Monday, May 19, 2008

Defend Your Bird Feeder and Send Squirrels Packing

ARA – The birds are back … and unfortunately so are the squirrels. There are few sights that ignite as much frustration in the hearts of bird-lovers as a squirrel’s bushy tail bobbing happily in the bird feeder. Serious birders and casual bird lovers alike know that when the squirrels move in there’s not often much left for the birds.

It is possible, however, to provide for your feathered friends and send the squirrels packing. With the right seed mix and some nature-friendly squirrel control tactics you might just be able to win the age old battle of the birds and the squirrels, and keep everyone happy in your backyard habitat.

The first step is to draw the birds to your back yard. Next, provide alternatives or deterrents to convince squirrels to stay out of the bird feeder. Here are some steps for doing just that:

Start with the Right Seed

Birds, like people, are selective – even picky – when it comes to food. To attract the most birds to your feeder, buy the best seed possible. Many commercial feed mixes contain cheap filler seeds like red milo that most songbirds just don’t like. They’ll sort through the undesirable mix to get to the “good stuff” – and leave the rest in the feeder or on the ground. What the birds won’t eat, the squirrels will love, so reducing the waste will help reduce your feeder’s appeal for squirrels.

Opt for a mix, like Cole’s Wild Bird Products, that offer birds select natural seed choices specially formulated just for them. Cole’s feed is comprised of top-of-the-crop seeds pulled from the top 1 to 2 percent of every crop. The complete line of wild bird feed was developed and based on factual research about what birds really eat.

Finally, select seed mixes that attract specific types of birds. A good mix will contain seeds that appeal to bright favorites like goldfinches, woodpeckers, cardinals and bluebirds, as well as colorful migrating species.

Birds are like people; give them what they like to eat and they'll keep coming back - and they’ll bring their friends. For more information on Cole’s products visit www.coleswildbird.com/products.html.

On to the Squirrels

Squirrels need not be an inevitable element of bird feeding. Love them or loathe them, most birders agree they don’t want squirrels in the feeder, where they can damage the feeder itself and devour seed meant for the birds.

One alternative is to stock your feeder with a seed that the birds will love, but squirrels will hate. Squirrels will eat just about anything you put out for birds … but they won’t like Cole’s Hot Meats. It’s top quality sunflower meats infused with an exclusive Habanero chili pepper and Safflower oil that birds find delicious but squirrels simply hate. The blend is a safe, effective and a humane way to feed the birds and not the squirrels.

Another option is to serve the squirrels something they’ll find even more appealing than bird seed. It is possible to enjoy both the squirrels and the birds in your back yard if you lure them away from the feeder. Squirrels love whole, dried corn-on-the-cob, loose dried corn and Critter Munchies, a blend of whole yellow corn, striped sunflower, peanuts in the shell, black oil sunflower and raw peanuts. Provide Critter Munchies on an open platform style feeder, an ear of dried corn on a stick, or even a stake (or pinecone) coated with peanut butter, and hopefully squirrels will be less of a problem at the bird feeding station.

Finally, if you just can’t stand the bushy-tailed pests in your back yard, consider an organic solution that sends them packing safely and effectively. Messina Wildlife Management’s Squirrel Stopper is an OMRI certified 100 percent organic animal repellent. Easily applied in a ready-to-use spray bottle, it dries clear, has a pleasant aroma and works for 30 days before reapplication is needed, no matter the weather. Spray it around your feeder and the squirrels will stay clear. It won’t harm the squirrels or the birds. For information of Squirrel Stopper, and the full line of Messina’s pest repellents visit: www.messinawildlife.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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