How To Keep Birds Out Of Squirrel Feeder

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Do you love feeding the squirrels in your backyard but find that pesky birds are always swooping in and hogging all the food? It can be frustrating to watch as your intended recipients get pushed aside by feathered intruders. Luckily, there are a few simple solutions you can try to keep those greedy birds out of your squirrel feeder.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why birds are attracted to squirrel feeders in the first place. Many bird species have adapted over time to scavenge for food alongside squirrels and other small mammals. They’re also naturally curious creatures and will investigate anything new or different they come across. With this knowledge in mind, we can use some clever strategies to discourage them from sticking around too long at our squirrel feeders. In this article, we’ll explore some effective techniques and products that will help ensure your furry friends get their fair share of snacks without any interference from airborne freeloaders.

Understanding Bird Behavior And Attraction To Feeders

Bird feeding habits can vary depending on the species, but most birds are attracted to feeders that offer easy access to food and water. When it comes to squirrel feeders, this can be problematic as birds will often try to steal food from them. To prevent birds from accessing your squirrel feeder, it’s important to understand their behavior and what attracts them in the first place.

One of the main reasons why birds flock to feeders is due to a lack of natural food sources. If you live in an area with few trees or bushes, for example, then there may not be enough seeds or fruits available for birds to eat. As such, they’ll turn to bird feeders instead. Another reason why birds are drawn to feeders is because they’re social creatures – if one bird spots food at a feeder, others are likely to follow suit.

When trying to keep birds out of your squirrel feeder, placement is key. Ideally, you want your squirrel feeder located away from any potential perching points for nearby birds. This means placing it in areas where there aren’t many trees or other structures close by. Additionally, consider using baffles or other deterrents around the base of the feeder to make it more difficult for birds to climb up onto it.

By understanding bird feeding habits and selecting the right location for your squirrel feeder, you can greatly reduce the chances of unwanted feathered visitors sneaking in and stealing all your nuts. In the next section, we’ll discuss how choosing the right design for your squirrel feeder can also play a critical role in deterring pesky birds from taking over.

Choosing The Right Squirrel Feeder Design

Understanding the behavior of birds is crucial in keeping them out of squirrel feeders. Bird species have different feeding habits and preferences, so it’s essential to know which type of bird you are dealing with before choosing a squirrel feeder design.

Choosing the right squirrel feeder design can greatly reduce the chances of attracting birds. A simple hopper-style feeder with a weight-activated perch will keep squirrels from accessing the food while allowing them to enjoy their meal without interruptions. Material considerations should also be taken into account when selecting a squirrel feeder as materials such as metal and plastic may not hold up well against harsh weather conditions or animal damage.

Decorative options for squirrel feeders are endless, but it’s important not to choose designs that might attract birds. Avoid using bright colors, reflective surfaces, or intricate patterns on your squirrel feeder as these features tend to catch the attention of birds. Instead, opt for plain and simple designs that blend well with nature.

If all else fails, installing a baffle or dome to deter birds can be an effective solution. These devices act as barriers between the bird and the feeder, preventing access by any means possible. Some popular types include hanging baffles and dome-shaped covers placed above or below the feeder.

By understanding bird behavior, choosing appropriate materials and decorative options, and installing deterrents like baffles or domes if necessary, squirrels can safely enjoy their meals without being disturbed by unwanted feathered guests at their table!

Installing A Baffle Or Dome To Deter Birds

Baffle installation is an effective method to deter birds from accessing squirrel feeders. A baffle acts as a barrier, preventing birds from landing on the feeder and stealing food meant for squirrels. The type of baffle you choose will depend on the design of your feeder. Hanging baffles are suitable for suspended feeders, while pole-mounted ones work best with ground-based feeders.

Bird feeding habits can also inform your choice of baffle or dome. For instance, if you have large bird species in your area that frequently visit your yard, opt for a larger-sized baffle or dome. This will ensure that even big birds cannot access the feeder by climbing over the barrier. Similarly, consider installing multiple baffles at different heights along the feeder pole if small birds like chickadees tend to linger around.

When installing a baffle or dome, make sure it is secure and tightly fitted around the feeder pole. Loose fittings may allow enterprising birds to wriggle their way through gaps between the barrier and pole. Additionally, ensure that there are no nearby tree branches or structures where persistent birds could perch before jumping onto the feeder.

Remember that while a baffle or dome can be effective against most bird species, some determined ones may still find ways to get past these barriers. In such cases, using squirrel-proof feeders with cages or shields can provide added protection against pesky avian intruders.

Nested bullet point list:

  • Benefits of Baffles:
  • Prevents birds from accessing squirrel feeders
  • Can accommodate different types of feeders
  • Does not harm wildlife
  • Factors to Consider:
  • Bird size and feeding habits
  • Proper fitting and placement
  • Additional measures (such as cage/shield) may be needed

Using Squirrel-Proof Feeders With Cages Or Shields

Do you feel like squirrels are the bane of your bird feeding existence? These crafty critters have an amazing ability to outsmart even the most determined bird lover. But don’t give up hope just yet! By using squirrel-proof feeders with cages or shields, you can keep those pesky rodents from stealing all your seed.

Feeder placement is key when it comes to keeping squirrels at bay. Make sure to hang your feeder at least 5-6 feet off the ground and away from anything a squirrel could use as a launching pad, such as trees or fences. Additionally, place your feeder in an area that’s difficult for squirrels to access – ideally near a wall or other obstacle they can’t climb around.

Seed selection is another important factor in deterring squirrels from your feeder. Opt for seeds that squirrels don’t find appealing, such as safflower, nyjer, or millet. These types of seeds will attract plenty of birds while leaving the squirrels searching elsewhere for their next meal.

Feeder Type Pros Cons
Cage Feeders Effective at keeping out larger pests like raccoons and possums Smaller animals may still be able to squeeze through
Shielded Feeders Easy to fill and clean; protects against rain and snow Can be more expensive than other types of feeders
Weight Activated Feeders Only open when birds land on them; keeps larger birds (and some squirrels) from accessing food Squirrels can still steal small amounts by hanging onto sides

By implementing these tips and tricks into your backyard birding routine, you’ll soon see fewer squirrels raiding your feeder. And if all else fails, consider adding spikes or wires to prevent perching – but we’ll cover that step in the next section!

Adding Spikes Or Wires To Prevent Perching

Another way to keep birds out of squirrel feeders is by adding spikes or wires around the feeder. These make it difficult for birds, especially smaller ones like finches and sparrows, to perch on the feeder and access the food.

Spikes can be attached directly onto the feeder using glue or screws. They are usually made of plastic or metal and come in various lengths and sizes. Alternatively, you could use thin wire mesh that can be wrapped tightly around the feeder, leaving no space for birds to land.

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To further deter birds from perching on your squirrel feeder, consider adding reflective tape near the feeding area. The shiny surface will catch their attention and scare them away. Additionally, installing motion activated sprayers can also help keep birds at bay by squirting water when they approach the feeder.

By making your squirrel feeder uninviting to birds through physical barriers and sensory deterrents, you’ll likely see a decrease in bird traffic while still enjoying watching squirrels enjoy their meal. However, if you still want to offer an alternative bird feeding option without attracting them to your squirrel feeder, continue reading about offering alternative bird feeders below.

Offering Alternative Bird Feeders

As we discussed earlier, adding spikes or wires to prevent perching is a great solution for keeping birds out of your squirrel feeder. However, sometimes these methods can be ineffective or unsightly in certain situations. So, what other options do you have?

One alternative is to offer separate bird feeders designed specifically for attracting hummingbirds. These tiny creatures are less likely to dominate larger feeders and will appreciate the sweet nectar offered by specialized feeders. Plus, their presence may deter other birds from trying to get into your squirrel feeder.

Another option is to choose a style of feeder that deters pigeons. Pigeons are notorious for taking over feeding areas and driving away smaller birds. Look for feeders with protective cages around them or those with narrow openings that discourage larger birds from accessing the food inside.

In addition to using specific types of feeders, adjusting feeding times and amounts can also help keep unwanted visitors at bay. For example, squirrels tend to be most active during mid-morning and early afternoon hours when it’s warmer outside. If possible, try filling your feeder later in the day or early evening instead. Additionally, offering smaller amounts of food more frequently can discourage large groups of birds from congregating in one area.

By utilizing different tactics such as offering specialized bird feeders and adjusting feeding schedules, you can effectively keep birds out of your squirrel feeder without resorting to drastic measures like spikes or wires. Remember that each type of bird has its own preferences when it comes to food and feeding habits – cater to these preferences while deterring others and everyone will be happy!

Adjusting Feeding Times And Amounts

I suggest adjusting feeding times, reducing feeding amounts, and scheduling feedings to keep birds out of your squirrel feeder. Doing so can help you maintain a balance between the needs of both birds and squirrels. To adjust feeding times, try feeding the squirrels earlier in the day when birds are less active. Reducing the amount of food available can help as well, as it will give the squirrels fewer opportunities to overfeed. Lastly, scheduling feedings on a regular basis can ensure that the squirrels receive a steady supply of food without attracting extra birds. With the right adjustments, you can ensure that both birds and squirrels get the food they need.

Adjusting Feeding Times

Are you tired of seeing squirrels and birds fight over your feeder? Do you want to make sure that only squirrels are able to enjoy the food you provide for them? One way to achieve this is through adjusting feeding times. As a wildlife expert, I recommend limiting the feeding frequency to once or twice a day. This will help reduce the chances of birds coming in contact with the squirrel feeder.

Another important factor to consider when adjusting feeding times is time intervals. It’s best to feed squirrels during their most active hours, which are typically early morning or late afternoon. By doing so, there will be less competition from other animals looking for food at those specific times of day. Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that all food is consumed within reasonable periods and not left out overnight as this can attract unwanted critters into your yard.

Keep in mind that while adjusting feeding times can certainly help keep birds away from squirrel feeders, it may take some trial and error before finding what works best for your situation. Pay close attention to patterns of bird activity around your feeder and adjust accordingly until you find a routine that keeps them at bay.

In conclusion, by adjusting feeding times and limiting frequency, we can successfully prevent birds from invading our squirrel feeders without having any negative impact on our furry friends’ diets. With these simple tweaks, both squirrels and humans alike can enjoy watching these little creatures feast safely!

Reducing Feeding Amounts

Now that we have discussed adjusting feeding times, it’s time to move on to the next subtopic – reducing feeding amounts. One of the most common mistakes people make when feeding squirrels is overfeeding them. This can lead to obesity and other health issues in these little creatures. As a wildlife expert, I recommend starting by evaluating the seed type you are providing. Some seeds are high in fat content and should be given sparingly.

Another important factor to consider when reducing feeding amounts is feeder placement. Placing the feeder at a height that only squirrels can reach will prevent birds from accessing it and reduce overall consumption. Additionally, using smaller feeders with less capacity or filling existing feeders halfway will also limit how much food is available for both squirrels and birds.

It’s crucial to remember that while cutting back on feeding may seem counterintuitive, it’s essential for maintaining squirrel health and protecting against disease transmission between animals. Start by gradually decreasing the amount of food provided until you find a suitable balance that doesn’t contribute to excessive weight gain in squirrels or attract unwanted guests into your yard.

In summary, reducing feeding amounts is just as important as adjusting feeding times when it comes to keeping our furry friends healthy and happy while preventing competition from other animals such as birds. By carefully considering seed types, feeder placement, and gradually decreasing food availability, we can achieve a balanced diet for squirrels without negatively impacting their overall wellbeing or attracting unwanted critters into our yards.

Scheduling Feedings

Now that we have covered the topics of adjusting feeding times and reducing feeding amounts, it’s time to discuss another critical aspect of squirrel care – scheduling feedings. As a wildlife expert, I recommend evaluating the frequency and consistency of your current feeding schedule. Squirrels thrive on routine and can become stressed or agitated if their feeding patterns are inconsistent.

To establish a consistent feeding schedule, start by determining how often you want to provide food for squirrels. Depending on your location and the season, once or twice a day may be sufficient. Stick to this schedule as closely as possible, even on weekends or holidays when routines may be disrupted.

It’s also important to consider the specific timing of each feeding session. Squirrels tend to be most active in the morning and early evening hours, so these times may be ideal for providing food. However, keep in mind that other factors such as weather conditions or local wildlife activity could impact optimal feeding times.

Consistency is key when it comes to scheduling feedings for squirrels. Once you’ve established a set routine, try not to deviate from it too frequently. This will help reduce stress levels for both the animals and yourself while ensuring that squirrels receive adequate nutrition without overfeeding them.

In summary, establishing a consistent feeding schedule is essential for maintaining squirrel health and wellbeing while preventing unnecessary stress or agitation. Determine an appropriate frequency of feedings based on your location and stick to a set timing whenever possible. By following these guidelines along with adjusting feeding times and amounts appropriately, you’ll create an optimal environment for happy and healthy backyard squirrels!

Using Natural Deterrents Like Citrus Or Chili Pepper

Birds can be quite a nuisance when they start feeding from squirrel feeders, and it’s important to find ways to keep them away. One effective solution is the use of natural bird deterrents such as citrus or chili pepper. These are easily available at any grocery store and can be used in various forms.

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Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons have a powerful scent that birds dislike, making them an ideal choice for keeping birds away from your squirrel feeder. Simply cut up some orange or lemon peels into small pieces and place them around your feeder. Alternatively, you could also squeeze out some juice onto the ground around the feeder to create an unpleasant environment for birds.

Chili peppers are another great option for deterring birds from your squirrel feeder. Birds don’t like the spicy taste of chili peppers, so simply sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes on top of your birdseed mix before filling up the feeder. This will make it unappetizing for birds while still allowing squirrels to enjoy their meal without interruption.

In addition to these natural bird repellents, there are several other options that you may consider using alongside them. Some examples include installing netting over your squirrel feeder or placing reflective tapes nearby to scare off unwanted visitors. With patience and persistence, you’ll be able to find a combination of strategies that works best for you.

As with any wildlife management strategy, monitoring and adapting feeder techniques over time is crucial for long-term success. Keep track of which methods work best against different types of birds in different seasons, and always be open to new ideas or feedback from fellow backyard enthusiasts. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can ensure that both squirrels and birds thrive in harmony within your garden ecosystem.

Monitoring And Adapting Feeder Strategies Over Time

As a wildlife expert, I have seen many cases of bird and squirrel feeders being targeted by unwanted visitors. One of the most common problems is birds taking over the feeder intended for squirrels. This can be frustrating for those who want to support their local squirrel population but don’t want to attract too many feathered friends.

To keep birds out of your squirrel feeder, you need to monitor its use regularly. Make note of which types of birds are visiting and when they’re coming around. If you notice that certain species visit more frequently than others, try adjusting your feeding schedule or changing the type of food in the feeder.

Another important factor to consider is feeder placement. If it’s located near trees or shrubs where birds tend to congregate, it may be attracting more avian guests than you bargained for. Move the feeder away from these areas and closer to open spaces if possible.

Feeder maintenance is also key in keeping birds at bay. Clean any spilled seed under the feeder regularly as this will prevent ground-feeding birds from congregating in one area and potentially drawing other bird species towards your yard. Additionally, make sure there are no cracks or holes in the feeder itself that could allow smaller birds access.

By monitoring your feeder usage, carefully selecting a good location, and maintaining it properly, you’ll greatly reduce the likelihood of having unwanted feathered guests take over your squirrel feeding station.

Remember: proper planning leads to success! Incorporate these three tips into your strategy today:

  1. Keep track of bird visits.
  2. Adjust feeding schedules/food types accordingly.
  3. Clean up spilled seeds regularly!

With a bit of patience and persistence, you’ll soon find yourself with a thriving population of happy squirrels without being overrun by pesky birds!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Squirrel Feeder That Is Also Designed For Birds?

As a wildlife expert, I highly recommend investing in bird friendly squirrel feeders instead of using a squirrel feeder that is also designed for birds. These types of feeders have features that cater to the feeding habits of squirrels while keeping other animals like birds away from their food. On the other hand, squirrel proof bird feeders are specifically designed to keep squirrels out while allowing birds easy access to the seeds and nuts inside. By choosing the appropriate feeder for each animal, we can ensure that both our feathered and furry friends are well-fed without causing any conflicts or competition at the feeding station.

Is It Possible To Completely Eliminate Bird Access To A Squirrel Feeder?

As a wildlife expert, I highly recommend bird friendly feeders for those who wish to attract avian friends to their backyard. However, if you’re looking to keep birds out of your squirrel feeder, there are still creative feeding solutions available. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate bird access, using baffles or adjusting the height and location of the feeder can greatly reduce unwanted visitors. Remember, finding a balance between accommodating multiple species while maintaining the desired outcome requires some trial and error. As they say, "the early bird catches the worm," but with patience and persistence, you can create an ideal environment for both squirrels and birds alike.

Will Bird Feeders Nearby Attract More Birds To My Squirrel Feeder?

When it comes to attracting birds to your backyard, bird feeder placement and bird seed selection are key. Placing a variety of bird feeders around your yard can attract different species of birds, while choosing the right type of birdseed will also make a difference in what types of birds visit your feeding station. However, when it comes to keeping birds out of a squirrel feeder, nearby bird feeders may actually attract more birds to the area. This is because birds tend to flock together and if they see other feathered friends at one feeding spot, they’ll likely investigate others nearby as well. To keep squirrels happy and healthy without sharing their food with birds, consider using a specially designed squirrel-proof feeder or placing the feeder in an area where birds aren’t as active.

How Often Do I Need To Adjust My Feeder Strategy To Keep Birds Away?

As a wildlife expert, I’ve seen many feeder strategies come and go. The key to success is adjusting frequency – knowing when to switch things up. If you’re looking to keep birds away from your squirrel feeder, consider trying some squirrel-friendly alternatives. Opt for larger seeds that are too big for most birds to access or use a caged feeder designed specifically for squirrels. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance between feeding our furry friends while keeping unwanted guests at bay. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches until you find one that works best for you and your backyard visitors.

Can I Use A Fake Owl Or Other Decoy To Scare Away Birds?

If you’re looking for a way to deter birds from your feeder, using a fake owl can be effective. Birds tend to avoid areas where they perceive predators are present, and the sight of an owl replica can often do the trick. However, it’s important to note that some bird species may become accustomed to the decoy over time and return to their feeding habits. In addition, there are other alternative bird deterrents such as reflective tape or noise-making devices that could also work well in deterring unwanted feathered visitors. As a wildlife expert, I recommend trying out different methods until you find one that works best for your specific situation.


In conclusion, as a wildlife expert, I can assure you that keeping birds out of squirrel feeders requires patience and perseverance. While using a squirrel feeder that is also designed for birds may seem like an easy solution, it often results in more bird activity around the feeder. Therefore, it’s best to opt for a squirrel-only feeder.

However, even with this strategy, some determined birds will still find their way into the feeder. This is where adjusting your feeding strategy comes in handy. Moving the location of the feeder or changing the type of food offered can help discourage persistent birds. And if all else fails, try using a fake owl or other decoy to scare them away – after all, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire!

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