For in­bred dogs, we undo the dam­age.

Popular Science - - CONTENTS - by Rob Verger / pho­to­graph by Brian Klutch

SEEDS HOLD THE PO­TEN­TIAL FOR NEW LIFE, BUT NOT ALL ARE DES­TINED TO GROW. Some pro­vide sus­te­nance for our feath­ered friends, lur­ing birds into our back­yards and giv­ing us a chance to spy them up close. Un­for­tu­nately, pesky squir­rel scav­engers also love a seedy snack and will scare off avians try­ing to snag a nib­ble. These feed­ers each keep the fur­balls at bay while wel­com­ing the winged ones.


Dun­craft’s 2959 Squir­rel Blocker stymies ro­dents in the sim­plest way pos­si­ble: a grid of steel wire guards the in­ner tube. Birds that love to perch—such as finches and chick­adees—can poke their beaks through to sam­ple the 1.5 pounds of sus­te­nance within. A plas­tic dome blocks rain, which can knock seed to the ground and at­tract even more pawed men­aces.


The Yan­kee Flip­per takes an ac­tive ap­proach to fend­ing off fur­balls. When any­thing heav­ier than 8 ounces lands on the bot­tom perch, a bat­tery-pow­ered mo­tor spins it, fling­ing the pest away. This way, it won’t hang around try­ing to claw its way in. At nearly a foot-and-a-half tall, the poly­car­bon­ate tube holds up to 5 pounds of avian snacks.


Squir­rels are heav­ier than the birds you want at your feeder, a fact that the Brome Squir­relBuster Plus uses to its ad­van­tage. Any­thing weigh­ing more than 3.5 ounces, such a ro­dent or a pi­geon, will pull down an ad­justable, spring­con­trolled plas­tic sleeve that cov­ers the feed holes. The mass of a 0.35-ounce nuthatch or even a 1.5-ounce car­di­nal won’t.

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