As well the Woodpecker "problem" I talked about in my last post, we also have a real problem with squirrels. Our wood is home to a number of grey squirrels and, as long as that is where they stay, we adopt a "live and let live" attitude to them. Indeed we are amused and entertained by their antics. One year, though, the numbers multiplied and suddenly they were eating all the apples, all the growing crops and even chewed into the polytunnel. That year we had to resort to live trapping and shooting some to restore the balance, but usually we all get along together. The squirrels do however love to eat the bird peanuts and seed and will chew up any vulnerable feeder to get to the food. I use squirrel proof metal Droll Yankee nut feeders which work well but have not, so far, come across any squirrel proof seed feeders. I have been resigned to just regularly buying complete new feeders to replace the damaged ones.
So when I was contacted by conservation products company Jacobi Jayne & Co to see if I would like to try out some of their products I immediately said yes. I had a lovely chat on the 'phone with Graham from Jacobi Jayne about squirrels, gardening, birds and wildlife in general and I outlined my problem with squirrel damaged feeders. As a result I was offered two different seed feeders to try; one of which says it is 100% squirrel proof and the other a general purpose easy to clean feeder but in which all the parts can be replaced.
When the parcel arrived I realised I had also been sent a couple of big feeder hanging hooks and a 12.5 kg bag of Special Mix bird food, so thanks Graham!
The One feeder is a standard looking bird feeder but is very easy to take apart for cleaning ( it is a very good design) and I can see it would be easy to just replace any chewed or damaged parts so I was impressed even before I hung it out.
The Squirrel Buster was easy to assemble and I could immediately see how hard it would be for a squirrel to get at the seed!
Add the outer mesh cover - here it is open for birds to eat the seed
but if a squirrel tries to get to the food (Compostman's hand pretending to be the squirrel, here) the extra weight of the squirrel makes the cover slide down and blocks the feed. What a brilliant idea.
There is a wealth of useful information on the site and they sell lots of other products for wildlife. The Squirrel Buster retails at £24.95, The One feeder will be launched in mid June and the medium sized one (above, lhs of the pole) I am using would sell for £11.49.
I haven't seen a squirrel try the Squirrel Buster yet but I bet it will find it hard to get at the feed. I will keep you posted and try to get a photo if I can!
Disclaimer. I was sent the feeders, a couple of hanging hooks and a bag of seed to review. All opinions are my own.