How to make a squirrel-proof bird feeder pole with a piece of PVC pipe.
I shared my $5 bird feeder pole way back in June so I thought it was time for an update and to answer some questions I've been getting. Really it's just one question, and that is..."have you had any problems with squirrels?"
The answer to that is...YES!
Oh, it took awhile for those sneaky little beasts to catch on but, once they did, there was no stopping them.
Now, I like squirrels and have nothing against them but they were eating all the bird seed faster than I could put it out.
I love having a bird feeder right by my dining room window so I had to come up with a solution.
The first, and most obvious solution was to use a baffle. We found a clear one at the home improvement store and put it on the pole. It took about a day for the squirrels to figure out how to get around it.
Solution #1 was a bust.
Solution #2 was to grease the pole. I tried coconut oil and WD-40 but neither one worked. Sure, they would slide down the pole a little bit but they quickly figured out how to jump over to the feeder.
Solution #2 was also a bust.
While we discussed our options, standing at the dining room window, we'd watch the squirrels watch us, watching them. Mocking us.
That was not going to do so we took another trip to the home improvement store to get a few supplies.
How do you squirrel proof a bird feeder pole?
The squirrels were jumping from the deck railing right to the feeder so our idea was to raise the feeder higher to get it out of their reach using a 1" PVC pipe.
Along with the baffle we were sure that this would do the trick.
All we had to do was to take the original pole, which was ¾", out of the hole in the rail.
Then I drilled a bigger hole in the deck rail to fit the new 1" PVC pipe. I attached the PVC pipe to the bottom of the deck with wood screws.
Next I slid the original ¾" EMT pipe into the new 1" PVC pipe.
We figured out a good height for the feeder and the hubs drilled a hole through the original pole and the new pipe.
I slid a hitch pin in the holes to stop the original pole from sliding down.
So our $5 bird feeder pole ended up costing us about $32.
- $5 for the EMT pipe
- $4 for the PVC pipe
- $3 for the hitch pin
- $20 for the baffle
Ouch! Way more than I wanted to spend but well worth it. I love watching all the birds.
So how did Solution #3 work?
Like a charm!
I've given it about 6 weeks and all is well. The squirrels tried to climb it in the beginning but quickly figured out it was too high.
There's one good thing and one bad thing about this new set-up. The bad thing is that it's a little higher than I 'd like.
I can still see it from the sunroom but I can't see it as well from the dining room window. I have to squat down a little to be able to watch the birds. That's ok, it's good for the quads.
The good part of all of this, besides the fact that the squirrels leave it alone (and my quads are stronger), is that the feeder is easier to fill.
All I have to do is take the hitch pin out, spin the feeder over the deck and lower the EMT pipe into the PVC pipe. I can fill the feeder and then swing it back, raise the pipe and insert the pin.
Hopefully this is it for our squirrel issues. Only time will tell.