble reaching the seed from outside the cage. A simple bird feeder that consists of a firm mesh container and only a ledge that is small enough for birds is the ideal solution, as even the most agile of squirrels will be able to balance on it and get to the food.
Hanging bird feeders are nothing new, but our longing to see the birds close up led to influx of bird tables that appeared in back gardens across the nation. Nowadays, these are rarely seen, and tend to be green and aged and kept as a garden ornament rather than a functioning bird table. There are numerous types available that either are, or can be adapted to be, squirrel proof.
The best place to check out the latest models is at squirrelproofbirdfeeder.co.uk, as here you can find how to manage the balance of having both birds and squirrels living, and eating, in harmony in your garden.