Stokes Select 38079 Squirrel Lunch Box
Pros: Great color blend, compact and easy to fill. Works as intended
Cons: Plastic plate gets chewed up too easily. Constant refilling due to its smaller-than-average size.
Squirrels! Squirrels! Squirrels! Put one of these suckers up in your yard and that’s exactly what you’ll get in abundance!
We were looking for a squirrel feeder that would both fit our budget and be sturdy enough to last in Lufkin’s extreme weather, be it storms or tropical heat. I didn’t like the look of the wooden squirrel feeders but I didn’t mind the appearance of the Stokes Select 38079 Squirrel Lunch Box. It looked sturdy and had a big enough platform for a squirrel to sit on; after all, we weren’t looking to invite all the neighborhood squirrels to the party. Did I tell you we were new at this?
Amazon currently sells this little feeder for under $28 and I have no idea if this price is either cheap or expensive, as this was our first. We ended up finding this exact feeder at PetSmart while we were in there looking for other things. We paid the same price as Amazon offered.
The Stokes Select 38079 Squirrel Lunch Box has a little bit of weight to it. It appears to be made of a galvanized metal of some descript and the edges are all folded so as to reduce the carnage if you happen to scratch yourself on it. Well, actually the corners are smooth enough that I can’t cut myself at all on it. Yes I tried (don’t ask!). I believe the metal is painted with a rust-proofing paint of some kind, as ours shows no signs of rust after some pretty nasty weather.
For the dimension nuts, here you go: 8.5” x 7.1” x 9.5” and it only comes in Hammered Copper tone.
What do you get? Well you get the feeder of course, with the hinge lid already attached. The removable clear Perspex shield is also inside. Inside the feeder you find two Philips-head wood screws and a small instruction paper that tells you that you can affix the feeder to either a tree or a pole. It didn’t actually tell you how to do it, but it’s simple enough to attach. I tossed the instruction paper away as it was kind of useless.
I put ours on a large tree in our backyard about four to five feet off the ground. It is said to keep squirrel feeders at least 15 feet away from bird feeders, but our bird feeder is much closer than that and the squirrels leave it alone unless they run out of food.
The screws are kind of long and would be a pain to screw in with a screwdriver, so I used our cordless drill with a Philips-head tip. The tip was very short and the bottom screw was a real pain to get to with the drill, as it is inside the feeder at the back. Some maneuvering made short work of it though and it was screwed into the trunk in seconds. It’s doable, but it’s difficult to get that bottom screw in. The top screw was much easier as there was nothing obstructing it.
The clear Perspex shield slots in the front to hold the food in and so the squirrels can see it. It will fit in the grooves both ways, but really it’s only supposed to be put in one way; so there is no gap between the plate and the feeder. This is to make it harder for the varmints to figure out and keeps them at the feeder for longer! They will chew through it in no time unfortunately, and there isn’t a solution to that problem.
Although it doesn’t say how much food it holds, I would guess a couple of pounds. That seems to fill it right up. The “squirrel dock” platform as I like to call it is a metal platform that will hold one squirrel. If a second one attempts to board it, they will be chased away by the angry squirrel already perched on it!
Note there are 30 tiny perforated holes in this platform and they succeed in draining away water that accumulates after a heavy rain. Where we live, storms are frequent and fierce, but I have never seen the food inside get soggy or clumped due to the rain. The lid keeps it fairly waterproof.
As to the food, I use standard squirrel food that we buy in 20lb bags from WalMart. They can also be bought on Amazon. Usually it contains a mix of corn kernels, sunflowers and whole unshelled peanuts. They literally go nuts for this stuff!
I love this feeder, but I have two issues with it. The first issue is I wish it held more food. We started off with two squirrels until word got around the squirrel vine that there were squirrel lovers in the neighborhood. Now we have eight! (Yes, we are new at this). We seem to be refilling it every day or two as it goes down so fast. They do take turns however, and the birds even sneak in a few pecks of food, as the food will overflow onto the sitting area. Which brings me to my second beef…
The Perspex shield that keeps the food in will get gnawed to pieces. Especially when there are only a few morsels left inside the feeder where the squirrel can’t get them. They will chew the bottom of the plate so they can get leverage to lift it far enough to scrape out the last few sunflower seeds or corn kernels.
Once the shield is damaged like that, more seed/food will pour out onto the platform (and sometimes on your toes); hence it gets emptier more often. You can reverse the plate if this happens. I did this, but reversing it will still leave a gap between the plastic and the platform, so food will escape anyway. They will then proceed to chew that end to pieces too! (see photo above) Oh yes, they will create a BIG mess on the ground too, from discarded seed husks and corn and will become unsightly if left too long.
You can probably replace the shield by buying some plastic from a hardware store and cutting it to fit. After one month of use, our Perspex shield is about ready for the trash and we may have to choose that option! I only wish they would learn to lift the hinged metal lid to get their food out. They are supposed to learn to do that, but our squirrels never did. They prefer to chew the plastic up to “release” the food. Oh well, I use it instead for refilling it every second day, so the hinges will never get rusty!
All in all, the Stokes Select 38079 Squirrel Lunch Box serves its purpose. We see squirrels at the feeder all day which is what we wanted. Yes they will chew the plastic plate to pieces, as that seems to be the only replaceable part on the contraption, but they provide us with enjoyment and that’s all that matters. I would recommend this feeder; it’s small and looks quite nice and blends into the colors of the tree nicely so it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. Worth the money in my book, but just be prepared to replace the plastic plate before too long!
Enjoy the squirrels!