Squirrels can wreak havoc when you have a lot of birds congregating around your feeder. Although pretty to look at as well, squirrels and birds do not mix. The squirrels are attracted to the bird seed that is in the feeder, so they take no stops in trying to climb up and help themselves to anything that may be in there. Although the squirrels will not harm birds, it naturally will scare them off, keeping them from visiting in the future. If your goal is to bird watch, this will inevitably defeat your purpose.
There are several ways to keep squirrels away from your bird feeder. It can be placed in an open area away from trees where the squirrels can easily jump onto the platform. Squirrels will rarely stray away from trees or other shrubbery into an open area. For many people, however, this is not an option. You can count on the fact that anywhere there is a tree, and you have squirrels in your area, they will attempt to get into your bird feeder.
If you are attracting smaller birds, you could hang a tubular bird feeder with small holes, this will prevent most squirrels from gaining access to the bird seed, especially if it is hung from a pole. Squirrels seem to have a harder time climbing poles than they do trees. Another approach is to paint your pole or the area around your birdhouse a milano red. It has been proven that for whatever reason, squirrels do not like this color. Go to your favorite hardware or home improvement store to find this color. Actually painting the bird house itself milano red could also help. This will not effect most birds and will quietly keep squirrels away without having to make any major configurations.
A wire cage can also be wrapped around the bird feeder to prevent squirrels from gaining access to the seed. Most birds will quickly figure out they can get to the food, where squirrels will go somewhere since they can not fit their bodies into the bird house. Although this may be unattractive and odd looking to someone outside your lawn looking in.
The easiest way is to buy a squirrel guard. Place your bird feeder on a pole and attach a circular device around five feet from the ground. This will prevent squirrels from reaching the birdhouse. Just be certain that it is not near an area where they can jump from a tree or house. Squirrels are known for the jumping ability and can practically fly from one tree to another. As a last resort you can buy a substance to put around your bird feeder to keep the squirrels away. It can be found in most home improvement stores and will not harm birds.
If watching birds is your goal, and you want to keep squirrels away from your feeder, using the above methods will definitely help the problem. You may even want to consider giving the squirrels their own feeder. If you put large chunks of food in and make it unappealing to birds, that could solve your problem as well.