Instructables
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Picture of Squirrel Proof Suet Feeder
This is a simple but effective Instructable.  Our suet would disappear very quickly as the squirrels would eat it and drive all the birds away.  I needed an easy solution.
 
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Step 1: Hardware Cloth

Picture of Hardware Cloth
Obtain a small amount of small grid hardware cloth.  Can be purchased by the yard from most hardware stores.  I had some in the basement.  Squares are about 3/8" square.  Then cut a rectangular section about 1" wider on either side and long enough so that one uncut length will wrap around the lower section of the original suet feeder like a "U".  Bend the edges to match the shape of the suet feeder.  Then cut at the lower corners of the "U" on the 1" extensions on each side - 4 cuts.  This will leave three sections of hardware cloth on each side ready to bend.  Bend up  the small square of it on the bottom, then double over either side and secure the final side with a twist tie.  I used an old bread twisty.  Repeat with the other side.  It's sort of like wrapping a package.

Step 2: Final Photo

Picture of Final Photo
Here's what it looks like all folded up.

Step 3: And now my cat watches birds, not squirrels

Picture of And now my cat watches birds, not squirrels
Fin.
RushE23 days ago

Brilliant! I had tried squirrel baffles (Squirrels can jump really high.), squirrel-resistant poles (See squirrel-baffle.), and squirrel-repulsive suet (Fist-full of pulverized arbol peppers in suet recipe. It was really hot -- I tasted it, and I' a chile-head. Worked for about a week, then the squirrels started showing up in tiny sombreros squeeking, "Arriba, arriba!" Before they tucked in.)

I had to add an extra layer of hardware cloth inside the feeder after squirrels found they could get to the suet along the edges, add a wire hook to secure the door after they figured out how to lever it open, and nail a bunch of linoleum tacks to the wood roof when they decided they might be abe to gnaw their way in. The feeder has come to resemble a Brinks truck, but so far it seems to be squirrel proof (doesn't stop them from assaulting it regularly, though), while posing no problem even for the smaller birds (chickadees, downies, wrens, etc.)

Good job!

I had high hopes for this project! It unfortunately did not work for me or my birds. The birds could barely get their tiny beaks through the hole. I'm very handy so I brainstormed what I could do differently, I decided to cut out a larger open square in the front & back. They were only able to eat that square area, leaving the edges. After about six days & the cake barely touched, I decided to move the hardware cloth to the inside of the holder making it closer to the suet. This did not make a difference! After all that trouble I just decided to take the whole thing off. I figured at this point it's just easier to feed the squirrels then deprive the birds of food in the winter.

MiaI110 months ago

Thanks for posting!

ryaksich3 years ago
AWESOME! And here I was about to spend some $$ on a "squirrel proof" feeder from retail. What a simple idea. I have larger woodpeckers, like flickers and red-bellieds; does this allow them to eat as well?
bonedoggie (author)  ryaksich3 years ago
I've had red-bellies and others feed off of it with no trouble. I currently have a pair of downy woodpeckers who are hitting it pretty hard. I also (and I really enjoy this part) have squirrels come by every month or so. They get frustrated and leave. Jon
ChrysN4 years ago
Nice idea. What type of bird is that in the main image? It's really pretty.
bonedoggie (author)  ChrysN4 years ago
That is a downy woodpecker.