While some people consider squirrels to be cute and mischievous, they are notorious pests that have no qualms about eating from bird feeders and bullying birds away from the food that was left out for them. However, there are several ways that an individual can go about keeping squirrels away from the bird feeder.
Moving the feeder to a squirrel inaccessible location, away from trees, porches, wires and any other place that a squirrel could jump to is just one way to stop them from trying to invade the bird feeder. As squirrels enjoy climbing and jumping from place to place, having the feeder in an area that is difficult to get to will deter them and discourage them from returning.
Enclosing the bird feeder in a metal cage with openings only large enough for the birds to enter will deter squirrels from raiding the bird feeder once they realize they are too large to pass through the cage openings. A wire cage will also protect smaller birds from being harassed by larger birds such as pigeons, crows or starlings. It is also quite possible to purchase a feeder that is already situated within a cage, which may sometimes be easier than purchasing a cage to put around the feeder.
Changing the type of seed left out will also help keep squirrels away from the bird feeder. While birds enjoy such seeds as safflower and nyger, squirrels are not fond of such food. Birds are not sensitive to the heat of peppers, so it is also possible to deter squirrels by adding cayenne pepper or other hot peppers and spices to the seed. By doing so, birds will still frequent the feeder, but squirrels will no longer attempt to join them for a snack or meal, which will force the squirrels to relocate elsewhere.