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 🙂
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!