Squirrel proof bird feeder

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I made a modification to my bird feeder to make it squirrel proof . If it works well, I'll make several new ones. In a normal bird feeder there are two pieces of glass that rest in slots on either side of the feeder. The glass rests in the slot about 3/8 ths inch or so above the floor leaving a horizontal slot which allows the seed to come out onto the floor. In the floor of this horizontal slot in a straight line, I drove a series of one inch nails about 3/16 inch apart and 3/8th inch high just far apart enough to let the seed escape but nor wide enough to let the squirrel get his hand and fingers through. I then replaced the glass so that the bottom of the glass rests on the top of the nails about a half inch above the floor. This seems to work for the squirrels. At least it slows them down almost to a stop. I saw one sitting on the floor of the feeder for several hours taking out one seed at a time which I can tolerate, I guess. I'm not sure I won the battle, yet. This probably isn't an original idea but it is for me.
BJ
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Haven't tried your idea, but many other ones. Seems the squirrel is smarter then me. Haven't been able to stop them yet. One plan was to hang it with two feet of twine, out of reach. He pulled up the string to get the feed. Ok, went to stiff wire, he couldn't reach the food. I won.... a few days later I saw him tip the feeder so the food ran out onto the ground. He climbed down and feasted. I gave up. Birds, your on your own.
BJ wrote:

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Rick Samuel wrote:

BB gun, BBQ'd squirrel. Everybody wins but the tree rat. Dave in Fairfax
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dave in fairfax <reply-to, is, disaled, to, kill, spam> wrote:

In the wintertime, one of the _big_ 'super soaker' squirt-guns, makes for great sport. Particularly when you load it with 4 parts water, one part rubbing alcohol, and maybe a dollop of liquid dish detergent (make sure it _is_ a 'detergent' concoction, not 'liquid soap')
Between the alcohol and the detergent, their fur doesn't offer much protection against getting _wet_.
A truly effective anti-squirrel design consists simply of a _large_ disk (like 24"-30" diameter) with a smooth half-round on the outer edge, and 12-18" of rigid tubing (EMT, PVC, or even a hollow wooden dowel) *firmly* attached to the bottom side of it -- with a matching hole in the disk itself. This assembly just drops over the line that holds up the feeder. Anything reasonably rigid, and impervious works for the disk -- sheet-metal or plastic is ideal, but wood -- with a good surface-sealer on it, so the livestock cant sink claws into it, even at the outer edge -- works almost as well.
As the squirrel attempts to go out to the edge of the disk, obviously that side of the disk tilts down, and the conduit/PVC causes the feeder to swing _away_ from the 'down' edge of the disk.
For added entertainment value, you _grease_ the outer several inches of the disk. When it's above freezing, add a kids wading pool, with several inches of water, below the feeder -- detergent optional. You'll get a _real_ education in what swearing ins 'squirrel' sounds like. <evil grin>
The one other requirement is 'proper placement' of the feeder. Has to be far enough away from _anything_ so that critters cannot *jump* from somewhere and catch the feeder.
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And how far away, pray tell, is that?
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min 12' from the side and 8 - 10' from ground
YMMV
BRuce, 87 tree rats down and counting.
Chip G. wrote:

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The proverbial 'it depends' applies. <grin>
Among other things, on how the feeder is mounted. One that is rigidly attached to the top of a pole requires more horizontal clearance than one that is hung (via flexible support) from overhead.
It also depends on what kind of a 'launching platform' they have to work with -- if there is only a vertical surface available, much less clearance is necessary, compared to when a near-horizontal point (such as the crotch between limb and trunk) can be utilized. Even more space is required, if they can get a running start along that horizontal surface.
Lastly, _what_kind_ of critters you have to deal with can make a big difference. Red/grey squirrels are one thing. "Flying" squirrels, who actually 'glide' rather than fly, are a whole different ball-game.
For the squirrels encountered in central Iowa, a wire-suspended feeder -- at a height of about 5' above ground, hanging about 8' out from the trunk of the tree, on a limb that was about 11' off the ground, and with a 'hat' (as previously described) about 18" above the feeder -- had a 25+ year track record of withstanding all attempts by the resident squirrel population.
A lot of 'free entertainment' was provided by their ongoing attempts, however.
Since those unsuccessful attempts _did_ interfere with the desired bird's use of the facilities, the teen-aged boys *were* known to use the afore- mentioned "super-soaker" to 'discourage' the squirrels. With limited success <wry grin>
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Hi Robert, hi folks.
Your idea of the wadding pool made me LOL.
Cool idea :)
I also read about using old vinyl records (12 inches of course) abbuted against a stopper (a big knot) on the line holding the feeder. Its slippery enough to discourage the squirrels. I dont know if they are wide enough though. Good way to recycle old records.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire from Richelieu, Quebec, Canada.
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wrote:

I've a platform bird feeder on a wood pole. I've a 10" water pipe sitting upright with a gap on the end for the seed to come out on the platform. Pretty easy access for squirrels. I decided to do something other than shoo them off. I placed a plastic planter, the kind that comes with a new plant from a Home Depot or such, upside down underneath the platform.
It was entertaining to watch the first squirrel try to hop around it from the pole to the platform but it is just out of reach.
I fully expect to see them eventually figure it out and try something new. Probably chew through the plastic planter. They are ingenious fellows.
Thunder
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works
pieces
through.
a
out
You are right. I would lay my bets with the squirrel. I hung a feeder up from the eave of my house which is over some sliding glass doors. They couldn't climb up the glass doors and jump over to the feeders but they figured out a way. They would get a running start and hit the glass about half way up and spring over to the feeder like a bank shot, an amazing feat. It's a world wide conspiracy.
BJ
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Hi folks,
Try to build your planter out of galvanized steel. This shall moderate their chewing habit :)
Jean (Johnny) Lemire from Richelieu, Quebec, Canada.
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BJ wrote:

Off topic a bit, but one place I lived there was a woodpecker that had it in for squirrels for some reason and a cat that though a squirrel was a tasty snack. So when a new squirrel showed up at the bird feeder, the cat would sit under the bird feeder looking hungrily at the squirrel, and after a while the woodpecker would dive-bomb the squirrel right down into the cat's lap.
Unfortunately you can't teach that kind of teamwork.

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The feeder I saw that worked was one that the feeder was inside a cage. The bars are far apart enough for the birds to enter, but too close together to allow a squirrel. And the food is too far for the squirrel to reach.
I've seen several "squirrel proof" feeders that are not at all squirrel proof.
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Closest thing to perfection I've seen is a spring loaded sliding door that when the heavier squirrel stood on the perch, the outside tube would slide down in front of the small round openings in the feeder. When a lighter bird perched, not enough weight to move it so they could feed. Presumably any birds in need of weight watchers would have trouble :-)
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See <http://www.rollerfeeder.com/
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Han
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Simple idea for a pole mounted feeder that is out of range for a normal squirrel to jump on.
I use a piece of copper plumbing pipe as the pole, so it's a bit hard to climb. (It also weathers to a nice patina) Then I take three LARGE galvanized food cans (like green beans or white potatos), and cut one end out of each. On two, I cut tabs out of the top lid to mount into the other cans. I join the three together using pop rivets to make a long cylinder open in the inside, except for the top can lid. Then, I cut a hole in the center of the lid of the top can that is just the diameter of the pole. I place this cylinder on the pole and position it just a few inches below the bird feeder. Some screws through the pole will pin it and allow it to wobble.
Squirrels will climb the pole and go inside the cylinder, only to be trapped from going higher. There's nothing for them to chew up. The diameter of the cylinder is too large for them to grip on the outside, so they can't climb it. I peeled the labels and painted the cans to look nicer. No grey squirrel yet has defeated this system in over 10 years on two of our feeders.
However, the flying squirrels at night glide in from perches on high and snack until they can fly no more.They are so cute, it's not worth another defense.
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Your system sounds like a good idea. I think I will try my luck at making one as you describe only I think I will use sheet aluminum flashing instead of cans unless you think I should stick to cans. I can pop rivet it together into the cylinder. An excellent idea.
Thanks!! Bill
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I have done this on one of two pole mounted bird feeders. I cut a disk out of pressure treated plywood (Ob. woodworking) and nailed aluminum flashing around it to form the cylinder. Drilled a hole just big enough for the pole in the center of the disk and slid it down over the galvanized metal pole that holds the feeder. Same result, no squirrles on the feeder.
Now, my other feeder is mounted on a 4X4 post, so I had to make a large umbrella shaped piece out of flashing that I then nailed to the post under the feeder. This kept the squirrles out quite well, but was defeated by the local racoon. My wife found him sitting in the platform feeder one morning. The addition of flashing, cladding the post, under the "umbrella" so mister racoon can't get a good foothold seems to have solved that.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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Great idea! What is the best diameter of the cylinder ?

making one

of cans

into the

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