For other avid 'T-Birders': a follow-up from last fall's Flying Squirrels experience... 'Pepper spray' encouraged them to vacate OUR residence at that time, but the bird feeders were still the target of voracious appetites. Cayenne pepper, being the primary ingredient in the spray, can also be found in powdered form with other spices at the grocery store. Sprinkle-in some pepper when filling the feeders.... (Even a little seems to be a BIG deterrent!) Birds are oblivious to the pepper, and other than searching an empty feeder, cayenne pepper won't slow them at all. Thinking about it, we've rarely noticed gray squirrels (formerly frequent) to collect the birds 'discards and drops' either!
Two years ago, I found a bird feeder at Home Depot that is squirrel proof. It has small holes and at the top some springs. The small birds can perch on it and eat.
But if a squirrel gets on it their weight closes it. Anything over two pounds.. and since they tried and could not get to the food.. they leave it alone now. So only the birds get to eat.
We've got one of those, mainly for the Finches and Chickadees, along with many other birds too. The Flying Squirrels aren't heavy enough to 'close the gate'... Had observed them upon it when letting our dog out at night. Bird food has now been lasting more than twice as long.
And Marv, who said bird food is cheap....LOL..at least now our seed last much longer also...
Ive tried everything, even the squirrel proof feeders. The squirrels figure them out after a while. The best results i ever got was peanut butter mixed with with cayenne pepper. Detured for a season then they just avoided it. Smart little bas**rds. Ive had to force myself to accept they will get in there and not stress. Now I just shoot them
"Powdered Pepper" is cheaper (and safer) than "Gun Powder"....
Gun powder is more fun! If the birds dont mind the pepper, I wonder if you feed chickens pepper if they would be pre seasoned?
Lead propelled by a spring or nitrogen works wonders until a squirrel learns that it isn't safe to hide in a nearby tree.
We have a grey one that learned the tree isn't a good place to go and he now runs around the corner of the garage before we can get a bead on him.
I'll try standing by the garage next time!
The red squirrels are easy to get. They are bold and just sit on the feeder when we approach.
We also use cayenne pepper mixed with Vaseline on the posts of the bird feeder - it works in most cases.
Years ago, some company came out with an electric powered bird feeder. The weight of a squirrel would contact a switch causing the feeder to spin. The idea was, to throw the squirrel off. The birds, being lighter, would eat in peace. The problem was, that some of those squirrels were tenacious little buggers! I saw a video years ago of one hanging onto the rim of the feeder with three paws. The whole time, the fourth paw reaching in and grabbing food, eating merrily on, at about 200 rpm. (The video had been slowed down so that you could clearly see he was eating as if at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle.
The other problem with the idea, was that as the feeder spun, the centrifugal force also threw the feed out the feeder holes. I knew a fellow years ago that had one of these. I asked him about it. He started cussing about the "useless" and "waste of money". Then told me that his squirrels had figured it out. One would jump onto the thing and hang on for several seconds while being spun around, then fly off to whatever side. After which he and his buddies would leisurely enjoy cleaning up all the seed that had been thrown out onto the ground.
You know what a Slinky is ??? Google squirrel and a Slinky videos , You will laugh , and laugh .
Squirrel vs Slinky
How about this guy....
Marv, On this side of the state we call them "bear feeders". Its a weekly ritual around here that the bears make the circuit and wipe out every full bird seed and suet feeder they find. Everything is hungry in spring...even Boo-Boo.
That photo can best be described as 'a dilemma'.
Our feeders are suspended from horizontal poles by drop wires, out and away from our decks (3 floor levels with walk-out) behind our home. We're next to the Brown County Reforestation Camp, which was a Conservation Corps project from the depression era. Heavily wooded, we've had all kinds of critters 'visit', even black bears have climbed the decks to try getting at the feeders. They may try, but so far...
That photo is just nuts .....
Wayne...those feeders you referred to were marketed as the "Yankee Flipper". I would put one out periodically and the entertainment value was great..really funny to see!
Yeah, that is the name I seem to recall. Thank you Jeff P.