Head into any store that has bird feeders for sale and you are likely to see a myriad of “squirrel-proof” feeders. I’ll admit there are feeders that impede the squirrel’s fast paced ability of cleaning out all of your feeders but I’ve yet to see one that is squirrel proof. After all, most squirrels figure out that if they hit the feeder hard enough the seeds fall out and onto the ground.
Some of the easiest ways to slow down the feeders being cleaned out by a chunky fox squirrel (if you are lucky, you have fox squirrels) or their “meaner-wrong-side-of-the-tracks cousin” the formidable gray squirrel is to make it more difficult to actually get to the feeder.
Start by placing the feeder away from your house and trees. I prefer a round metal post such as a shepherd’s hook. If you want place a baffle Woodlink NABAF18 Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle, 18-Inch about four feet up and then coat the post and hook with petroleum jelly. Why? The squirrels will have a difficult time getting a good grip and will slide off of the posts. (Yes, this is also a form of amusement at our house).
You could also provide the squirrel with a tasty diversion. Take an 18-guage florist wire and bend a hook into one end so you can hang it from a clothesline. Using unsalted unshelled peanuts, string several peanuts (shell and all) onto the wire. Put a small curl in the end of the wire so the peanuts don’t slide off. Hang it from the center of a taut clothesline. The clothesline will sag when the squirrel tries to climb out on it and it will take the squirrel several attempts to learn how to get to the peanuts.
If you want to increase the difficulty level take a ½ PVC pipe and cut 6-inch long sections. Sting the PVC sections onto the clothesline. Hang the peanut wire from the middle of the line. It will take the squirrel a few tries to figure out how to cross this new challenging landscape. To add another layer of difficulty, use petroleum jelly on just one or two of the pieces of PVC. The more you keep the squirrel guessing the less likely they will be raiding the bird feeders.
This feeder is Made in the USA: