Squirrels often steal food from bird feeders and scare away birds. Squirrel-proofing your bird feeder will keep the squirrels away and will help save the food for the birds. Unlike other squirrel deterrents that allow squirrels to get close to the feeders, PVC pipes can be fashioned to prevent the squirrels from reaching the bird feeder in the first place. PVC pipes are also less expensive than buying special bird feeders designed to deter squirrels.
Bird feeder pole
Dig a hole in the ground about 30 cm (1 foot) deep. Lower the metal pole into the hole. Fill in the hole with cement. Allow the cement to dry.
Cut a piece of PVC pipe about 1.8 m (6 feet) long. Slip the PVC pipe onto the metal pole and let it rest at the bottom of the pole. Check that there is a section of the metal pole, at least 45 cm (18 inches) long, sticking out of the top of the PVC pipe.
Cut another piece of PVC pipe about 45 cm (18 inches) long. Drill a hole in the pipe about 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the top.
Cut a small piece of wood about 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inches) square. Cut another piece of wood about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long and 5 cm (2 inches) wide.
Stand the 7.5 cm (3 inch) piece of wood up on one end and lay the square piece of wood flat on top, so the two pieces form a three-dimensional "T" shape. Centre the 7.5 cm (3 inch) piece of wood in the middle of the square piece of wood. Hammer a nail through the top of the square piece of wood to attach the pieces together and form a small platform for the bird feeder to sit on.
Slip the 7.5 cm (3 inch) section of the wood into the top of the 45 cm (18 inch) long PVC pipe. Hammer a nail into the hole at the top of the pipe so that it secures the wood to the pipe.
Cut out a 60 cm (2 foot) wide circle from the plastic panel. Lay the circular panel on the wooden platform. Check that the panel is strong enough for the birds to sit on but not strong enough for a squirrel.
Place the bird feeder on top of the plastic panel on the wooden platform. Attach the bird feeder to the wooden platform by drilling screws through the bird feeder, plastic panel and wooden platform. The plastic panel should be sandwiched between the platform and the feeder. Slip the 45 cm (18 inch) PVC pipe, with the bird feeder attached, over the top of the metal pole.
Hanging bird feeder
Cut two pieces of PVC pipe 45 cm (18 inches) long. Grease the pipes with vegetable oil, if you want them to be extra slippery.
Slip the bird feeder onto the wire. Slip one piece of PVC pipe onto one end of the wire and the other pipe onto the other end of the wire. The bird feeder should be in between the two PVC pipe pieces.
String the wire with the bird feeder and PVC pipes between two trees. Do not place the wire too high or the squirrels will injure themselves when they fall off the PVC pipes on the wire.
Things you need
- 2.4 m (8 foot) long metal pole
- 5 cm (2 inch) round PVC pipe
- Cement mix
- Plastic panel
- 30 cm (12 inch) plank of wood, 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick and 10 cm (4 inches) wide
- Hanging wire
- Vegetable oil (optional)