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In Reply to: RE: O/T Squirrel proof bird feeder posted by vinnie2 on March 12, 2017 at 18:20:57
I screwed down an aluminum baking pan, those 2/$3 cheapos you get for the annual roast or Turkey, at each corner of the deck railing. 2 pans, no waiting.
Every morning I put a handful of Sunflower seeds in each pan, then sit down and enjoy my coffee. Soon the pair of Chickadees arrive followed by a quintet of Tufted Titmouses
It's a bit like the mountain top scene in Encounters as the more ponderous Cardinals then arrive simultaneously with the Towhees who all rest themselves in the pans, chewing away in contrast to the nervous little birds who dart in then up to a tree branch to crack the seed.
So I'm the Squirrel Lifeguard, once in the morning and again later in the day. Also, the small amount of seed I put out feeds the birds leaving little behind for a pair of Squirrels that do pillage the neighborhood. A $10 10-lb bag of seed lasts months.
They're also self-cleaning. Due to the position of the pans and their 3" sides, any wind above about 8 MPH blows the hulls right out of the pans. For rainy days I have a suet cage which is almost, but not quite, like the seed pans, Squirrel proof.
Edits: 03/12/17Follow Ups:
I use something similar; a couple of purpose built baking sheet size pans, with a center post for attaching. I have two mounted 5 feet apart on a horizontal 2x4, mounted on top of a 4x4 post, all about 5.5 feet high. Squirrel cone on the post.
I'm out in the country, so bird feeding is pretty much a large volume enterprise. The local Farm and Fleet sells 50 lb bags of decent feed for $12-15, so it's bearable. I dump about 5 pounds of feed on each pan every morning. A lot falls on the ground as the finches scratch through it, so between the large pans and the ground fall, a lot of birds can be fed at once. And the squirrels, possums, raccoons, and sometimes deer get fed too without them getting in the pans.
We get the extended ecosystem too, with a small sharpshank hawk hanging out picking off birds, and a fox picking off squirrels. The fox is so brazen, he naps in the middle of the lawn, looking up at the feeder occasionally to see if his breakfast has arrived yet.
they whittle down a population to a certain point within a portion of their territory, then leave for another area and let the survivors multiply.
In another 2-3 years, rinse and repeat.
What about the droppings and associated splatter?
I've never seen doo-doo in either pan but perhaps rain and the drainage holes make them self-cleaning.
I've thought about constructing roofs for the pans but you know where that leads: pretty soon they want a listening room and a hot tub.
A regular feeder at the suet cage, the Downy Woodpecker I call Stevie Wonder for the way he waves his head around as a prelude to feeding. His eyes are set farther forward than other birds and must limit his rearward vision
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