Monday, May 30, 2011

Baffled Again!

Lately the squirrels have gotten more aggressive. We've had to resort to using a baffle (dome-shaped device) to thwart their attacks on our feeder. Of course, they do have two feeders of their own but, as the population has exploded this year, they empty those quickly and head for the bird feeder. They cannot get into this tubular feeder, so they chew the wire to break it. The feeder drops to the ground and it's "belly up to the buffet" time for the whole squirrelly neighborhood! You can make your own baffle or, as we did, purchase one that is pictured here. How it works is that when the squirrel jumps onto the baffle, it tilts sideways and dumps the squirrel off. 

Look below this photo for instructions and links for more info on squirrels, baffles, and special food you can make for them. They really are fun to watch but you can go broke buying bird seed if you don't protect your feeders.

Squirrel Baffle
We have two pass-through feeders that the squirrels share with our larger birds. They all make a mess, tossing seed onto the ground to get to the good sunflower seeds, but we have a steady supply of ground-feeding birds, like our mourning doves, that clean up the mess. At dusk and after dark, deer come into the yard to take advantage of the leftovers, too. For the past two years, we've even had a hen turkey enjoy all those seeds that the squirrels scatter onto the ground. Here's a LINK for you to go to if you want to learn how to make a healthy, all-season suet block for the squirrels in your neighborhood.

I wanted the baffle to look nice for this bird feeder that is in front of our house. I think its cost was about $12. Lots of people have been telling me how to make homemade baffles out of aluminum pie pans, but I've happened upon instructions to make one from a large plastic bowl. I think that would look much better than the pie pan. You can find those bowls at the dollar stores or Wal-Mart in every color and they are very inexpensive. The only addition I would make to these instructions is that I'd string a large washer above and below the hole in the bowl to help keep it secure and level. Here's the LINK for those instructions.

My conclusion is that you can't "beat" the squirrels, but you can outsmart them. You can also enjoy watching their antics and appreciate them for the living things they are, and help them stay healthy and survive by offering them healthy food. Enjoy!

With love, from me to you!

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