Squirrels are common pests in Texas. Their teeth never stop growing, so they must gnaw constantly to keep them worn down. Squirrels can also gnaw through your siding to gain access to your home. Once inside, they may build nests in your chimney or loft, and chew through your wood floors, water pipes and electric cables.
Left to their own devices, they can even consume large amounts of bird food and may destroy your bird feeders in the process.
One way to deter squirrels is to use a bird feeder with a large dome called a squirrel baffle. The squirrel baffle, which looks like the top half of a two liter bottle, prevents squirrels from getting a secure foothold on the feeder and eating the bird food on the tray.
Here’s an easy way to make your own squirrel proof bird feeder without using specialist tools or equipment.
- 1 large baffle, such as the top half of a large bottle or a large funnel
- 1 bottle cap that fits the baffle
- 1 large (9-15 inches) metal bolt
- 2 hexagonal nuts that fit the bolt
- 4 wall brackets, each with a middle hole that fits the bolt and two smaller holes that fit the screws
- 4 screws that fit the holes in the wall brackets
- 1 feeding tray, such as a small tray, around the size of the top of a mason jar
- 1 cork
- Drill and drill bit to match the bolt diameter
- A few handfuls of bird food
- Place the first wall bracket onto the large metal bolt, then put a second wall bracket upside down on top of the other.
- Use the screws to mount the wall brackets onto a post or wall. When mounting the wall brackets, make sure the bolt is horizontal.
- Drill a hole to match the bolt diameter in the bottle cap, then put the cap onto the bolt.
- Screw the baffle into the bottle cap. If your baffle isn’t the top of a liquid container, use tape adhesive to securely tighten the baffle to the bolt.
- Drill a hole to match the bolt diameter in the cork, then put the cork onto the bolt, making sure the cork nestles into the bottle cap.
- Test the baffle to ensure it rotates on the bolt.
- Put one hexagonal nut onto the bolt, then add the two remaining wall brackets to the bolt.
- Screw the remaining hexagonal nut onto the bolt.
- Place the feeding tray in between the jaws formed by the two wall brackets and tighten the nut to secure the tray in place.
- Place a few handfuls of bird food on the feeding tray.
Making your own squirrel proof bird feeder is a great way to attract birds and keep squirrels at bay. Squirrels soon learn that they can’t balance on the rotating baffle while birds can access the feeding area from the front and enjoy their food undisturbed.