Do Caged Bird Feeders Really Work? at The Wildlife Porch
Are you fighting to keep squirrels or larger birds like grackles and starlings away from your feeders?
Are you wondering if caged feeders are worth the money?
Well, it depends!
Young squirrels are smaller, about the size of the smaller songbirds you want to attract with your bird feeders. No matter the feeder design, these younger squirrels will access your feeder.
However, for adult squirrels, the design of the feeder is important, including the minimum distance from the cage to a feed port, the size of the cage openings, and how much of the feeder is contained by the cage.
You want the minimum distance to be greater than the length of a squirrel's arm. For instance, a feeder with a cage only an inch or two from the feed port is useless -- squirrels reach right in.
If you're trying to prevent access by larger grackles or starlings, you also want the cage far enough away from a feed port that the larger bird can't lean in through a cage opening and access the birdseed.
The cage itself should have openings just large enough for smaller birds like chickadees and finches. Otherwise, that larger bird or squirrel will have access.
Even with smaller cage openings, you might still end up with baby squirrels going after the feeder.
The cage should totally enclose all non-metal parts of the feeder. Even if the top half-inch of a plastic tube feeder juts out from the top of the cage, squirrels can chew through it to eat the food at the top of the feeder.
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