How to rat-proof my bird feeder

Image by Don DeBold; Flickr.

You can instantly liven up your garden or outdoor living room by adding a bird feeder. Birds bring colour and peaceful natural noise while contributing to your garden by fertilising plants and eating insects. Unfortunately, bird feeders also attract other hungry creatures such as squirrels and rats.

These pests can destroy outdoor structures, harass and hunt birds, raid dustbins, contaminate crops and infest your home. Prevent these problems by rat-proofing your feeders with a baffle. A baffle is a cone that shields your feeder, stopping rats from climbing on them.

Cut a circle that is 15 to 25 cm larger than the width of the bird feeder.

Mark the centre of the circle with a pen or marker.

Cut a straight line from the edge of the circle to the mark.

Make a hole in the centre of the plate large enough to accommodate the diameter of the chain or base pole of the feeder.

Expand the inner circle by 1.25 cm so that it is slightly larger than necessary.

Curl the disc to form a cone overlapping one end of the sheet with the other.

Place cold welding glue between the overlapping material. Clamp the edge of the cone to hold the pieces together. A piece of tape may be applied to the seam while it dries if desired.

Hang the baffle above or under the feeder so that the flared base of the cone faces the feeder. The baffle can be slide directly onto the feeder pole or cold welded to the chain.