Birds seem ravenous this time of year, feeders are being emptied at record rates, so nobody needs squirrels swiping seed! Partly due to the fall migration, and partly because resident birds know winter is coming soon. As daylight hours become shorter, birds flying south must fuel up for their long journeys, while many residents will simply cache seeds and nuts for future meals later in the season. Nuthatches and jays are famous for this practice.
Many folks think squirrel proof bird feeders just don’t work, while others are bummed because the popular Squirrel-Away powder is no longer available. It’s amazing how many non-believers there are; from face-to-face discussions at a recent show, to customers from our website, they just don’t believe anything will deter their superman-like squirrels from feeders!
Ah… but there are ways, and it’s mostly about placement of the feeders themselves and using baffles! One secret is the “horizontal launching point”. If squirrels can jump sideways from anything to gain feeder access, chances are they will – no, it’s guaranteed they will!
When placed correctly, baffles turn any feeders into squirrel-proof feeders. Be it hanging, pole mounted, or post mounted… they absolutely work at foiling the critters!
For hanging feeders, the baffle circumference must be a good bit larger than the feeder itself – at least 1/3 larger. A 20-inch clear acrylic baffle works great, we use them in our yard. The bottom of this feeder should be no less than 4.5 feet from the ground. Lastly, it must hang at least 8 feet away from a tree trunk, pole, or anything else a squirrel might jump sideways from to gain access.
For pole or post mounted feeders, again be sure the bottom of the feeder is at least 4.5 to 5 feet from the ground. Remember the horizontal launch point – anything squirrels might jump from sideways to gain access. One other consideration is a potentially taller launch spot; anything the critters might jump down from to get to the feeder. A lot of thought for just one feeder? Maybe so, but well worth the effort!
Some pole systems have built-in baffles that are excellent at thwarting squirrels. The Squirrel Stopper is one such system. It’s received fantastic reviews because of sturdy construction, durability and good looks! Hang up to eight feeders, baths or even flower baskets from this gem!
It’s a matter of “if you build it – they won’t come”. By putting some careful planning in place, you can squirrel proof any type of bird feeder against pesky squirrels!
Versatility is good and mobility is even better when referring to a bird feeder bracket. Seasons change and birds migrate, so why would you want to offer the same old, same old throughout the year? Plus, once the birding bug hits, there’s always a need for one more feeder, or one more bath, or one more something in the yard! We can verify this first-hand 🙂
A simple deck-mount bracket (circled in yellow) accommodates a leaf mister during summer months. Actually mounted on the front porch, the extended arm bracket just slips right onto the rail. This makes it easy to move, and with the mister attached, makes for a happy and lush garden below. When it’s time to put the misters away in late fall, a bird bath or feeder will likely hang from the same spot. In early spring there’s always nesting materials offered in this spot.
Want to see more species of birds but limited on space? No trees to hang from and only one feeder pole in the yard? Check this cool bird feeder bracket with quick-connect that attaches right to a pole – no hardware needed. With a sleek curved shape and leaf design, there’s room for 3 or 4 more items. All of a sudden you’re seeing new birds in the same space!
No-melt suet is great for warm weather feeding as migratory birds enjoy it too. Grape jelly in an oriole feeder entices cat birds and woodpeckers.
Again, if space is limited for hanging feeders, remember that birds bathe naturally at ground level. Fresh water is the easiest way to entice feathered friends. A shallow pan of water is bound to bring some birds who may never even visit feeders. Keep the water fresh and more importantly… shallow. With lots of juveniles about, deep water can be fatal. No more than two inches is a perfect depth for birds to bathe, wade, preen and drink. Adding some stones or a few larger rocks gives birds added security with better footing, they make it easier to land and perch.
For all those who “don’t feed birds in summer” well, you happen to be missing two exciting times during the year when neotropic birds migrate. The opportunity for catching some new species pass through is pretty incredible… even for veteran backyard birders! That flash of orange from a Baltimore oriole, or the vivid colors of a painted bunting are in part what it’s all about!
Usually only seeing one pair, today we spotted five male red-breasted grosbeaks and two females at the platform feeders. Hummingbirds and cat birds are back, several indigo buntings (the other bluebirds) are hanging around, and we managed a fleeting glimpse of a Baltimore oriole today too.
With spring migrations upon us it’s an awesome time to catch some new visitors… vivid colors abound in the landscape if you happen to be feeding birds right now. If you’re not- it’s a primo time to start!
Offering a variety of food like fruit and jelly and fresh water affords the opportunity for migratory birds to take up residence at your place and maybe even decide to nest there. This may require a few additional feeders, but you can be crafty here and fashion non-traditional items to use as feeders. A hanging glass candle holder makes a great jelly feeder, and there’s even an orange feeder for orioles made from a wire coat hanger. The “how to” is floating around the web somewhere! Fresh water works great in a simple plant saucer, and very shallow is always best for birds’ safety.
So even if you can craft a few new feeders… you’ll need somewhere to hang them! It’s like all hands on deck… the more bird feeder brackets the better this time of year! Whether you’re a novice to backyard birding, or a long-time veteran, a good pole system just can’t be beat. If your battling pesky critters at feeders, the Squirrel Stopper comes with the most effective baffle around. From one of our customers: ‘We absolutely love the squirrel stopper so much so that my husband wanted another right away. It’s been comical around here watching the squirrels trying to win the battle of the baffle. LOL! and having to resort to what we put out for them elsewhere.”
It features four arms with eight sturdy hooks to hang any kind of feeder, even a birdbath too! Especially if your yard is small, you’ll be able to maximize with a variety of treats for feathered friends.
If you’re new to the backyard birding scene, or know someone who is (hint: Mother’s Day), this complete bird feeder bracket system gets you up and running immediately! It comes with four basic feeders offering seed, peanuts, thistle and suet. That’s a fantastic mix to attract a wide variety of birds. The water dish promises to be a big hit, and the mesh tray is always open for options! Live or dried mealworms, fruit, even a cup of jelly for catbirds and orioles.