My hubby has some cayenne pepper hot sauce, I took some of that and smeared it on the suet cake and put in the suet cake cage but left the plastic on the sides. Trying to feed the birds and NOT the squirrels! Does that sound like a good plan?
Good idea, I can get the cayenne powder at the Dollar Store. I am trying to get the red-bellied woodpecker to come back, I ran out of suet cakes back in the summer and was using peanut butter sandwiches, but I guess they decided to go somewhere else, hopefully I can lure them back.
I have to wonder how close your suet feeder is to trees, shrubs or any other objects around it. I have been baffled by the acrobatic skills of squirrels, who can climb trees, walls and jump about 4-5 feet laterally if required to do so, to grab onto the feeder they want to get to, sometimes knocking it down in the process. First get the suet feeder away from the walls of your house and every tree in the area.
But if you happen to have a shelter over a patio or some such place outside where humans seldom visit, this is also a great place to suspend a suet feeder high up with super strong fishing line, as long as the ceiling is pretty smooth and the walls and other vertical supportive structures do not facilitate squirrel traffic.
Personally I have found that if I place suet or feeders at the top of a high metal pole (greased if necessary), squirrels don't stand a chance. Others I know use a baffle beneath the feeder at the top of the pole, beneath the feeder, to destabilize attempts to climb up. That works, and sometimes a baffle above is a good idea too. Another thing that works is a shepherd's hook extending from a pole, with the food suspended by a short line of heavy gauge fishing line or cord, tied tightly to the hook.
Hope one of these ideas helps, and good luck with evading your clever, mischievous squirrels!
If any of you make your own suet cakes, I have a recipe that includes crushed red hot peppers
2 cups crisco
2 cups chunky peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal
3 cups bird seed
6 tbs crushed hot pepper, I use habanero peppers
2 cups shelled peanuts, chopped apples, or dried fruit, what ever you might think the birds will enjoy
Melt crisco and peanut butter, mix in the rest of ingredients
Press into two 9 by 13 baking dishes and freeze for 2 hours or until firm
Cut into squares to fit your feeders
roll in cayenne powder and serve to your feathered friends