View Full Version : Bird Feeders

Rich Riddle
01-25-2013, 10:43 AM
Does anyone know of a bird feeder that is squirrel proof? I had considered the Yankee flipper before seeing this video:


I guess I am an old man when wanting to feed the birds and not the squirrels.

Brian Libby
01-25-2013, 11:49 AM
I do not think there is ANY bird feeder that is squirrel proof! They are certianly NOT "dumb animals"- they are pretty crafty.

Joe Angrisani
01-25-2013, 12:05 PM
We have had good luck using baffles on the pole holding the bird feeders (versus actual "squirrel-proof" feeders).


Ken Garlock
01-25-2013, 1:53 PM
The easy solution is to get some automotive grease and smear it around the pole that holds the bird feeder. It is entertaining to watch the squirrels come running and jump on the pole and slide down.

Robert McGowen
01-25-2013, 1:55 PM
We have one that has been squirrel-proof for over a year so far. I took the photo to show you that the squirrels still try though!

Amazon - search for Brome 1024 Squirrel Buster Plus Wild Bird Feeder with Cardinal Perch Ring

It seems to bounce around in price from $50 to $90 for some reason though, so you have to watch it. 252413

Mel Fulks
01-25-2013, 2:10 PM
Why not build a little fire station around the bottom of the pole ? Cut away front ,like a dollhouse.Now there's an idea!

Kevin Bourque
01-25-2013, 3:13 PM

This guy has the right idea.

Paul Saffold
01-25-2013, 3:46 PM
This works. The baffle is a 2 ft. length of 8" galvanized stove pipe and cap. A 3/4" coupling drilled and tapped for a thumb screw, slides over the 1/2" pipe and holds up the baffle and lets it swing and rock back and forth when the rodents try to climb up it. It helps that I'm 6-4 and have the hopper feeder so high I can just barely reach it's top to fill it. But a black bear just has to lean on the pipe and it bends over like a wet noodle. DAMHIKT I try to remember to take the feeder down in the spring to avoid having to rebuild it.

Ted Calver
01-25-2013, 4:04 PM
+1 on Paul's method. I bought 'squirrel baffles' @$20+ each and they worked for the squirrels, but the raccoons could shinny right up them, so those got retired. Went to Lowe's and bought the 2' x 8" galvanized pipe and end caps and made baffles for all four feeders. The next day there were little raccoon prints half way up the baffles ending in a big long skid mark where they slid back down. Has made my feeders squirrel/raccoon proof for years. Glad there aren't too many bears around though.

Kevin Bourque
01-25-2013, 7:02 PM
I hang all my feeders from branches and I coat the wire with automotive grease. I also have baffles on top of all of them in case them varmints "break the code". It works great as long as the feeders are at least 5' above the ground and 8' from the tree trunk. Mostly they've resigned themselves to hanging out on the ground under the feeders waiting for falling seeds.

Joe Kieve
01-25-2013, 7:18 PM
Squirrels don't get on mine, not for long anyway. I have an electric fence charger hooked up to it. Will take a picture of my setup tomorrow when it's daylight out. Been using this for over ten years and works well, except when I forget to plug it in. Gives a pretty good tingle if I forget to unplug it before adding birdseed. DAMHIKT!


If anyone might be interested, here are pics of my setup. I use a "fido shock" charger, fairly low voltage, not enough to kill but just a pretty good tingle. The feeder hangs on 1/8" cable which is the ground side of the charger. The sheet metal over the feeder is the positive side. It sits off the feeder about an inch. The only way a squirrel can get to the feeder is to climb out on the cable, then he can't get to the feeder without getting onto the sheet metal. Front legs on the metal, back legs on the wire, complete circuit, BAM, he's off.252484

David Weaver
01-25-2013, 8:33 PM
Schedule 40 pipe wide enough that they can't grip it is what works for us.

I do so enjoy putting grease on the post of those feeders and watching the squirrels get their feet caked in it, but the mrs. doesn't like that so much. Plus, the first few clean the grease off and the rest can go up.

If the feeder hangs too close to the ground here, they will literally jump straight up off the ground several feet up.

Jerry Bruette
01-25-2013, 8:58 PM
I had actually quit feeding the birds because of the squirrel problems, until my wife and kids bought me a Yankee flipper. The gray squirrels won't even try to go in it anymore and the red squirrels quit coming in the yard altogether.

Had some trouble when I first got the feeder, I hung it too close to the post and the squirrels would hold onto the post with their hind legs and reach out with their front ones and eat from the feeder.

I did have a raccoon unhook the feeder from it's post one spring and drag it into the woods. I no longer feed the birds in the late spring and summer.


Myk Rian
01-25-2013, 9:13 PM
Pellet gun.

Larry Frank
01-25-2013, 9:38 PM
I have a lot of squirrels and have been successful with a dome like thing which can swivel and move. It keeps the squirrel from being able to climb down to the feeder. The feeders are hung so that the squirrel can not jump from anywhere to get to it.

For a good story about this problem read about Genghis Khan in Creatures of the Kingdomby James A. Michener (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7995.James_A_Michener)

Mel Fulks
01-25-2013, 10:13 PM
Jerry, it just make you wonder why squirrels with that kind of talent don't get a job with Cirque du Soleil.....

Fred Perreault
01-25-2013, 10:42 PM
We have tried all kinds of home made rigs to keep the varmints off of the feeders, but our local bird watchers store has a pole and baffle setup that is the cat's meow. A sturdy pole, with a 6"x24" metal tube well off the ground and then more pole above the cylinder that accepts various hangers, bars and adapters to suspend the feeders from. Squirrels are problem solvers, but they have given up scampering up the pole only to get stuck inside of the long dark cylinder. It is much like poles with baffles or stove pipe mentioned in previous posts. My wife likes the system because now that we don't have to use heavy, bulky, squirrel-proof feeders, she has room for more feeders. Not counting the hawks, crows and seagulls, we have more than 20 species of birds during the year. And a feed bill to prove it.

Brian Ashton
01-25-2013, 11:11 PM
I do not think there is ANY bird feeder that is squirrel proof! They are certianly NOT "dumb animals"- they are pretty crafty.

Hang the bird feeder below a bug zapper.

Joe Angrisani
01-26-2013, 5:10 AM
Hang the bird feeder below a bug zapper.

Tastes like chicken??

Jerry Bruette
01-26-2013, 9:31 AM
Jerry, it just make you wonder why squirrels with that kind of talent don't get a job with Cirque du Soleil.....

The first winter I had the Yankee flipper a red squirrel got on the ring and I counted 40 revolutions before it finally couldn't hang on anymore. Actually had me on my knees laughing.


Lee Schierer
01-26-2013, 11:09 AM
A fairly easy fix, is to mix cayenne pepper with the seed. Birds don't have taste buds that are sensitive to pepper, but squirrels do. They will leave your feeder alone after one or two tastes.

Sam Murdoch
01-26-2013, 12:19 PM
I have been on this mission for a looooooong time. Tried the engage in battle technique when I was younger - that included slingshots, live electric wires, hot pepper and other various terror inducing devices but finally after years of mutual frustration and agggravation I had a mature epiphany - squirrels have rights too! :). I just needed to be smarter. I realized that I'm the one who puts the food out and so I can't rightly blame the squirrels for wanting to eat. I also on occasion ended up with a one eyed squirrel or a 3 legged squirrel around my feeders and though I don't know that some of my more aggressive tactics were responsible for the afflicted creatures I started to think that I could be hurting them. That was unacceptable. The videos of the catapult and the slingshot made me laugh - I can sure relate - but I felt a twinge of regret too. Anyway here are my squirrel and raccoon proof feeders. Bears do what they want. :rolleyes: All of these feeders are red squirrel proof. The grays and raccoons have been more challenging.

First great succes story is the platform feeder with the 16" mooring ball under -

Key features: 1) The platform is 60" off the ground. 2) No trees within 10'. 3) No overhanging branches 4) The mooring ball is set 40" off the ground. New squirrels to the neighborhood will spend hours running up the pole and somersaulting off the bottom of the ball while all the vets stand around and laugh. Raccoons certainly try but they can't get their fat selves around the ball. Several times a year, just as a precaution, I wax the ball. This has been the only completely critter proof feeder set up.

252485 252489 252486

The tube feeder shown in the first 2 photos is shown with it's plastic dome in the 2nd photo. You can see that turkeys come by to check things out occasionally. These guys are more of a nuisance than squirrels - they really tear up the ground and keep all other birds away. The day I took this photo there were ate least another 12 or 18 turkeys out side the view of the camera. I think I experienced a turkey swarm. Anyway back to the tube feeder. Every season I get a squirrel that is especially athletic and can do a horizontal jump from the tree at right even though it is 8 feet away. Otherwise this is "mostly" successful. The tube hangs from 5 feet of very fine stainless wire - by fine I mean the thinness of 30 lb test fishing line. Surprisingly there are always one or two squirrels that are bold enough to try sliding down the wire fireman pole style. This is a crap shoot because they usually hit the loose and wobbly dome too fast to hold on but every 1 out of 5 times they can manage to hold on and find their way to the tube. Eight feet from the tree and 5' off the ground are essential minimums. Overhanging branches must be factored in too. Above this feeder, I actually needed to wire 2 branches together. For one long summer I could never understand how the raccoons were getting to this feeder. But then one night (middle of the night with a spotlight) I saw a raccoon climb onto an upper branch and due to its fat weight the branch slowly dropped to the level of the feeder from where the raccoon could eat in perfect comfort. I was very impressed. Once every 18 months or 2 years I need to trap and move a few generations of squirrels that are just too good at getting to this tube feeder.

The 3rd photo is completely red squirrel proof - they can't get around the empty water bottle. The grays and the raccoons however can climb up to the feeder but the design with the door that drops with weight on the perch works very very well. I have had to replace the perch a few times because eventually a determined rodent will eat through it and then the gate won't close, but otherwise this is a great feeder for frustrating squirrels.

If you want to hear my trapping stories I can share those too - with photos. 27 reds last year and 13 grays :eek:. Every now and again I just need to clean the yard. As far as I can tell I only have 6 grays and maybe a few more reds around this winter - and oh yeah - turkeys. Obviously I get a kick out of all the activity in the peaceable kingdom.

Rich Riddle
01-28-2013, 12:27 AM

It's good to see someone put as much effort and thought into this situation as you have. I too am having trouble with harming animals that simply need to eat in winter. Thank you for the pictures.