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Old 02-24-2014, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,144 posts, read 2,803,756 times
Reputation: 5623

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I love feeding birds in my backyard. Problem is, the squirrels defeat all of my efforts to keep them out of the feed. I have tried squirrel proof feeders with just about no luck. They either chew through them or the find a way to get to the feed. The problem is so severe that I have stopped feeding my beautiful birds.

Some sites say to put hot pepper in the seed, etc. Somehow that seems possibly harmful to the birds.

Have any of you managed to find a way to outsmart these awful rodents? Yes, I know, some of you will defend them...encourage me to feed them too, etc. Sorry, I can't stand them.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:27 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,400 posts, read 50,602,810 times
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Cayenne pepper does not bother the birds, but I would suggest my method of foiling the squirrels: Get rid of the bird feeder.

I tried everything including a special feeder with an outside shell that dropped to cover the openings to the food when something as heavy as a squirrel landed on it. It actually worked, but one of them learned that he had to grab the food fast and ended up getting hung to death on it. Nother trick that worked for a while was to string a greased wire rope from a pole to the fence and hang the feeder from it, they couldn't get to it but in our climate the rain would eventually wash off the grease and they'd climb along to the feeder,
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:40 AM
 
3,442 posts, read 4,472,559 times
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I fought the battle with the bird feeder and finally won ! ( after many unsuccessful tries

I have a tall, metal, flower basket holder that my 2 bird feeders hang from. I tried everything............oiling the metal pipe, putting a metal stovepipe around the metal stand.

Nothing worked until I bought the narrow, grey stovepipe and put that around the metal upright pole.
Problem solved !

I have always had corn squirrel feeders but that didn't stop the squirrels from eating out of my bird feeders .
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,144 posts, read 2,803,756 times
Reputation: 5623
Not sure what kind of "stovepipe" you mean. Do you have a photo? Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,144 posts, read 2,803,756 times
Reputation: 5623
Hemlock, I couldnt help but laugh when I read that a squirrel strangled in your feeder. No, I am not a cruel person...still, after all of my unsuccessful and irritating battles with these moochers, I had a visual of that.

I just looked on my back deck....there are 6 of these bums hanging around out there sunning themselves. Oh, and they have managed to dig up all my potted rosemary plants. The plants are now dead. They have dug up all of my potted bulbs out there too.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,060,778 times
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Yes, keep bird feeders in wooded areas but away from your garden. Otherwise all you are doing is attracting squirrels (and deer) to dig up your garden.

Speaking about deer, the squirrels aren't the biggest problem where I live. Once deer discover you have feeder, they will start arriving in your yard in groups. They tip the feeder by butting it with their heads. They will then eat an entire feeder's seed in one evening (and poop all over your yard). Be careful about putting a feeder on a window pane--deer have been known to stand on their hind legs and break the window in their quest to get at it, especially at this time of year when they're hungry.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:59 PM
 
19,952 posts, read 12,970,063 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightAttendant View Post
I love feeding birds in my backyard. Problem is, the squirrels defeat all of my efforts to keep them out of the feed. I have tried squirrel proof feeders with just about no luck. They either chew through them or the find a way to get to the feed. The problem is so severe that I have stopped feeding my beautiful birds.

Some sites say to put hot pepper in the seed, etc. Somehow that seems possibly harmful to the birds.

Have any of you managed to find a way to outsmart these awful rodents? Yes, I know, some of you will defend them...encourage me to feed them too, etc. Sorry, I can't stand them.
A BB gun does wonders. Fried squirrel is tasty.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:25 PM
 
3,442 posts, read 4,472,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightAttendant View Post
Not sure what kind of "stovepipe" you mean. Do you have a photo? Thanks.

No photo, but I will explain...................I started out by buying a 6ft tall hanging plant holder. It has a center metal, narrow pole and branches out at the top into 2 curved hanging basket holders. ( I hang a bird feeder from each. After a year of trial and error, I now use a 4 inch diameter silver stove pipe that connects around the center steel pipe.

I have not had a squirrel get into it after doing that.

I like the hanging plant holder as you step the 6 ft holder into the ground with an anchor step and thus can set it anyplace in your backyard you like.

I love all the birds, but especially the beautiful cardinals.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
3,270 posts, read 2,478,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
No photo, but I will explain...................I started out by buying a 6ft tall hanging plant holder. It has a center metal, narrow pole and branches out at the top into 2 curved hanging basket holders. ( I hang a bird feeder from each. After a year of trial and error, I now use a 4 inch diameter silver stove pipe that connects around the center steel pipe.

I have not had a squirrel get into it after doing that.

I like the hanging plant holder as you step the 6 ft holder into the ground with an anchor step and thus can set it anyplace in your backyard you like.

I love all the birds, but especially the beautiful cardinals.


I don't understand how that keeps the squirrels from climbing the pole. Can you elaborate?

I have an awful squirrel problem and if that works I'd like to try it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:55 PM
 
3,442 posts, read 4,472,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puginabug View Post
I don't understand how that keeps the squirrels from climbing the pole. Can you elaborate?

I have an awful squirrel problem and if that works I'd like to try it.

I tried everything .

After a day or two of success, the squirrels would be sitting on the bird feeder.

The baffles only worked for a couple days.
I then bought 6 inch stovepipe and encased the center pole.
After a couple days, the would crawl the 6 inch stovepipe.

I oiled the stove pipe. Two days later they are in feeders.

I installed a 6 ft section of 4 inch silver stove pipe and it did the trick.

Evidently the narrow diameter stove pipe makes it impossible to crawl up it.
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