Three Ways to Invite Only Your Favorite Birds To Your Feeder
Nov 06, 2020
We love all of our backyard inhabitants, but sometimes we want to be selective about who dines at our bird feeders. We all know how hungry and persistent squirrels can be, especially in the fall, when they are gathering as much food as possible for the winter. The same can be said for some of our more enthusiastic, flocking birds like starlings, crows and grackles. Here are some tried-and-true tips to keep your favorite birds coming to the feeders while redirecting other “guests”:
1. Baffle Them!
If it’s put in the right location, a pole-mounted feeder with our disc-shaped or torpedo squirrel baffles are extremely reliable in keeping squirrels from seed. First, place the pole at least 8 to 10 feet away from anything else that a squirrel can leap from (sturdy bushes, trees). Disc baffles should be placed at least five feet from the ground, while the smooth torpedo baffles are mounted toward the bottom.
2. Heat Things Up!
Hot pepper attracts birds, but not squirrels. Birds can’t sense the heat, while squirrels tend to stay away. Hot seed cylinders, suet and seed blends are easy to use and filled with the seed birds love, infused with just enough hot pepper to deter the squirrels. Look for chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, finches and other favorite birds, who will have plenty of time to dine when you add a little heat to your feeder.
3. Choose the Right Feeder:
Tube feeders: Bigger, voracious eaters like starlings, doves and grackles have a harder time eating from feeders with just perches without a tray. Smaller song birds such as chickadees, goldfinches, titmice and nuthatches will come right up and feed all day long.
Nyjer feeders: Nyjer seed is not popular with starlings, grackles or squirrels. In addition, Nyjer feeders are especially hard for these backyard visitors to eat from due to the small port size.
Upside-down suet feeder. With an exposed side facing down, these unique feeders allow woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches to feed easily, but starlings, grackles, blue jays and other bigger birds struggle to cling to the cage.
Squirrel-Proof Feeders:If space is limited, there are squirrel proof feeders that prevent squirrels from gaining access to the seed no matter where the feeder is placed.
The official “Squirrel Buster” feeder – guaranteed by the manufacturer to be squirrel proof– attracts clinging and perching birds, but prevents squirrels from eating as the weight of the squirrel and large, unwanted birds) denies them access by closing off the seed ports.
Clearly one of the best barriers is the Sky Café Squirrel Proof Feeder. Topped by a 17-inch see-through dome hat, this feeder has dual benefits: confusion and clarity. The domed baffle helps prevent squirrels from accessing the seed below, while also allowing a clear view of all the birds enjoying a peaceful meal.
You get to choose your dinner guest list with the Meta Absolute Squirrel Proof Feeder, which has adjustable weight perches that make the feeder window close when squirrels invade. The weight sensor allows for both smaller or larger birds.
While these tips will help you and your birds have a better backyard bird feeding experience, we think all of our backyard creatures bring their own joys and lessons. WBC has fun feeders designed for squirrels that make watching their antics entertaining, as well as feeders for birds who normally feed on the ground. We can be selective and inclusive all at the same time!