Our front yard
My first step towards a solution was to put out a squirrel corn feeder. This helped but only a little: The squirrels would spend 15 minutes polishing off the ear of corn before moving on to the bird feeders.We already had one supposedly squirrel-proof feeder, the round cage type, and this has kept out all but the most determined squirrels. On Saturday, I bought and put up another squirrel-proof feeder, and I added a baffle above one of the suet feeders. I then spent an hour or so watching Fox and Eastern Gray Squirrels trying every which way to get around our new defenses. In the end, they gave up and settled for eating from the corn feeder and scavenging on the ground for seeds and other goodies.
They gave up
The result on our bird visitors has been remarkable and rapid. Since the squirrels took over, we’ve rarely seen more than half-a-dozen species in a day. In an hour yesterday morning we were back up to fourteen species. Most of them came to eat: Northern Cardinals, House Finches, Carolina Chickadees, Chipping Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, House Sparrow, White-winged Doves, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, American Goldfinches and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Others seemed to come just to see what was going on: Blue Jays, Mourning Dove, Common Grackles and Northern Mockingbirds.
So it was a good morning, made better by the fact that we had flyovers by a Crested Caracara, a Great Egret, a Turkey Vulture and Several Black Vultures.Now I have to keep watching out to see if the squirrels can find a way around our new defenses.