Keep Squirrels Off Branch Hung Suet

Suet and Nut Block Feeders Hanging From Tree Branch
Suet and Nut Block Feeders Hanging From Tree Branch

When I hung suet feeders from a tree branch, I learned some tricks to keep squirrels off them: use the right baffle and locate them carefully. Anyone who has tried to thwart squirrels knows this is a tricky process because squirrels are clever and tenacious. But I can be just as tenacious!

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Light Feeder Blowing on a Windy Day

Male Eastern Bluebird on Feeder
Male Eastern Bluebird on Feeder

One thing spring brings to the Mid-Atlantic is wind. Some times things can get a bit crazy. When the wind is in the twenty or so mile per hour range, feeders sway a lot. When wind gusts over thirty miles per hour, bird feeder baffles start kiting around and the feeders move with them. Birds can deal with a certain amount of movement (they are used to moving tree branches after all), but there is a point when a feeders are yanked around violently enough that a bird (or even a person) could get hurt. 

I have a strategy I use whenever winds pick up that works quite well in my yard. I described it in this post: Bird Feeder Baffles in the Wind. But I am now also using a very small feeder for mealworms. For this particular feeder, I needed to use a different strategy.

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Deterring House Sparrows

Flock of House Sparrows on the Brush Pile
Flock of House Sparrows on the Brush Pile

For the past few weeks I’ve been on a crusade to get the House Sparrows that settled in over the winter to move on. We’ve never had many House Sparrows in our yard. I only put out millet in the winter months for the White-Throated Sparrows and the Dark-Eyed Juncos. Each winter, I might get a couple, but they have always left once I stopped offering millet in the spring.

But this year, the House Sparrow population built up gradually over the winter. Now I typically see nearly twenty at a time and they’ve become a problem. If I let them stay, they will probably nest here and the numbers will climb like crazy. They need to go. This is the story of what has turned into one of my biggest bird feeding challenges.

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