Frank Kellers III doesn’t mind squirrels visiting his yard. In fact, he encourages them.
“I used to have problems with squirrels raiding and dumping my three bird feeders. But not anymore,” says the Sunnyvale, Calif., gardener.
No sunflowers in the bird feeder. “I buy 50-pound bags of wild bird mix. The birds love it and there is nothing in it the squirrels like.”
Sunflower seeds just for squirrels. “I installed three squirrel feeders and keep them stocked with black oil sunflower seeds. Both the birds and the squirrels enjoy visiting these feeders.”
Besides Kellers’ sensible solution, there is a variety of squirrel-proofing products on the market to discourage squirrels from raiding bird feeders.
At a recent garden show, for instance, I saw an item called Squirrel-Go-Round Wildlife Buffet, made by Heritage Farms, Cherry Valley, Ill. Ears of corn were attached to a windmill-type gizmo that twirls in the wind.
One popular - but expensive - bird feeder has a protective bar that drops when the squirrel steps on it, thus dumping the squirrel on its tush. Those who have tried this bird feeder claim the squirrel usually figures out how to bypass the perch bar to get to the seed.