Feeding Garden Birds in the UK: Tips to Outsmart Squirrels

Feeding the birds that visit your garden is a popular pastime, which can attract a diverse array of species. However, there is a persistent challenge that comes with having food in the garden: squirrels. They can often outsmart attempts to provide sustenance exclusively for our feathered friends. Below are some of the things you can do to insure you are only feeding the flying species that visit your garden.

Choose squirrel-resistant feeders:

Invest in squirrel-resistant bird feeders that are designed to deter these persistent pests. These feeders often have cages or adjustable perches that help prevent squirrels and larger birds from reaching the seeds, while still allowing other birds to access the food. We’d recommend the Urban Garden Squirrel Resistant Feeders, which come in an attractive matt-black finish fitting perfectly into any garden.

Use squirrel baffles:

Squirrel baffles are effective tools that create physical barriers around bird feeders. These devices are typically mounted on poles or suspended above feeders, making it difficult for squirrels to reach the food. Baffles can be cone-shaped or cylindrical and are often made of metal or plastic. Ensure the baffles are positioned at a sufficient distance from trees, fences, or other potential jumping-off points for squirrels.

Location, location, location:

Carefully choose the location of your feeders to make them less accessible to squirrels. Hang them from tree branches that are at least 10 feet away from any launching spots or obstacles that squirrels can use to reach the feeders. Consider using long poles or freestanding feeding stations, away from overhanging structures that squirrels can drop down from.

Create a squirrel diversion:

To divert squirrels' attention away from the bird feeders, provide them with an alternative food source in a different area of your garden. Set up a squirrel feeder stocked nuts that squirrels can enjoy, further reducing their interest in the bird feeders. This method may not eliminate squirrel visits, but can help minimize their impact on bird feeding.

Regular maintenance and observation:

Keep a watchful eye on your feeders and promptly remove any spilled or leftover food on the ground. Squirrels are resourceful and persistent, so maintaining cleanliness around the feeding area can discourage their visits. Regularly check your feeders for damage or signs of squirrel activity.