• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Top 9 Squirrel Intervention Suggestions (1 Viewer)

volcomized

Well-known member
Howdy folks! Shoobeeda (age 5) recently discovered the magical animal family called Bird when we moved out of the city and she is so smitten we attached a little feeder the only place we could, on our wood railing around our balcony. Unfortunately a squirrel (foreverafter referred to as The Jerk) has bullied all the birds away over the course of the last week, and is destroying the feeder. Due to the placement most of the recommendations won't fit for us, but I'm interested in the chili pepper one. Are we talking ground Cayenne pepper, dried skins mixed in, hot sauce doused over everything, or a little motion sensored can of mace? Anyone had any luck with this? I would hate to have to bag the whole thing, she was so enjoying running to the sliding door to watch the cardinals, and our favorite the black-capped chickadee :)

I can tell you from experience, heat has not affected one particularly pesky, persistent squirrel from hoarding all the bird seed for himself. I’m not able to use squirrel-resistant feeders since I feed my birds on the floor right outside my office window (or else that slinky is an ingenious idea!), so I feel the only squirrel deterrent is spice. I first tried cayenne pepper. I read to use the ratio of 1 tablespoon to 10 pounds of bird seed. I ended up doing 1 tablespoon to a ½ pound of bird seed. Nothing. Not even a pause from the squirrel. I then used Tabasco and splashed quite a bit to coat the bird seeds. I tried it and thought it should be spicy enough. It seemed to work initially.

I set out half the bird seed in the morning and watched the squirrel not hoard it, but rather eat some of it plus the apples and oranges, which I welcome, so I scattered the rest later in the day. No sooner had the seeds touched the ground and I was back in my office did the squirrel mosey back. He ate a few, and then the hoarding started again. He literally splays out over the seeds and uses his mouth to vacuum up all the good bits, like the black oil sunflower seeds and cracked corn. If left undisturbed, his cheeks will swell to pretty much the same size as how much I threw out. Aside from his blatant gluttony (mind you, I’m in L.A., so we don’t even really have winter for squirrels to even need to “store nuts for the winter”—and it’s still early spring now!), what really gets me the most is that the more timid birds (like the doves and house finch) will try to wait their turn, but he’ll literally stay there for an hour, sometimes two, monopolizing all the bird seeds till his check pouch swells its fullest. They usually give up and come back later and eat the very little scraps left behind.

My next step is to douse it in Tabasco, then coat it with cayenne pepper. If that fails, I’ll maybe try habanero peppers, because I figure if I can’t handle the heat, he shouldn’t either. That being said, I need to make sure it’s not harmful to the birds, either. Also, I saw they sell a squirrel hot sauce of sorts on Amazon, but after reading the reviews, particularly from someone who lives nearby, it doesn’t seem effective. Seems like the squirrels here like a lot of spicy seasoning/salsa on their seeds, just like their human counterparts.
 

Ruff

Two birds in one.

I'd heard casual mention that Slinkys are the latest defense mechanism, but I assumed they would be used to hang the feeder from, the way seen in the video is obviously the way to go.

Meantime, I have a baffled feeder on an 8 high foot pole that, once I isolated it from all nearby jumping off places, has totally defeated the local grey squirrel population. However, every once in a while lately I'll look out and see a red squirrel, half the size of the big guys, sitting up there and gorging itself, or I'll come home and find the feeder tube reduced by a week's regular bird feeding and I'll know it's been there. It's a rare thing at this point and I've yet to observe or otherwise figure out how the russet varmint is getting up there, but I do hope I don't end up felling trees to remove the possibility once all the red squirrels have caught on to how it's done. Which they will.
 

volcomized

Well-known member

Absolute genius! I only wish I can employ this method, but unfortunately I feed the birds on the floor (certain birds like the CA thrasher and towhee prefer it) and won't be able to install a hanging bird feeder at my workplace. How I wish I could, though!

Does anyone know if olive oil is harmful to birds? I totally want to blow the roof off this squirrel's mouth! …look at him going at it as I write this. Ugh. Shameless.
 

Attachments

  • 20170504_090748.jpg
    20170504_090748.jpg
    181.4 KB · Views: 104
Last edited:

Ruff

Two birds in one.
I'd heard casual mention that Slinkys are the latest defense mechanism, but I assumed they would be used to hang the feeder from, the way seen in the video is obviously the way to go.

Meantime, I have a baffled feeder on an 8 high foot pole that, once I isolated it from all nearby jumping off places, has totally defeated the local grey squirrel population. However, every once in a while lately I'll look out and see a red squirrel, half the size of the big guys, sitting up there and gorging itself, or I'll come home and find the feeder tube reduced by a week's regular bird feeding and I'll know it's been there. It's a rare thing at this point and I've yet to observe or otherwise figure out how the russet varmint is getting up there, but I do hope I don't end up felling trees to remove the possibility once all the red squirrels have caught on to how it's done. Which they will.

Finally observed the red squirrel gaining access. It starts from the trunk of a nearby evergreen and, shooting across a large branch, takes a running jump from a height of about 15 feet to gain a rather remarkable horizontal distance of at least 15 feet to land on the feeder, which is as I said 8 feet off the ground. I'm sure this took a bit of practice before the thing mastered it but now it's obviously routine for it. I've run out of spots to relocate this feeder and am not seriously contemplating taking the tree down, so for now the SQ has basically won. Moving the setup several feet laterally will foil it from using the tree, so I've done that, but the feeder's defensives have already been defeated while on that spot, and by the larger grey variety too, so the confusion will only be temporary and the feeder will have to go back closer to the tree. It's the only one I have that the cardinals and blue jays like so I do want to keep it- may be time to turn to capsaicin and similar things.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
Warning! This thread is more than 5 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top