If you love watching cardinals at your bird feeder and he squirrels are driving you nuts then you might want to take some inspiration for my Ultimate Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Setup for Cardinals.
This setup does cost a little bit on money to implement but I believe the final results are worth the investment.
Let’s take a closer look at what I have done.
Start With a Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Start by purchasing a high quality squirrel proof bird feeder.
While this is an obvious step it is also the step where most people stop. This also why most people fail as I have never seen a feeder that can stop a squirrel no matter how ingenious the device.
The squirrel proof feeder will not stop the squirrels by themselves but will be effective when combined with the other elements in this strategy.
I am using a Droll Yankee feeder in this set up. The feeder has multiple perches that can support the weight of a cardinal but that will collapse under the weight of a squirrel.
Hang the Feeder At Least 18 Inches Away
A large part of this strategy is to make it uncomfortable and awkward for the squirrel to even reach the feeder in the first place.
Hang the feeder at least 18 inches from any surface where a squirrel can perch. I used a metal crook to hang this feeder 20 inches away from the trunk of the tree.
By having the feeder at least 18 inches away from a perching surface the squirrels will not be able to access the seeds by simply stretching their bodies towards the feeder.
If the squirrels are going to get to this feeder then they are going to have to make a leap or try approaching from the top.
Add a Baffle to the Feeder
There is a wobbly baffle mounted on top of the Droll Yankee feeder.
The baffle keeps any squirrels off balance when they try to access the feeder from above. The baffle prevents the squirrels from getting comfortable and taking their time to figure out how to beat the feeder.
As soon as a squirrel lands on that baffle he has to act FAST…and usually that means jumping back onto the tree.
Again, we are trying to keep the squirrels uncomfortable any time they approach the feeder.
Fill the Feeder With Safflower Seeds
Safflower is a seed that cardinals LOVE but squirrels do not.
If a squirrel manages to get past the baffle and can hang from the bottom of the feeder long enough to grab some seeds then he is not going to be rewarded with a tasty treat.
He is going to grab some safflower seeds and think, “Really??”
Give The Squirrels a More Attractive Option
I have hung up a squirrel feeder on the same tree that has my bird feeder and throw some cracked corn and peanut pieces into the tray.
Cracked corn is CHEAP and if a squirrel can get a tasty treat out of one feeder it has no reason to try to get the safflower out of another feeder.
The nice thing about the cracked corn in the squirrel feeder is that it also attracts Jays and woodpeckers. The spilled corn is also appreciated by the cardinals.
If you are serious about keeping squirrels out of your bird feeders then these steps will help you out. You need to do more than simply buy a squirrel proof feeder.
You need to make the feeder hard to access, have it contain a food that they don’t like and provide a more palatable food source close by.