Woodpeckers and squirrel proof feeders

Hello.  Does anyone have squirrel proof suet feeders in their garden ?  We have a pair of woodpeckers that love the suet feeders but the squirrel will go through one in a few days and fed up with them and the cost involved.

If I buy squirrel proof suet feeders will the woodpeckers still be able to get to it.  Don't want to lose those, we love watching them.  

Any advice ?  I bought some squirrel stop and that worked for all of one day grrr


  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,079

    I bought 3 feeders from wilko a couple of weeks ago. They were £6 each. One for seeds, one for peanuts and the other for fat balls. They are great, keeps the wood pidgeons and magpies out. Have seen the same ones in local gc for £18 each!  Have worked so far for me, and because only the little birds can feed, I don't have to fill it up so often.

    Have seen a small woodpecker too.

  • I don't know exactly which particular so-called "squirrel-proof" one which would work best or which might be available ready-made.

    I reckon that if I were trying to make one which really would work, I'd get a circular tray made from metal or really strong plastic - at least 30" diameter - and make a hole in the centre which would be large enough to push a metal spike-type bird-feeder post through it. You know the sort of thing - usually black & with a hook at right angles at the top from which you'd normally hand a peanut feeder or suchlike.

    If you push the spike through the hole & fix it so's the tray can't move, then squirrels can't climb up & over it it to reach anything which is hanging above.  I think I'd try to get the tallest pole I could find, and make sure that the tray was at least 4 ft from ground level.  The tray would need to be upside down, so that any lip pointed downwards - that would make it even harder for a squirrel to climb over.  A small tray wouldn't really be any good - they can reach quite a long way!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,084

    I have a baffle on the pole, as described above. The squirrels shin up the pole, bang their heads, and slide down again. Mine wobbles, so if they take a flying leap at it, they tip off.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • flumpy1flumpy1 Posts: 2,702
    I have the same problem with squirrels, they flip the lid up on the feeder and pinch a fat ball, so i tried to tie string around the top, but they got through that too, i wouldnt mind if they where red squirrels but they are grey image
  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 757

    It looks like I might have to get one of those hook things to hang the feeders off, although we have a lovely magnolia outside the kitchen window that the feeders are currently on which is great. hmm.  I'm turning into Basil Fawlty chasing squirrels round the garden with bamboo...


    I bought 3 squirrel proof cage feeders and to my surprise the woodpeckers can feed on them.

    They were reluctant at first, day 2 they were all over it.

    I do put the ordinary peanut feeder out for most of the day, bringing it in at night so the squirrels don't get encouraged to come.

    Give it a go, put both out till they get used to the cage feeders.


  • I made my own squirrel proof feeders, which seem to be working well.......


  • SuesynSuesyn Posts: 31

    I don't have a problem with squirrels but I have been trying to stop the crows from eating all the seed,  they are surprisingly agile and the squirrel proof feeders that I think others have mentioned don't seem to be deep enough to stop them from sitting on the outside and poking their long beaks through.  It's amazing how much seed a flock of hungry crows can consume,it's getting a bit expensive! 

  • CagzoCagzo South WalesPosts: 106

    I've got the same problem Suesyn,great flocks of Jackdaws abound in my area,and I can't keep up with the cost of wild bird seed. I've tried putting a ball of chicken wire round the seed feeder,but they are so strong they shove it to one side!  My bird table has the same chicken wire adornment,with a bit more success. 

    I've been assured by the rspb that the Jackdaws don't harm the small birds,but they aren't letting them get to the food that's for sure. Fat balls are gone within minutes. I wish I had an answer to it??? ?

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 348

    We have problems with squirrels so last year I bought an anti  squirrel  feeder from Homgar online. It has metal plates which slide down over the feed outlets when something heavy lands on the perch. Holds a lot of seeds and is completely and easily washable. They do a new version for suet balls as well. The only snag is the price at £25, but I reckon I'm saving a fortune in bird seed  and have just bought another one as we have so many goldfinches coming here. Best buy ever!

  • CagzoCagzo South WalesPosts: 106

    Lizzie,do you think the Jackdaws would be repelled by it?  I'm still happy to put scraps out for them,but the seed and Robin food is too expensive for the big birds as they need more to fill up!!!!

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 348

    Hello Cazgo

    Yes, we have jackdaws too and they cannot get to the seed as they are too heavy to sit on the perches. This activates the steel drop down shutters so they give up, same as the squirrels. It's amusing too see them try sometimes though.

  • I bought a clear plastic bowl type. The work as long as there is sufficient distance between the pole and the eadge of the plastic.

    The other option is to put Vaseline on the pole, they cant grip and therefore cannot climb up

  • CagzoCagzo South WalesPosts: 106

    Just had a look at the Homgar feeder Lizzie,yes I see how it works,and yes,it's a bit expensive,but of course you're paying for a clever design. Think I'll ask for a couple for my birthday!  Seeds and fatballs to be going on with!!

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 348

    That's good, nice birthday present! We had tried all the other squirrel proof feeders, but they were mostly impossible to clean and got all ucky. These, you just gently pull up the bottom baffle, which exposes two buttons either side which you press, the clear tube just slides up and everything goes in the hot washing bowl. (It did take me some months to work this out which is why I'm passing this tip on!)

    As far as I know Homegar is the only stockist.

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