How to Attract Birds Without Attracting Squirrels

How to Attract Birds Without Attracting Squirrels

Early spring is probably the best time for bird watching in Maryland. Birds are active as they are building their nests, and the trees don’t have leaves yet, so you can clearly see the birds. Many homeowners who enjoy bird watching tend to put out or refill various bird feeders this time of year. However, this often inevitably attracts squirrels who may take this as an invitation to not only hang out in your yard, but also break into your attic! Allow our Maryland wildlife removal specialists give you a few tips on how to feed the birds without putting your home at risk of wildlife intrusion.

Protect Your Vents and Gutters

Before we talk about squirrels, let’s first make sure that your home is protected against the birds you are trying to attract. When you place a bird feeder, this signals to birds that it’s a steady source of food, so they may feel encouraged to build a nest nearby. This could be in a nearby tree or in your dryer vent or gutters! So before you invite the birds for a feast, make sure they are not staying for the night. If you haven’t already, have animal-proof covers installed on all vents, as well as your chimney.

Don’t Put Bird Feeder on a Tree

While this sounds like the most reasonable solution, it’s not a good idea to put a bird feeder on a tree if it has something a squirrel wood want. This makes it incredibly easy for squirrels to get to the bird seed. Instead, hang a bird feeder from a metal pole that you can install anywhere as long as it’s far away from another tall object. Keep in mind that squirrels are excellent jumpers. Take a look at this video showing how a squirrel makes a pretty amazing leap onto a bird feeder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyomSW3PMQM

Invest in a Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

There are many different bird feeders out there that were invented to outsmart the squirrels. If it’s a feeder on a pole, it should have an umbrella-like cover (it’s called a baffle) to prevent squirrels from climbing all the way up. If it’s a feeder hanging in a place where squirrels may be able to jump on it, there are also a variety of mechanisms that prevent squirrels from getting the seeds. For example, this bird feeder spins, so the squirrel has no way to steady itself and grab the seeds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A-7g-fl3g8 Another popular squirrel-proof bird feeder model uses a spring mechanism to close the dispensing holes when a squirrel hangs on the feeder. Because a squirrel is heavier than a bird, it pulls the spring down and therefore blocks its own access to food. Clever, isn’t it?

Consider a Different Bird Attraction

If there are many squirrels in your neighborhood, they will never stop trying to raid your bird feeder. Even if these attempts are unsuccessful, squirrels will still return to try again or scavenge for seeds birds may have dropped. If that’s the case, consider using a different method to attract birds. For example, bird baths also work well, yet elicit very little interest from squirrels. And if you run into problems with either the birds or the squirrels who attempt to make a living in your attic or in your vents, give Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control a call or contact us online for bird and squirrel removal in Maryland.