DIY squirrel proof bird feeder
My name is Phil and I live in the
If you want to have your bird peanut feeder protected from squirrels, try my DIY method. You only need a few readily available items that cost a few pence.
I have provided a set of pictures showing how simple it is to make the device.
The peanut feeders in my garden have been raided by squirrels for years and I have tried many different contraptions to deter them, but they have always managed to bypass or destroy them.
This time I think I have cracked it. The method is simple, cheap and can be made in an hour or so.
You will see that the peanut container is one of the wire mesh types available at most garden centres. Mine shows the result of previous squirrel raids where they pulled apart the mesh at the bottom of the unit so that the whole peanuts could just fall out. I have twisted the bottom of the feeder to re close the damaged mesh.
The principle of operation is that as the squirrel climbs down the pole toward the peanuts he encounters the fizzy drink bottle. Although this slippery plastic bottle is a deterrent in itself, if the squirrel continues to climb onto it, the squirrels’ weight causes the bottle to lower and cover the peanuts. Once the squirrel retreats the counter weight causes the bottle to rise back up so that the peanuts are revealed again for the birds. Even if the squirrel chews through the twine, the bottle will just fall over the peanuts and still protect them.
No harm will come to any squirrels using this design and no squirrels were harmed creating this web page.
Here are the parts required.
A plastisized garden plant support, fizzy drink bottle with the bottom cut off, two eyes, some twine or string and a few metal washers.
Open up one of the eyes to form a hook and screw into the end of the pole.
Screw the other eye into the pole at about 10 inches (254mm) from the hook.
You may need to alter this distance to suit the size of the bottle you are using. With
the part of the bottle that the lid screws onto butted up to the eye, the bottom of the
bottle should be a couple of inches (50mm) below the hook.
To complete the assembly, a hole is drilled in the top of the bottle, then the twine or string tied to it.
The twine is then fed through the eye and the metal washers tied on the end.
Use enough washers to balance the weight of the bottle.
Here is the final unit in action
The squirrel climbing down the pole and onto the fizzy drink bottle causes the bottles to cover the peanuts.
The sharp eyed amongst you will notice that this is not actually a squirrel but a toy racoon held onto the pole by a clothes peg on his tail.
It’s just that the design is so good that I have been unable to catch a real squirrel attempting to reach the peanuts.
Note the twisted bottom to the mesh on the peanut feeder. This where I twisted it to reseal the mesh damaged by previous squirrel raids.
I hope to add some picture of the various types of birds feeding on these peanuts. So far there have been great tits, blue tits, greenfinches, woodpeckers and the occasional robin that struggles to peck the nuts and usually resorts to hopping around underneath picking up bits dropped by other birds.
needs to be at least 5ft from the ground and any nearby fences or shrubs.
Squirrels are able to jump further than you would expect.
The feeder needs to be at least 5ft from the ground and any nearby fences or shrubs. Squirrels are able to jump further than you would expect.
are some previous designs
Here are some previous designs
This one used a car windscreen wiper. The idea was to have equally weighted
peanut feeders on each arm. I thought that the squirells would totally
the unit and jump off or if one got on the peanuts then the other peanut feeder
would swing across and the squirrel would jump out of the way. However as you
can see I did
not expect synchronised jumping by a pair of squirrels.
It was not very good on windy days either.
This one used an inverted plant pot tray and items from a toy construction kit.
The green plant pot tray was rested on two big wheels and a microswitch with a roller.
One wheel was connected through gearing to the motor. When the squirrel came down the pole and onto the plant pot tray the microswitch operated and the motor started. The tray then rotates and the blue plastic straw flicks onto the tray making a noise. This certainly works but tends to be also started by the wind and eventually the battery goes flat.