Date: 5/17/24 7:56 am
From: Sophia Cox (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Keeping squirrels away from feeders
Good morning, all.

Fortunately, our own feeders are not usually plagued by squirrels—our “squirrel-proof” feeders really are close to squirrel-proof. But my grandmother in Rhode Island keeps calling me, increasingly frantic, because “the piggy squirrels gobble up the birdseed.” She lives alone and gets great joy from watching the birds, but the squirrels are driving her crazy when they empty her seed.

We sent her a supposedly squirrel-proof feeder, and she has it hanging from a pole attached to her deck railing, but she says it does nothing. “They hang from their little back toesies and they eat it. They’re carnival squirrels and there’s a whole colony. And your grandmother is not paranoid. She is in her right mind. But she is going out of her mind.”

She’s also tried cayenne pepper (and some more unusual strategies like putting plastic red lizards and wind chimes out in the hope of scaring away the squirrels). She has considered sitting outside all day with a water gun to squirt at them but says she doesn’t have time for that.

I have run out of suggestions for her and thought I’d see if anyone else has ideas.

Meanwhile, I’ve been watching a male bluebird feed his newly fledged young at my bird feeders here in Clemson. Happy birding, all!

Best,
Sophie

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