Universal Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Post

Marshall Faintich 2010

All photos and text on this web page are copyrighted. However, feel free to forward a link to this web page to anyone who can use the design, or to print it out for bird club members.

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In December 2006, I put up a bird feeder on a six foot tall post that was located near a tree. I soon found that squirrels could jump onto it from the tree, so I moved it to an area in my yard that was at least 10 feet from any tree or my deck. That didn't work, as the squirrels easily climbed up the post to the feeder.

I did some Internet research and read that squirrels shouldn't be able to climb up a 4-inch diameter PVC pipe, so I bought a five foot section of pipe, and placed it over the post, using a little padding inside the PVC pipe to keep the post near the center of the pipe.

The squirrels soon learned that they could get a running start and scamper up the PVC pipe and grab onto the base of the feeder. So I needed a barrier. I took a plastic funnel, about 7-1/2 inches in diameter at the wide end, and slipped it over the post, letting it rest on the PVC pipe.

This wasn't sufficient. Those cunning squirrels learned to get a running start, scamper up the PVC post, bite onto the funnel, and bring their hind legs up to the base of the feeder, and get to the bird seed. But I was not ready to give up yet.

I went to the store and bought a clear plastic dome designed as a squirrel guard for bird feeders. All I had to do is place the dome on top of the funnel, and let it rest loosely on the funnel. Now the squirrels could scamper up the PVC pipe and grab the funnel with their teeth, but they couldn't get their legs over the dome.

I have had this not-so-attractive set up in place for three years, and not one squirrel has made it to the feeder. Not that they don't try. Each spring, new squirrels attempt to conquer my design, but after a while give up and are content to search for seeds on the ground that birds have knocked from the feeder. Sometimes the squirrels bite off a piece of the funnel (see my photos below). It is amusing to watch the squirrels gather on the ground or on nearby tree limbs, and try to figure out a way to get to the feeder. But they haven't done it yet. I suppose that in another year or so I will have to replace the plastic funnel, but it is a lot less expensive than feeding the squirrels.

Any style bird feeder that can be attached to a post could use this design. I do not guarantee that your squirrels are not smarter than the ones who live near me, but would appreciate hearing from anyone else using this design if it works or does not work for you.

Feeder post and bird feeder

Close-up showing squirrel bite marks

Close-up showing squirrel bite marks

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