Buying a Droll Yankees Squirrel Flipper

by caniwi

A Droll Yankees Squirrel Flipper is considered one of the better Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders. Is it?

Researching The Best Squirrel Proof Birdfeeders

Reducing my Bird Seed Costs

Loving feeding birds as I do, I'm constantly being harrased by the book keeper of our household, (that'd be my wife) to slow down on buying so much bird feed, but, darn it all those birds are such a wonderful addition to our backyard that it's pretty hard to just cut them off.

I do admit though that I am spending way too much. A couple of reasons for this:

  • I'm a firm believer in getting what you pay for, so our birds get threated to the best of the best, that being high quality, high energy bird seed loaded with seed such as sunflower, millet, peanuts etc., and with absoluteluy no "filler". A common filler in a lot of store bought bird feed is cracked corn. Inexpensive and not very nutricious, it does the job of "bulking up" the feed, but does very little to sustain your birds. Corn is a great feed for cattle, but not for birds.

  • Squirrels. Yes, we are lucky enough to live in a beautifully treed neighbourhood, and with trees come squirrels. Lot's of the little beggars. Ravenlously hungry, extremely active and very industrious, these little rodents lost their cuteness a long time ago, once I'd calculated just how much I'd spent on bird seed that ended in their bellies, rather than the birds they were intended for.
Pesky Squirrel
Pesky Squirrel

Balancing the Bird Seed Budget

(Or Keeping My Wife Happy)

So, I've pretty well determined that the hordes of sleek, fat squirrels that abound in the neighbourhood didn't get looking that way by scavenging for food the way Mother Nature intended. No, just like the bears that learn the food comes easier in a poorly tended garbage can, then these little guys have figured out the pickings are good in my backyard, as every day they empty out some bird feeders, then next some poor sap has filled them up again.

That poor sap would be me it seems!

A little observation and a mental calculation quickly allowed me to conclude that roughly 1/3 of the bird seed I bought was ending up in the squirrel's hiding spots. With a 50lb bag of good quality seed costing me upwards of $40.00, and considering I have to buy a couple of bags a month, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out I should be looking for some unique bird feeders that would thwart the little pests. But what to buy? There are so many choices.....

Bag of Expensive Birdseed
Bag of Expensive Birdseed

The Two Distinct Types of Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Denying Access or Motorized

Once I started doing some online research on the best type of squirrel proof bird feed to buy, It appeared to me that there were two distinct types of feeder, in terms of design & functionality. Both use a weight activation system to operate, but with diferent actions and results.

Weight Activation
The typical weight activated system uses a mechanism to distinguish between birds visiting it, or squirrels, simply by measuring their weight, usually by  some form of spring loaded platform. These work by setting a desired weight on the spring, so when a bird, who weighs very little, lands on it, nothing happens. 

However when a squirrel lands, it's of course a lot heavier, and trips the spring loaded mechanism into one of two actions.

Denying Access to The Food Source

Definately the simplest of the two methods, this commonly works by having the perch that the birds or squirrels land on, move downwards when a heavier squirrel lands on them. This action will cause the feeder to cover off the feeding ports , thus denying access to the squirrel.

Using the same spring activated mechanism, the motorized version usually involves some form of battery operated motor that slowly spins, with an ever increasing speed. Squirrels are pretty good at hanging onto things, but even they will succumb to the spinning & will be "flipped" off.

The Choice Was Easy

It's just too comical

Though the model that closed the feeding ports off when a squirrel landed is probably very effective and certainly looks trouble free, as it has no motors, batteries etc, the Droll Yankees Squirrel Flipper was my pick, not so much because of it was any more effective than the ones that closed the ports, but simply because it was so darn funny to watch.

We have it hanging in some trees at the rear of the yard, from where we get a clear view from our patio doors, and these little beggars give us, (and the grand children) hours of entertainment.

By my calculation we'll have saved the cost of buying this Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder in just one summer, as conservatively we'ved halved our bird seed purchasing costs.

And had hours of entertainment to boot... 

A Squirrel's Worst Friend

The Yankee Flipper Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder in Action
Updated: 04/08/2012, caniwi
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