Backyard Chirper

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Squirrels vs. Bird Feeders: The Battle in Pictures

Everyone who has ever dreamed of feeding birds in their backyards pictures an iconic seed feeder being visited by an array of colorful birds as the sun rises in the distance.

The reality is a little less rosy. When you rise up early, you’ll likely see a hungry squirrel raiding your feeder and scaring away the birds.

Many products exist to keep squirrels at bay, including baffles, cages, and squirrel-proof feeders, but no matter what you do, squirrels will usually find a way.

In honor of your fight against squirrels, we’re taking a look at the ingenuity of squirrels and the lengths they will go to for a little bird food.

squirrel in feeder
Here’s a squirrel that managed to squeeze its whole body into the feeder to gorge on the seed. It better not eat too much or it’ll get stuck!

Hanging a feeder on a string between two trees is a great way to keep squirrels away, but you have to make sure it’s far enough from a sold object like a tree because squirrels can stretch very far.

Speaking of stretching.

If you give a squirrel an inch, it’ll squeeze inside a feeder. I have no idea if this squirrel was able to back itself out.

Things like baffles do work with squirrels, but you have to make sure they’re utilized 100% correctly. If there’s any way around a baffle, a squirrel will find it, like this one.

The old joke for pictures like these with squirrels inside cages is whether the feeder is a squirrel-proof feeder or a bird-proof squirrel feeder. Small squirrels are able to contort their bodies to fit between the bars.

Even if there is nothing close to the feeder, sometimes a squirrel can still jump from a distance to a feeder or climb under a baffle after many tries.

Think hummingbird feeders are safe from squirrels? Think again. This shot is from the Colvin Run Habitat.

The acrobatic squirrel is a pretty famous picture and for good reason. The squirrel almost looks like it’s in a meditative state.

Squirrel caught at a bird feeder.
How did this squirrel get under there? You have to see it to believe it.

squirrel squeezing head
Finally, this squirrel is squeezing its head through the bars to get across to that delicious bird food.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.