I am a big fan of watching birds and recently invested in a small cedar bird house that allows seed to be placed in the middle and suet on the sides. This bird house has worked really well, and it draws a large diverse set of birds to our back yard. Over time I noticed that squirrels were getting into the bird house. This wouldn’t be a big deal if they nibbled and left, but they would swing wildly on the feeder and cause it to throw feed all over the ground. Since bird feed is expensive this got old REAL quick!
During my anti-squirrel research I came across the Yankee Droll bird feeder. The videos were hysterical so I decided to get one. The feeder does a good job of keeping out squirrels, but this does come with a cost. Each time a squirrel is thrown off the feeder a large chunk of seed goes with it. While I enjoyed the feeder for what it was, I was no better off with this feeder than the cedar feeder that was q quarter of the cost.
So back to the drawing board I went. Being somewhat scientific, I started studying how the squirrels got into the feeders. They would either climb up the feeder stand to get to the feed, or they would jump from a branch to the top of the feeder and scurry down. They were attacking my poor littele feeder from every angle possible!!
After numerous experiments I was finally able to devise a squirrel proof feeder. I built my stand out of a 10′ piece of metal plumbing pipe. I cut one section to 7′ to make the base, and then took the remaining 3′ section to make the top. I joined the two pieces of pipe with a threaded T, and then attached another 2′ section of pipe to the T to make a resting place for my feeder. I spray painted all of the metal with rustoleum to protect the metal and to make the stand a bit more aesthetically pleasing.
To squirrel proof the feeder I added a torpedo tube 4′ up from the bottom, and then added a squirrel baffle 1.5′ down from the top. Squirrels now get trapped in the torpedo tube if they try to go up the feeder, and they slide off the squirrel baffle if they try to leap on to the top of it (I have only see one brave squirrel attempt this feat). Here is what the final product looks like:
This design can be altered to place the feeder higher up, or to bring it lower to the ground (you need to make sure the torpedo is high enough up so the squirrels can’t bypass it). To date I have YET to see a squirrel get into my cedar feeder, and it’s built pretty sturdy so I’m hoping it will last for quite some time. My nemesis has been defeated for the moment, but I have no doubt they are plotting against me and trying to come up with a way to circumvent my squirrel proof bird feeder.