Squirrels and Their Feeders
Squirrels are intelligent, entertaining, resourceful and cute...when they aren't raiding your bird feeders! Then they are called such names that it should make their eyes burn, if they could understand us! But love them or hate them, squirrels are a constant presence in our backyards and how you deal with them is up to you.
Our native squirrel is the Douglas's squirrel. They are small and brown with an orange belly. Douglas's squirrels are not as common as they once were due to habitat loss. These are woodland squirrels and do not like to live in the increasingly urban environment that is happening around us. The other squirrel seen is the transplanted Eastern Grey Squirrel, who can be black or grey with a large, plumed tail. Grey squirrels were live trapped in Vancouver and brought over the river to Abbotsford in 2005, where they very happily settled down.
Whereas some people don't like any squirrels, others feel that they are here to stay and feed them alongside the birds. And by offering squirrels a feeding station away from your bird feeders, you may be able to stop them from always raiding the feeders.
There are several different feeders you can offer your squirrels. Whole peanuts are a favourite food so they are several ones available that hold peanuts in an enclosed box that the squirrels can reach. They can either be made of wood or recycled plastic. Glass jar squirrel feeders have a large jar that the squirrels can crawl into to get their snacks. Peanut feeders make the squirrel work for their food - they need to open the lid to reach in and pull out a peanut. Munch boxes are boxes where the squirrel can sit inside (out of the elements) for lunch. All of these feeders need to be attached to tree or post.
You can also feed squirrels corn.There are several different types of feeders that allow you to attach a cob of dried corn to it for your squirrels.Some are quite entertaining as they make the squirrels work for their supper.
Another alternative to corn is squirrel logs - a compact log of densely pressed corn or nut and sweet corn that the squirrels love to eat but take a long time doing it.
Looking for a fun way to feed squirrels? Try the Deluxe Squingee! The corn is attached to the bungee cord and the squirrel gets a free ride while trying to get the corn-- dinner and a show!