I have been able to make what seems to be squirrel proof suet cage covers that work beautifully from a clean 1 gallon bleach bottle, a metal wire coat hanger. and a twisty tie. I cut the top 'funnel' portion off the bleach bottle which I discard or recycle. Then I make a U shaped cut on one side of the remaining bleach bottle a little smaller than the width of the suet cage, also leaving about 2 inches at the top of the U. This portion of the bottom of the bleach bottle now becomes the top of the suet cage cover. The now upside down U that is cut out leaves space for the birds to access the suet block/cage.
I poke a hole in the top (bottom of the bleach bottle) to run a length of straightened metal coat hanger through making a small hook on the inside of the bottle and a large hook on the other end for the over the branch. I hook the suet cage on the small hook inside the bottle and use a twisty tie to hold the back of the suet cage stable through a hole poked through the back of the bleach bottle. I usually make the large 'hook' that goes over the branch to have a second hook that 'locks' around the length of the metal coat hanger where it attaches to the branch so the squirrels cannot lift it off the branch and drop it.
I have 4 of these feeder covers around my yard and enjoy watching the wood peckers, titmice, and chickadees feeding from them without the squirrels being able to hold on to the rounded edges of the bleach bottle to access the suet blocks. They only cost you a little time and effort as all the components are things that we would normally discard. Watching the frustration of the squirrels is a bonus :)
Source: My own idea. I'm recently retired and now have the time to try to foil the squirrels from stealing my bird food. I can't afford to feed all the tree rats on my retirement!
By marycrane from Orange Park, FL
While we love all of God's little creatures, and wish them no harm, it's frustrating to have to feed the whole neighborhood! My husband put a heavy duty wire between two trees. Maybe it's twelve/fourteen feet between the two trees, and about 6 feet off the ground. He hung the feeder from this wire. There are no hanging branches in the area, and they can't jump that high. We can still reach up to take the top off to fill the feeder. I have a mesh type feeder which resembles the shape of an hour glass. Occasionally a new "guy" comes to town, hangs on the side of the tree, or sits on the screw which holds the wire into the tree. They just make a mad chattering sound, and give up. We never had one yet try to walk it, or jump from the tree. Good luck!
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