One neat characteristic of squirrels is their gathering and storing of food – mostly nuts – for the winter. They gather the nuts one and two at a time and then runaway to store them in their hiding places, usually by burying them. Squirrels don’t have very good memories, so they use spatial clues to remember the locations of their buried food. Early spring is the toughest time of year for squirrels. That is because the nuts they buried begin to sprout and are no longer edible. During these times squirrels rely heavily on the buds of trees, seeds, fruits, green vegetables, insects and eggs.
Squirrels are fun to watch. In most all neighborhoods squirrels climb onto bird feeders and eat their food, dig into potted plants to bury or find seeds, and for finding a place to sleep in attics. I enjoy watching the squirrels run around my yard. They are particularly active right now – mid December – in finding nuts and small insects on the ground. You can hear them rustling in the trees and scurrying along window panes of our home. My husband and I make our own squirrel feeders and place them outside for the little critters to get food from.
I want to share with you instructions for making two of our DIY Squirrel Feeders. Maybe you would like to hang these from your trees and watch the squirrels as they gather and play around the feeders. They can provide hours of entertainment!
CORN COB FEEDER
This is the easiest squirrel feeder to make. Take two small (foot or less in length, and an inch or two in thickness) planks of wood and attach them in a 90 degree angle, L-shape, using nails or screws. On the back side of one, you will place a hook or attachment of your choice depending on how or where you are going to place your feeder. My attachment – I just hold it in the L-position against the tree and drive a long nail through the plank and into the tree. Now that it is attached to the tree, I hammer another 4 or 5 inch nail up through the other bottom plank. You will end up with the sharp end of the nail sticking up straight into the air. This is what you will place an uncooked ear of corn onto.
It is almost impossible to keep a squirrel from getting into a bird feeder, even those whose companies say their product is “squirrel proof.” Buy any bird feeder and fill it with seeds and small nuts such as unsalted peanuts.
This is my husband’s own squirrel feeder. He takes two small planks and attaches them as though he were making the corn cob feeder. He attaches the L-shaped boards to the tree and then, instead of adding the nail for the corn, he uses a clear 2-liter bottle and cuts off the ends. A Sprite or clear juice bottle works really well. One end of the bottle is where you will pour your food into. Here’s what you do with the bottom part. You need to cut about an inch tall, 3″ long dispensing “exit” hole for the food at the bottom of the bottle. Now, you will attach the bottle to the bottom plank by either hot gluing around the circumference or taping it to the plank. Finally, you can pour the peanuts, seeds, vegetables, and/or fruits into the bottle.
Whichever feeder you choose, squirrels are sure to enjoy them all!