They all do… when placed correctly!
It’s just baffling to us when folks claim they can’t keep the pesky critters out of bird feeders! With about 15 different feeders at our own place, squirrels simply aren’t an issue. Yes, we feed them too and no, it’s never enough!
There’s lots of trees and lots of squirrels too- enough for a football game, but they’re relegated to their own feeders along the tree line, peanut butter slapped on a tree when it’s cold, and whatever falls on the ground from bird feeders. They may not seem too happy with the arrangement, but we are and dually so for the birds 🙂
When placing a feeder with a squirrel baffle, it’s well worth five extra minutes of time to plan your strategy. After all, it is a war, but with the right tactics… you can easily win!
One of the biggest, most important issues is the horizontal launching point! You baffle a pole so they can’t climb up, and you hang a baffle over a feeder so they can’t climb down. But none of this even matters if they can jump sideways from something to gain access. And that’s just what they’ll do, with fancy acrobatics and uber-squirrel strength… they’ll launch themselves as much as 10 feet clear over to the feeder if there’s a a good place or thing from where to jump!
Pole mounted squirrel baffles should be placed so the bottom is at least 4 ft. from the ground. If any closer, the critters won’t even bother trying to climb – they’ll jump right up, bypassing the baffle from ground level. Even when placing a feeder that uses a hanging baffle, be sure there’s a 10 ft. clearance between the feeder and any other object such as a tree, railing, wood pile, bench… anything!
Squirrels will test your patience, and they’ll have you believing they’ve won the war. But with a one-time investment in a decent squirrel baffle, and five minutes of thought, you’ll save tons of birdseed and your nerves when dealing with furry critters raiding your feeders!
Whether your bird feeder hangs or happens to be post- or pole-mounted, there’s a quality squirrel baffle out there that will really do the trick… we promise. It is the proper placement of said baffle that allows for full functionality and 100% performance.
In the picture at left, the feeder has a dome, and although shaped like a hanging baffle, it’s fairly obvious that it is not. A weather guard and squirrel baffle are two different things. This furry one may have also jumped sideways from something to gain access as well.
When we hear folks say they’ve quit feeding birds because of squirrels, it’s so sad because it’s fairly easy to keep the critters at bay. For almost 30 years, we’ve been feeding birds (and squirrels) without the squirrel head ache.
Every single feeder in our yard has a baffle, even some nest boxes too! Baffles are ideal for protecting nestlings from predators. The most important factor to consider is feeder placement. Be certain there are no horizontal launching points from where the critters can jump. These would include any structure, tree or object… at all!
Being extreme acrobats, one should never leave room for doubt when placing a new feeder. A small, one-time investment in a good baffle will result in many years of pleasurable experiences with wild bird feeding!
Some of us feed them while others despise them, but squirrels are usually a large part of bird feeding. You can move the feeders, grease the poles or try any contraption, but the only effective and permanent way to keep critters off your feeder is with a squirrel baffle that’s placed correctly. In this case, correctly means the squirrel has no possible way of jumping from something else to gain access, and boy, can they jump!
But baffles aren’t just for feeders – they protect birdhouses too! Or rather they protect residents inside those houses. Both squirrels and raccoons can and will destroy nests and eat eggs, raccoons will even consume baby birds. Devastating not only to mom and dad, it can be bad for hosts too should you happen to be monitoring the progress of your new tenants.
If the birdhouse is pole-mounted, there’s plenty of options for a pole baffle, with easy wrap-around installation. These open for placement then lock into place. Hanging birdhouse? Not a problem! Simply place a hanging baffle above the birdhouse. With 20-inch diameter, it will deter pesky squirrels and raccoons.
You can even make your own squirrel baffle with a few items from the local home improvement store. The Kingston and stovepipe baffles are popular designs among bluebird monitors. Just do a quick search for directions on how these are made.
Offering places for birds to nest is a great way to entice them to your place without actually feeding them, and fresh water is another easy method to attract feathered friends. But if you put up housing for them… please make it safe! Watching babies grow and fledge is well worth preventative measures.
Thanks for housing the birds 🙂
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!
Squirrels can be such a major nuisance around bird feeders, hence the baffle was invented. Aptly named to foil their shenanigans, lots of options are readily available to accommodate wood posts, garden poles, and hanging feeders too. Even fancy shepherd’s hooks have been taken into consideration, with a squirrel baffle that splits or opens to install – then locks back together.
With generally cooler temperatures in most parts of the country this summer, the busy nesting season has seen many birds on their second and third broods. Some use birdhouses (bluebirds, wrens, chickadees) and some don’t (cardinals, goldfinches, hummingbirds) preferring to nest in mature trees and shrubs.
Sadly, birdhouses get their share of thieves, from squirrels and raccoons, to snakes, cats and larger bully birds. Eggs and babies may be killed by territorial birds or eaten and just disappear all together.
The image at left is a bit fuzzy, but it illustrates the use of two different kinds of baffles protecting these houses. The one on the right is even home-made, using PVC pipe and an end cap from the home improvement store. It should really be at least 5 inches in diameter (this was our first try) and it works on the “rocking principle”.
A simple search for stovepipe baffle will show you how to make an expensive and effective design for posts or poles to thwart both raccoons and squirrels. Grow strong and thrive little bluebirds!
Starlings, European starlings have got to be the most annoying, nastiest bird in our yard. It’s usually temporary and then they move on. But sure as day if they start nesting around here, a scope will be a near-future purchase! Yes, it’s legal to shoot them, aggressive, invasive and non-native, they wreak havoc on native nesting birds like bluebirds, tree swallows and purple martins. Not to mention, they make the worst mess and hog all the food too. Like magicians, a tray full of mealworms can disappear in no time flat!
These baffles were just removed and cleaned not long ago. Starting with pole-mount squirrel baffle (at top) the picture was snapped before cleaning the hanging one. Why? Because there was a post on a social site glorifying starlings! Huh, are you kidding me? How could anyone possibly favor this bird? Is that not one of the filthiest things you’ve ever seen?
Using a squirrel baffle won’t stop starlings, but it sure does stop squirrels if used properly. If a feeder is hanging from a pole or shepherd’s hook, the pole-mount ones work best. They’ll keep squirrels from shimmying up the pole, but the bottom of the baffle must be at least must be at least 4.5 feet from the ground. Otherwise, they’ll jump right passed it. These wrap-around styles are perfect if there’s a ground stake at bottom, or decorative piece at top. Smart, smart design!
If your bird feeder hangs from a branch, then a hanging baffle would be appropriate. It blocks squirrel’s from climbing down onto the feeder from above. Feeder placement however should be at east 8 feet away from anything squirrels might jump from (sideways) to gain feeder access. The bottom of the actual feeder should also be at least 4.5 feet from the ground.
These general specs usually work well… unless you happen to host the occasional uber-squirrel! Feeder and baffle placement may then require some tweaking to avoid the critter’s shenanigans in full! As far as the starlings? They do make traps for these pesky birds… but you’re on your own. Actually the website Sialis.org gives some great examples on starling and house sparrow control if you’re hosting native cavity nesters in your yard.
Be gone dreaded starlings and come on spring!
As long as there’s food being offered for birds… there are pesky squirrels trying to get their fair share! And more than their share at that, little pigs can consume their own body weight in less than one week. It’s so frustrating in fact, some folks just give up on feeding their birds.
With the correct feeder, it doesn’t have to be this way at all. Should squirrels be a real nuisance around your place, and everything you’ve tried in the past doesn’t seem to work, a bird feeder with a built-in squirrel baffle may just be the answer.
Some companies who manufacture these are experts in the field… no pun intended. Designs have been tested and perfected over the years to thwart shenanigans of the most clever critters. Arundale, BirdsChoice, and Squirrel Buster are just a few. They pretty much guarantee that squirrels won’t get past the baffles that are incorporated into their designs.
Available in both hanging and pole-mounted styles, these high quality bird feeders will last for many seasons of squirrel-free enjoyment. Some of the designs have been around for years, with proven track records of success.
Save yourself birdseed, money and aggravation with a quality bird feeder that already includes a squirrel baffle… you birds will thank you too!
That’s mom. bluebird feeding nestlings as dad looks on from his favorite perch – sorry about the poor photo quality. The houses appear closer than they really are, and there are two schools of thought on this: Pairing houses 10-15 feet apart will sometimes eliminate competition for the nest box, while the other is that bluebird houses should be at least 100 feet apart as they’re very territorial birds.
But this setup has seemed to work well in our yard over the years, as titmice or chickadees claim the wooden box, while bluebirds always go to the Gilbertson first. That’s actually a heat shield wrapped around the house, as temperatures were sweltering during the blue’s last brood. One of those car windshield heat deflectors… easy to cut and works perfectly!
Not only for feeders, a squirrel baffle offers protection for eggs and nestlings. Raccoons and squirrels are less likely to mess with babies inside a house if they’re baffled. Curiously puzzled and blocked! In all sizes and shapes, for poles, posts, or hanging, squirrel baffles work when used correctly. This entails sizing up any “horizontal launch point” which is just making sure the furry acrobats can’t jump sideways from anything that would allow access to the house or feeder. Remember the crafty critters’ sideways jumping capability is about ten feet!
I’ll bet not. Most backyard birding folks hate them… with a passion! Not only for raiding bird feeders, they’ve also been known to destroy nests, eggs and hatchlings of favorite songbirds.
Can’t say I ever fed one by hand, but ours are pretty spoiled! They never mess with any of the bird feeders or houses, but it’s not for lack of trying! EVERYTHING has a baffle, and they really work at keeping the critters at bay. This minimizes frustration to the max, and it’s got to be the best solution to bird feeding in peace. It’s no wonder they make about 5000 different models of squirrel-proof bird feeders, predator guards for houses, and baffles for poles!
Do I appreciate them? Hmmmmm? I could do without them, but in feeding the birds, squirrels are just a part of the gig. I don’t hate them, or there wouldn’t be food out for the crafty critters in the first place. They have one of those Bungee Cord squirrel feeders, and they get a corn/sunflower/peanut mix in a big saucer. When it’s really cold, they get Peter Pan peanut butter smeared on a tree trunk too! They always have access to fresh water, and I even put a squirrel house up this year… but I’ve never seen them use it. Actually, they have it pretty darn good around here. The fridge can be empty… but the birds and squirrels will always have food 🙂
Whether the bird feeder is pole-mounted or hangs… there’s a baffle to accommodate it. If you’re one who does not appreciate these furry friends and are fed up with their antics… maybe it’s time to get serious and install baffles? You’ll be really glad you did, and will save money in the long run.
So just how did rodents earn an “appreciation day” anyway? For some unbeknownst reason, the universe made them kinda cute. And it’s pretty weird that even when they get old, they still retain their good looks, wit and charm. Bet this couple really appreciated his antics – what a keeper of a photo!
Whether you feed squirrels or not (yes, many folks actually do) the last place you want to see them is in your bird feeders… period! And inevitably, no matter how much you feed the critters, they’ll still go for your birdseed.
The only surefire way we’ve ever witnessed to keep them at bay is by installing a decent squirrel baffle. It’s a one-time investment that promises you’ll never have to deal with the issue again. Some people “grease” their poles, and this may work for a while, but it becomes a continuous chore.
Cylinder and cone shaped baffles are most common for feeder poles. Say you have a shepherd’s hook and the baffle won’t fit around the top or the bottom ground stake? No problem – many of the cone baffles actually open and lock, allowing for placement on the fanciest, and curviest of poles.
A hanging baffle is best suited if your feeder’s suspended from a tree limb or branch. Baffles like these do double duty, acting as weather guards to protect both food and dining birds from the elements. But be careful, not all weather guards are hefty enough to qualify as an effective squirrel baffle.
You can even try to make your own baffle with a few supplies from a home improvement store. Stovepipe type baffles have plans available online, Just do a search “stovepipe baffle”. They can be made from sheet metal or PVC pipe.
Whatever type of baffle you may choose, feeder placement is the key! Make sure there is no horizontal “launch” point for squirrels to jump from, and if hanging, be sure the bottom of the feeder is at least five to six feet from the ground. So heed these precautions… as squirrels’ acrobatic stealth is nothing short of amazing!