This Trick Will Keep Squirrels Out Of Your Bird Feeder While Adding To Your Curb Appeal

Bird watchers love the sight of a full bird feeder surrounded by several varieties of fluttering, satiated warblers. And nothing mars the sight more quickly than squirrels chasing away the birds and scarfing up the birdseed. The same squirrel that looks cute playing tag with its squirrel friend in the yard isn't so cute hanging from the tree branch holding your bird feeder and gluttonously gorging on your songbird sunflower seed and nut mix. Luckily, the answer to the problem of snacking squirrels is not all that baffling — more precisely, it is an actual baffle. 

The trick is to place a baffle or a dome over the top of or underneath your bird feeder. As the definition implies, a baffle, including a DIY one, is a domed cover that will thwart the squirrels' efforts to reach the feast you set out for the winged visitors. If you have a bird feeder on a pole, you might have tried spraying it with WD-40 to make it too slippery for the acrobatic squirrels to climb, but eventually, the spray might wear off before you can reapply it. The baffle adds another layer of protection and also can cover feeders that hang from trees.

Baffles confound squirrels and keep them out of bird feeders

To create this hack for keeping squirrels from scurrying up poles or down branches to get to your feeder, you'll need to determine your style. Think about what will enhance your curb appeal and choose materials that work with your aesthetic. In a formal area, you might want a clear plastic bowl with a cut design that mimics crystal. In a more casual neighborhood, try a brightly colored plastic bowl or tub. If your home is set in the woods or a rural area, your choice might be a big wooden salad bowl.

Once you have your bowl/baffle, cut or drill a hole in it, making sure to wear safety glasses. Attaching the baffle will differ if it's hovering above or suspended below the feeder. If the baffle is below the feeder, it's a little easier; just create some method to prevent the baffle from sliding down the pole once you've positioned it, such as with a ring of zip ties. If the baffle hangs above the feeder, you'll need to suspend it using eye bolts, coupling nuts, washers, and "S" hooks, securely anchoring it above the bird feeder.

In addition to warding off pesky squirrels, a baffle that covers the top of the bird feeder offers the additional benefit of keeping the food drier, which can lead to healthier situations for the birds in your yard by preventing mold growth.