Of course, I love squirrels. Perky, entertaining.? But also greedy – and they definitely do not play well on the patio with others.? Plus they’ve all gotten pretty chunky!? They chase birds away, chase each other away – sometimes there’ll be 15 or so squirrels eating on the patio and climbing the poles to the feeders, not allowing anyone else to have peace and quiet or to eat.? Complaining about it to Jeanne Champlin at Newtown Feed a few weeks ago, she suggested safflower seeds – birds love them, squirrels just don’t like them.
That sounded unusual but possible – so I took home a bag.? I put them in the long feeder, and squirrels hopped right up the pole and started to eat.? At that point, I was mixing safflower seeds with regular bird seed and peanuts.? Then I decided to put just safflower seeds in the feeder.? Some squirrels still ate it, but not as much, and not as many squirrels.? I’m going to keep it that way – the birds are all still really happy with that feeder full of white seeds.
And instead of peanuts on the patio, I’m now putting no mess mix – which has broken bits of peanuts, plus a number of seeds without any shells.? And the tiny seeds, like millet, make it easier for the birds and chipmunks to grab a bite.
I also buy suet with hot peppers in it.? Birds can’t taste them, squirrels sure can feel the full effect.
Makes me happy, and the squirrels just need to find another way to fill their chubby bellies.