Gray squirrels raided my suet feeders. In the past red squirrels have visited the seed feeders with little trouble. Gray squirrels are a different story. They are nasty little thieves!
This year I hung two plastic mesh bags of suet out for the woodpeckers so they would stop tearing holes in the cedar shingles on the house. The suet is very popular and does satiate the birds. Unfortunately two gray squirrels have moved into the neighborhood. At first they limited their activity to foraging on the ground for dropped seeds. Then they branched out to hanging off the bird feeders. At some point they discovered the suet bags.
One morning the bags were there and birds were eating. Later in the morning both bags were gone. I found one under the tree, pulled right off its hanging hook. The other bag the dogs found several yards away buried in the snow. I hung the bags back up. The next day they were gone for good.
Then I decided to install a wire suet feeder. A search of local bird feeder sellers revealed all the suet feeders are shaped and sized for rectangular blocks of pre-formed suet and seed mix that the stores conveniently carry. These suet blocks are not cheap. I save money by feeding the voracious birds in our yard with suet I purchase directly from the butcher in 10 pound lots when we get our beef quarter. The chunks of suet would be hard to fit in the commercial block feeders.
So, I made my own suet feeder out of hardware cloth. The top is left open. After filling the feeder, I pinch the top together and hold it closed with a wire clasp. The feeder is also wired to the branch now so no determined squirrel can steal it. Phew! I got the new feeder up just in time! Woodpeckers were starting to tear at the house after only a few hours without suet. I am now a hostage to angry woodpeckers.