Title: (Red)Squirrel-proofing feeders
We have two of our six feeders enclosed in wire cages (from Agway) --- one has a seed tube inside, the other has a suet cage.  i have written before how a persistent red squirrel sits INSIDE the cage all day, eating everything and keeping birds away. I don't mind the eating, but the birds can't even try for the food !
Last weekend I wrapped both cylindrical outer cages with chickenwire fence, hexagonal 1.5"x1.0" openings, smaller than the 1.5x1.5 openings in the cage. The red-squirrel have been frustrated and in a frenzy to get in, so far. (The big grays too, can't reach in as they used to.)
I was worried about the birds, since not all hexagonal openings line up with the cage openings. The smartest birds were the chickadees. After a few perplexed tries yesterday, the chickadees now jump around until they find a fully open hexagon and flit in and out. The nuthatches were next. The two WBrNH held back at the strange new appearance of the cages-- but soon they could learn to get in and out. The two RBr nuthatches learned quickly to find the openings and go in and out -- one holds back a little, still getting used to it.
The goldfinches simply have not figured it out yet. They give up easily and go to the nyger or safflower feeders. The bigger birds (woodpeckers & Bluejays) can get at the suet at the edges of the suet cage, as they did before. I am hoping the Carolina Wrens who come for the suet will not give up too easily, and find a way in.

On the same topic, the squirrels simply leave the safflower seed alone -- they don't like it. The birds will eat it happily, unless sunflower is easy to get. Cardinals love the safflower, particularly.

Nari Mistry, Ellis Hollow Rd.

Nari B. Mistry,
Ithaca, New York
For my paintings, see http://www.artbynari.com

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