How to make a squirrel proof baffle

Written by erin ringwald
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How to make a squirrel proof baffle
Squirrels always seem to find a way to disturb birds at your bird feeders. (squirrel image by Tanya McConnell from

One of the more frustrating things you may encounter if you have bird feeders in your yard is the tenacity of squirrels. They always seem to find a way to reach the birdseed, often dumping the seed all over the ground and scaring the birds away. Many companies make squirrel-free birdfeeders, but many of these do not work. They also make squirrel baffles which are added to regular feeders to confuse the squirrels, but these can be expensive. Luckily, you can make your own squirrel baffle at home for little money and time and finally keep those squirrels away.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Freestanding pole bird feeder
  • Stove pipe
  • Stove pipe cap
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Nails
  • Large metal cone
  • Bolt
  • Chain

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    Method One: Stove Pipe

  1. 1

    Place a freestanding pole bird feeder in your yard a minimum of 12 feet away from any tree, fence, railing or anything else a squirrel can climb. Squirrels can jump up to 12 feet sideways and if the feeder is placed within 12 feet of other objects, your stove pipe baffle will be useless.

  2. 2

    Cut a hole in the cap of a stove pipe. You can purchase stove pipes and caps at your local hardware store. The pipe should be 8 inches around and at least 3 feet long.

  3. 3

    Place the cap onto the stove pipe and attach it using sheet metal screws.

  4. 4

    Place two nails into your post at least 5 feet from the ground, leaving about half of the nail sticking out from the pole. This will be where the top of your stove pipe cap will be.

  5. 5

    Slide the top of the bird feeder pole through the hole you cut in the stove pipe cap and slide the stove pipe and cap down until it is resting on the nails.

    Method Two: Hanging Squirrel Baffle

  1. 1

    Obtain a large metal cone or large salad bowl. Either way you will want the shape to be round or conical. Remove any lips from the cone or bowl and sand the edges to avoid injury.

  2. 2

    Cut a hole in the centre of the cone or bowl. The hole should be slightly larger than the width of the chain you will use to hang your bird feeder.

  3. 3

    Insert a bolt through one of the links of chain at the height you want your baffle to hang. The preferred height will depend on the length of chain you use and the type of feeder it is hanging.

  4. 4

    Feed the chain through the hole you cut in step 2 until it is resting on the bolt.

Tips and warnings

  • For method one, you can use a plastic flower pot if you prefer to not work with metal. Just make sure you cut the lip off the flower pot so that the squirrels do not have something to hold onto.
  • For added deterrents to hanging feeders, cut a length of garden hose to the length of your hanging chain. Cut a slit down the side of the hose and slide the hose over the chain. Squirrels will have a harder time holding onto the chain with the hose in place.

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