Why not feed the squirrels, too?
I encourage squirrel proofing bird feeding stations, not to keep the squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons from our yards, but to simply control where and what they eat. By doing so, this will allow you to fill your feeder(s) with a high quality feed to attract the most variety of birds and be able to keep the critters from monopolizing the feeder where you wish to attract the shy Cardinal and other attractive birds.
The ideal way to squirrel-proof a bird feeding station is to ....
- Hang or mount the feeder from a shepherd hook/staff, pole, or post.
- Position that station in a location where you can easily view the activity from a favorite viewing spot.
- "Tweak" that position, if need be, so that the 8-10 feet space surrounding the feeder is free from any squirrel launching spot.
- Mount a squirrel baffle on the pole or post, 3.5 - 4 feet from the ground. (Our metal baffles are the best working ones and are made in the U.S.A!!) Other less expensive ones can cut corners and use less material making them less effective!
Using the baffle, and having the 8-10 ft. free space, will keep the critters from climbing up the pole or jumping to the feeder and monopolizing it. You are now free to feed the squirrels and critters somewhere else, if you wish. In fact, we have squirrel feeders, or ground feeding platforms where the birds, squirrels, and other critters can all share our Wild Bird III feed!
If you wish to hang your feeder from a tree instead, you can either use a hanging plastic, see thru baffle or a squirrel deterrent feeder, or try feeding safflower seed instead. If you want to try the plastic hanging baffle, you will need clearance from lower hanging branches and the trunk to be further than the squirrels can launch to the feeder from. See the recommended distances, above.
Hopefully, this has helped you enjoy your feeding station more with less frustration.
Happy Backyard Birding!
Go Wild Marie