Yes, I know squirrels can be a pain when it comes to your expensive bird feeders and food, but they are cute little critters, and rather than fight them, you will find it easier to live with them.
They are very entertaining, and after giving them their very own feeder filled with sunflower seeds and some peanuts in a shell, I decided to try out homemade squirrel food, actually they are like little muffins or cakes. They are perfect for the winter time, when food is a little harder to dig up. I live in Ontario, Canada and we get our share of snow. I have seen squirrels try to dig up a nut they buried back in the fall under 3 feet of snow. These nut balls are nutritious and they will eat them and for the most part leave your bird feeders alone. So check out this recipe:
What You will Need:
1/2 cup peanut butter (use cheaper versions of this not your best!) 1/4 cup of chopped nuts 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds (if you don't have you can do 1/2 cup of simply chopped nuts) 1/3 cup plain rolled oats (not the pre-sweetened type) 2 x tsp of flour (simply to hold it all together) 2 x tablespoons of water (add a bit at a time till roll-able consistency)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees 1. Mix all ingredients and then roll into 1 inch sized balls in your hand. 2. place on a foil lined tray into the oven for 3 hours (this makes it so they become manageable and harden)
3. Leave them out on the counter overnight, then simply place in your squirrel feeder or somewhere you know he will see it. This will also look attractive to larger birds too if you love to feed all backyard critters. But squirrels love these treats.
If you Prefer to Purchase All Ready Made Squirrel Treats
Amazon sells many different kinds. In the winter, or colder months, it can be nice to give squirrels that extra bit of love and nutrition. Larger birds will love these too. Making your own is fun, but sometimes you can run out, having some on back up really helps.
Tasty treats for your squirrel friends and also large birds. If you are training the squirrels to stay away from your premium bird food, then giving them their very own feeder away from the birds and keeping it stocked with peanuts, sunflower seeds,or small critter mix will usually do the trick.
I personally found that within a week, the squirrels were already leaving the bird feeder alone, and the extra cost of critter food was worth it. You can usually get large bags of sunflower seeds for pretty cheap. I find them at grocery stores.
Place Squirrel Feeders in your Flower Beds so the Seed Shells Become Ground Cover or Mulch
This has worked well for me. This way I am not constantly raking up empty shells. They stop the weeds in the flower beds I have found, so helps in a few ways. Plus the squirrels are so entertaining as they try to swing off their very own feeder. Many will feed on the ground as the shells fall, and at the same time the birds are enjoying their feeders.
If you want to be seriously entertained by your backyard critters, then give them food that keeps them there to eat it. Sometimes with the peanuts in the shell they will run off with it and store it or bury it, but with treats and corn cobs, depending on the type of feeder you have they will stay and eat.
This is a great example of a squirrel corn cob feeder. The cob is screwed onto to the post and the squirrel sits on the chair and chews away at the cob. You could have a few of these around. There are lots of really cool feeders for these corn cobs, check out feeding squirrels corn page and see some of the entertaining feeders. I like it when they stay in the yard and eat, it is very entertaining the birds are happy too.
So no matter which path you choose, whether you make your own homemade squirrel treats or purchase them, they can be a fun addition to your yard. If you live in town like I do, they are in my yard no matter what, and now that I have organized the feeding stations, it is all running like a well oiled machine.
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