You know it is spring in New England when the birds start waking you up.

Which is not a bad thing at all. Sure, the chirps at 6 am on Saturday morning might wake you up, but the birds don't want you to waste a springtime sunrise.

Annoying or not, having birds on or around your property is such a blessing in spring (and summer). I welcome all of the birds to my house and yard. Seeing a bright red cardinal in my backyard makes my day.

The most FRUSTRATING thing, however, is when you put out some birdseed and those pesky squirrels take it.

The squirrels are like freaking ninjas in New England. You can set up a fool-proof bird feeder that squirrel ninjas "won't be able to get to", yet the squirrels somehow open the whole thing up and dump it all out for their friends.

So how do you avoid the squirrels? The best option is to buy the right bird feeder.

There is one bird feeder that I have found (by research and personal experience) that squirrels cannot open up.

I'm referring to the cage feeders. They look like a bird feeder trapped inside a prison cell.

Here is the catch though: the top has to be a screw-on.

The bird feeders with a string or lift-up top are no good. Squirrels will open that sucker up SO FAST. They simply cannot get through the caged one though, nor can they open a twist top.

Another option that I have found is to put out food specifically for the squirrels. Put a feeder out on a tree (or group of trees) that is specially designed for the squirrels. Hopefully, they focus on what they can get, not what they cannot, leaving the bird feeders for the birds and only taking what they can access easily.

A third option is to put out birdseed that ONLY birds like. Now, any hungry squirrel will take on any food, no doubt. But there are certain bird seeds that birds like and squirrels do not. According to a Mass Audubon article, these include safflower (a bitter taste to squirrels), as well as nyjer seed, millet, canary seed, and canola seed.

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