The resident squirrel gets denied
For some time now, the resident squirrels have been running the suet feeder- scaring the birds away. I saw the male downy woodpecker try to defend the feed by buzzing the squirrel a couple times to no avail...I quickly grew tired of chasing the squirrels away every time they neared the feeder so I turned to the internet. I read online that some people have greased the pole with petroleum but did not like that idea. I even sprinkled chili powder on and around the food- they say birds don't mind it but squirrels do. I have found that to be false.
Finally, my brilliant husband made his own squirrel deterrent by shielding the post with steel wire mesh. The squirrels have made several attempts to get to the feed, but so far no luck. One squirrel climbed a tree about 20 feet away and looked longingly at the suet. He seemed to be surveying his options and wondering if he could make the jump. And the birds don't seem to mind the mesh at all. Flickers and downy woodpeckers both fed without incident after we installed the new squirrel deterrent.