Is There Really a Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder?

by caniwi

Plagued with having squirrels constantly pilfer my old bird feeders, it's time to test out a squirrel proof bird feeder.

I've had it with the squirrels!

They're breaking my wild bird seed budget.

Living where we do in Western Canada, we have just two seasons, July & Snow. Just kidding, but we do have a very short summer and a long, long winter. Of course we have a short spring and an even shorter fall sometimes, but we do get a lot of winter.

One of the great pastimes I have enjoyed over the years is attracting wild birds to our backyard, and since the granchildren have arrived, the hobby as taken on a whole new meaning. Rarely does 2 minutes pass since a grandaughter is unbuckled from her car seat and she'll be pestering Grand Dad to "let's feed the birdies Grandad".

It's a pretty special way to spend time with your grand children, and a great way to introduce them to enjoying wildlife. I've never invested a lot in bird feeders over the years, and just have a variety of different styles and shapes up, but one of the favorite ones is an old Cedar model that's seen better days. When I think about it, I got this as a present from my sons, (the girl's Dads) when they were little guys, so it's no wonder it's a bit dilapidated.

Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Battered and Worn

Though battered, broken & worn, the roof panels busted, the tray rotted, the plastic feed cannister broken and taped up, this old friend is actually the ideal feeder to attract the girls favorite "birdies", the very pretty, (but extremely noisy) Bluejays.

Now Bluejays love a variety of food, but their favourites are seeds still in their shells, such as sunflower seeds, and especially peanuts.  Now the peanuts are very important for feeding Bluejays over our winter, as they have a high oil content, and thus are a very high energy source, a critical attribute when trying to keep birds around over our long and very cold winter months. It get's so darn cold here humans have trouble with it, imagine what it's got to be like for our little feathered friends.

Our Old Bird Feeder
Our Old Bird Feeder

Why Keep The Old Feeder Around?

You see, this feeder is the best we've had for dispensing peanuts in their shell, as it has a tray on the base, and you simply load the cannistor with a couple of handfuls of raw peanuts, and the Jays have a great time swooping in and grabbing a nut and flying into a nearby tree to crack the shell and devour the nut. The way they empty a feeder and "squirrel" the peanuts away for later use is remarkably like the namesake to that old saying.

Speaking of Squirrels

Now I don't know where they appeared from but we've been blessed with a couple of squirrels frequenting our yard, and as much as our grand daughters love seeing them around, they love seeing our rustic old bird feeder with a fresh load of peanuts. These little beggars can empty that old feeder in 10 minutes flat and often will have it emptied before the Bluejays ever even get a nut.

They're Breaking My Bird Seed Budget

You see peanuts are one of the more expensive bird feeds out there, and though I really want to continue feeding them for both the Jay's and my Grand Daughter's sake, I really can't afford to keep this up. I have heard of "Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders" and am contemplating acquiring one, but am a bit confused by the variety of models available.

One that has caught my eye is  a model that flips the squirrels off whenever they land on the feeder tray. It looks effective (and funny, I bet the girls would get a kick out of watching it work), but am a little worried that they're a bit complicated and may be difficult to keep working.

If anyone has any experience with this type of squirrel proof feeder? I'd love to get your feedback in the comments section.

Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder w/4 Metal Perches, 1.3-pound Seed Capacity

Squirrel Buster Standard is a squirrel proof wild bird feeder with a lifetime warranty. It is easy to clean and to fill. It is weight adjustable to exclude larger birds, and no ...

Only $42.58
Gray Bunny GB-6860 Caged Tube Feeder, Squirrel Proof Wild Bird Feeder, Outdoor Birdfeeder with La...

Enjoy Nature From the Comfort of Your Home! A Quality Caged Tube Feeder - Feed and watch wild birds in your own backyard with the highest in quality wild bird feeders! - The Gra...

$19.99  $14.87
Perky-Pet 339 Squirrel Be Gone II Feeder Home with Chimney

Turn your yard into a bird lovers' paradise with this Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II Home-Style Bird Feeder. Attract everything from cardinals, finches, flickers, and grackles to...

$43.59  $29.94
Updated: 12/11/2011, caniwi
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caniwi on 12/11/2011

@Grillster - I'd never thought of keeping some binoculars handy, that's a really good idea.

Grillster on 11/29/2011

My mom is a bird watcher and can always be counted on to have a pair of binoculars & bird book handy to watch them out her window. She must not have too many issues with squirrels though as she hasn't mentioned any raids as of yet though she likes the 'pretty' feeders. She has to watch out for rabbits in her garden though!

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