Even if you love animals, it’s frustrating when greedy squirrels and raccoons empty bird feeders in a few short hours. The common bowl-shaped baffles are pretty good at keeping squirrels out, but raccoons have no trouble climbing right over them.
If squirrels or raccoons are eating you out of house and home, here’s a simple solution. This DIY raccoon and squirrel baffle is easy to make, inexpensive, and is sure to befuddle even the craftiest of critters.
What You’ll Need
I love this project, because not only does it solve a really big problem, but you can buy the parts needed at most any home improvement center. To make this baffle, you will need:
- Stovepipe: One section of 6” diameter by 24” long stovepipe. Stovepipe comes in black, but you can also buy galvanized duct pipe and paint it yourself.
- Stovepipe End Cap: One 6” diameter end cap that fits on stovepipe.
- Sheet Metal Screws: 3 to 4 sheet metal screws, 1/2″ long or shorter.
- Hose Clamp: One hose clamp, small enough to fit snugly around your bird feeder pole.
- Vise, clamp, or pliers
- Large Drill Bit or Hole Saw: A metal cutting drill bit or hole saw the diameter (or slightly larger) of the feeder pole.
- Small Drill Bit: A metal cutting drill bit slightly smaller than the sheet metal screws to drill pilot holes.
How To Build The Baffle
Making the baffle is pretty straightforward, with drilling or cutting a smooth hole in the end cap being the only operation that takes a bit of care to get right.
Baffle with hole cut in cap.
Step 1: Drill Hole
Clamp the end cap firmly in a vise, or hold it with pliers. Don’t hold it with your hands as the drill bit can easily slip and cut you. Using the drill bit or hole saw, carefully drill a hole in the center of the end cap (see How to Find the Center of a Circle). If your pole is square, you may want to opt for drilling a small pilot hole, then using a saber saw or metal shears to cut the required shape.
Step 2: Fit End Cap
Hook the stovepipe together, and fit it snugly inside the end cap.
Step 3: Drill Pilot Holes
Lay the baffle carefully on its side, and drill pilot holes through the sides of the end cap, making sure the holes goes through both end cap and stovepipe.
Hose Clamp on feeder pole.
Step 4: Attach Screws
Tighten the sheet metal screws to hold the end cap and stovepipe together.
Step 5: Slip Baffle Over Pole
With the baffle pointed down like a bell, slip the feeder pole through the hole in the center. The top of the baffle should be about 4’ to 5’ off the ground. Mark the pole at the top of the baffle, and raise the baffle out of the way.
Step 6: Attach Hose Clamp
Using the screwdriver, attach the hose clamp to the feeder pole at your mark.
Step 7: Install Baffle
Slip the baffle back down so that it rests on the hose clamp, and you’re done!
Finished squirrel and raccoon baffle installed on bird feeder pole.
Enjoy Feeding the Birds!
This baffle really works – the feeders featured in the photos have been consistently raid-free since installing it. The first days provided some enjoyment as squirrels and raccoons made determined attempts to get climb over the baffle. The squirrels repeatedly crawled up inside it and got stuck, and the raccoons simply couldn’t reach around it.
By the end of the first week, the baffle had some scratches, where it appears that a squirrel tried a mad leap and ended up sliding down the outside of the baffle. I wish I had seen that – who said foiling the critters can’t be fun?
- DIY Squirrel and Raccoon Bird Feeder Guard (video)
- Wild Bird Feeding Basics (article)
- Landscaping Tips for a Bird-Friendly Yard (article)
- How to Make a Homemade Birdbath Dripper for Your Yard (article)
- How to Make a Suet Bird Feeder (article)
i was ready to give up on bird feeders and bird houses until I came across these instructions. I can’t do anything but I could easily follow these direction. I bought the needed materials at a Lowes and I din’t spend opver $10.00.
A ready made one is about $4o.oo and mine looks and works just as well.
thank you very much.
This looks great. I plan to get the material and build this over the weekend. My bird feeder pole is 2″ in diameter and none of the ready mades will fit it, this one looks better than any of them and certainly cheaper. Thanks!
I added a link at the bottom of the article above under “Further Information” to Julie’s video on how to make the baffle, which might help. I made one of Julie’s stove pipe bird feeder baffles for the bird feeder in my yard after raccoons had gone around the dinner plate sized metal guard and ripped the feeder off the pole, and it worked great. I’ve had it up over a year now, and while I’ve seen a few muddy paw prints trying to climb up it near the bottom, the raccoons or squirrels haven’t been able to get to the feeder since. Good luck with your project!
What a great idea! I was looking online where to purchase a baffle when I came across this article. I am going out later today to buy the materials. Thank you so much!!! I love saving money.
I have a severe problem with raccoons trashing my feeder and had been researching for a solution. I came across your site and decided to give it a try. I used 8″ stovepipe and a treated 4″ x 4″ post. I cut the square out of the top with an automotive type air sabre saw and mounted it on the post using four deck screws. One screw on each flat of the post with about 1″ of the screw shank exposed. This gave the stovepipe good support and the desired wobble at the same time. Last night was the first test and there was a gang of 6-8 various size raccoons on hand at dusk determined to trash my new feeder. I held my breath this morning as I looked out to see if my new baffle passed the test. A couple muddy prints on the stovepipe but they couldn’t defeat it. This is a great idea, inexpensive to make and looks good, too. Thank you!
This baffle saved my summer from “Squirrel Wars.” We now have 6 of them at various locations in our yard. They actually keep squirrels from getting to feeders. Just to think that I was about to quit. Amazing!
I’ve been feeding birds for 20+ years. I never had a problem with raccoons until about 2 months ago. I looked into purchasing a $60 raccoon baffle but then I found your page. I bought a 24″ long 8″ wide section of duct and customized it to fit the 4″x4″ post by cutting triangular flaps in the end cap. I bent the flaps up and screwed them to the post. This morning I woke up and anxiously went to see the results. Voila! I found some raccoon scratches on the bottom of the post and I’m thrilled to report that there were some very disappointed raccoons last night! Thanks for posting your plans for an effective and inexpensive way to defeat the crafty raccoons!!
Glad to hear Julie’s baffle worked for you! Mine’s been up for over a year now, and I’ve had no more problems from raccoons or squirrels.
Where do I buy a pole for the baffle and what do I need with the pole? help!
GREAT article! I need 2 try 2 make this 4 my deck posts. However, my posts measure 5.5″, Any idea of what equipment I would need 2 make this happen based on the consideration I’m not mounting on a small pole? I am not experienced in working with metal, but I am sure I can do it if I have an idea of the right tools 2 use & right pipe 2 get with that considered. All & any info appreciated, GREATLY!
I built this baffle after my post last February. It works like a charm, lots of squirrel and raccoon prints along the bottom edge, but none have succeeded in climbing it.
Glad to hear our squirrel/raccoon baffle worked for you! Thanks for the feedback.
Our shepherd staff feeder poles have braces at ground level which makes the raccoon baffle impossible to use without cutting the cap with tin snips; causing the cap to come apart. I was hoping this solution would have worked but unfortunately i continue to search for an answer to the hungry coons.
I had a same problem my post is not removable and it is not possible to slip anything on the pole. My solution was instead of a pipe cap cut a wooden circle made from two halves, made a clamp with brackets on it to screw it into the wooden top. Slipped the bracket which is U shaped on the post and tighten it with a bolt and a nut through the ends of the U. Put the 2 wooden halves on the top and fasten it to the bracket with short wood screws, which held the halves together. For the pipe I used a ducting pipe, which you can take apart at the seam. Slipped it around the pole, put it together again, slid it at the top over the wooden top and used wood screws put it together. So far it works. Hope this will help.
Not sure how you managed to pick up the parts for under $10. I shopped around and checked Home Depot, Lowes, Tractor Supply and called a couple of Wood Stove places and Tractor Supply was the cheapest for the 6″x24″ Black stove pipe. $6.99 for the pipe. Tractor supply didnt have the 6″ cap, so i drove across the street and bought one at Lowes for $9.50. Hose clamp was .50, so total cost for me was $17. Still cheaper than commercially available ones. I saw a Stokes Select Stove Pipe Baffle on Amazon for $24.52 and free shipping with Prime. But the satisfaction of making it yourself and doing it for $7.52 cheaper is worth it. The split stove pipes can be a bear to get together. I had to pry open the one side a little in order to get mine together. Watched the squirrels for the first time this morning climbing up inside it, then back down and then resorting to scavenging for dropped seed on the ground. Another victory over the rodents!
Will it work for rats?
Yes, it should work for rats trying to climb up a bird feeder as well.
I’m going to try this project. My problem is not squirrels or raccoons…its RATS!
Will it work for small rodents as well??
Just saw your comment to Marian about the Rats! Thanks!
Excellent idea – very economical and efficient squirrel baffle. Bought 10$ black pipe from lowes and 5$ galvanised cap from home-depot and 50cents for the clamp. After 5 minutes, everything done. Squirrels tried multiple times and failed every single time. They are on the ground picking the sprinkled seeds!
Love this idea…
Wondering if I can use this for bird houses too.
Last night some animal totally wrecked our bird house with a nest in it… So sad. I can tell it was an animal… pole and house are full with scratches.
If the bird house is mounted on a pole, it should work great. Good luck!
Between Home Depot & Lowe’s, I was able to get all the items and spent less than $20. I used a 2′ x 6″ galvanized dryer vent pipe and had to spray paint it black. The first night, I watched the racoon try and figure out how to get around the baffle, but after 5 minutes, he gave up and wandered back to the woods. I do see some muddie prints where the raccoon and some squirrels have jumped at it, but no luck for either one! Also, I bent the bottom ends inward, so the squirrels couldn’t climb up inside the baffle. I am so glad I ran across your web page. Thank you for this idea!
Glad to hear the baffle worked for you. I’ve had one I made on my feeder for several years now, and it’s done a great job keeping the critters away!
Finally thought we had the answer to stopping the squirrels but the figured out how to climb the darn pipe. May try putting a larger piece on top. oh well.
I have had 3 raccoons getting on 6 of my feeders that are on poles every night for the past month or so! I tried a variety of deterrents. Some worked, but the raccoons were still on top of the feeders…trying. I put up the stove pipes on all 6 feeders yesterday…this morning, not one of them was disturbed. I was going to put up aluminum sheeting around them…but this was much easier. Although putting up 6 of them was quite a bit of money initially…it will definitely pay off over time. Thank you for this excellent idea!
Glad the baffle worked. Mine has been up for years now and not a squirrel or raccoon has gotten past it yet!
Bought a 6″ x 24″ galvanized pipe ($3.98) and end cap ($4.98) at HD. Also bought the clamps but didn’t use them. Drilled a hole in the end cap big enough to get the tip of my tin snips in and cut an X in it. Drilled a small hole in each flap and bent them up. Used deck screws to attach it to my wooden pole, salvaged from a storm damaged umbrella. Watched a couple of squirrels this morning get shut out of my platform feeder. Works great, less than $9 and only took a short time to assemble and install. Thank you very much.
I have a tube feeder and larger platform feeder on a couple of 5 inch cedar poles – racoons and squirrels have been raiding them pretty hard – googled and came up with your solution which I set up. I used 6 inch 36 inch long pipes capped and screwed to the top of the posts, then put feeders right over them – works like a charm! Wish I had come up with this solution years ago – would have saved me a ton on seeds… Thanks for putting it out there.
Glad to hear our squirrel baffle worked for you, thanks for the feedback!
About 15 years ago I bought an inexpensive pole set that included a baffle like this. I love it but have never found one since that I deemed affordable. I bought a metal dome baffle which works, but it needs to remain loose at the top so it makes so much noise during a windy night. You are brilliant for coming up with this! Definitely a “why didn’t I think of this” moment for me since I have installed the same pipe to vents in my attic. I am excited to go buy the parts because I know it will work.
I just made a bird feeder using your baffle plan to keep the squirrels out, as well as other critters. Day 3: working great so far…very happy about the results. I used a 3-foot section of ventilation pipe and cut a piece of sheet metal in a circle instead of buying a cap. All is well…had 4 black squirrels this morning doing a bit of window shopping but they were unable to buy anything.
Thanks for the baffle plan!
What a brilliant idea, I am going to HD today to get the pipe & cap!
And I thought I came up with this idea back in the 80’s in Maryland. It’s the most effective baffle I ever used, plus I added a large “rat guard” too. I beg to differ about the raccoons, though. I lived in a forest in North Carolina for 14 years and nothing short of a live trap stopped raccoons from getting where ever they wanted to be. I have photos of them standing and laying on top of the feeders while my terriers yapped at them from below. However, I’ll never know how many were deterred from the feeders by the guard. It’s an excellent idea and I have one on my feeder…it now lives in central west Florida…and so do I.
I just finished the assembly and installation of a shield. I got my stovepipe from the local True Value Hardware. The assembly was a bit of a bear because of my stovepipe being out of round when I finally got it united. I had a bit of trouble getting the cap to slide on. However it’s installed on the feeder. I found zip screws worked well. I hadn’t worked with stovepipe before and was surprised by its thickness and strength. I drilled a series of 1/4 inch holes and cut out a 1 1/4 inch hole with metal snips so as to fit over the 1 inch pipe our feeder uses. I hope our neighborhood squirrels are surprised in the morning.
I have been fighting the raccoon war since moving to the country two years ago and I thought this might actually be a solution. I still have some work to do. The stovepipe I used is two feet long, 7 inches in diameter and swings freely. I have game camera photos of raccoons sitting on top of this eating bird seed that I will be happy to post.
Sorry the baffle didn’t work on your raccoons, it stopped the ones in my yard from climbing up it. Were they able to shimmy up the outside of it? If so, you might try spraying the outside with something slippery like cooking spray.
Do you have any ideas that will work with a 4×4 wooden post?
Will this baffle work to keep snakes out of my bluebird houses? I have lost out to black snakes the past two years, very discouraging.
How can I keep squirrels off of the suet feeders? They climb up the tree and jump on to it. It hangs on a string away from the tree but they still get on it. HELP.
JR Vinson — I’ve lost quite a few bluebirds and it is heartbreaking. Last spring I finally had success. I used a baffle similar to this, but cut a 2 ft square of hardware cloth with half inch squares, leaving the sharp points all around the edges, and mounted it on the pole between the baffle and house. The snakes were not able to get around it and the baffle kept the other critters out. Now I just have to make sure the sparrows don’t move in 🙂
HI, I would love to hear your advice on my problem. I have two feeder poles clamped to my deck. One is angled out away from it. I’m guessing they are about 4′ long before the curved part. I think the raccoons are trying to climb up the pole and then unintentionally (at least the first time) knock it over. The deck rail is only as deep as the clamp surface. In other words, the clamp is barely socked in. I am totally not handy and I can’t figure out a way to fix this. The 2nd feeder is suet with a straight pole and they just come over, lean in and open it. Any ideas for either? It was sad this week when it was so cold and the birds were hungry. THanks
used 5 gal plastic bucket with the top rim cut off to make it a no grip. Mounted it on 6 ft pipe 1.5 in. with clamp to hold it loosly. Works!
How about bees? I certainly don’t want to encourage African Bees to set up a nest site.
This is AWESOME! Thank you so much for the thorough instructions and shopping list. I made mine today in very little time and it’s now installed (used a swimming ‘noodle’ and zip tie around the pole in the inside of the baffle to stop it blowing in the wind and making noise)
Now to see if it does the trick – I am very confident!
Great idea ! I purchased gal. vent (5ft). Any reason why I couldn’t use all 5′? Bottom edge is sharp. Five would just about cover all of 4×4. Will paint pipe after wiping with vinegar. Thanks !
My problem is squirrels drop from a tree limb above the bird feeder and lands on the post where the feed is to get to it.
Great idea — went ahead and made one given that it was a lot cheaper. Stopped the raccoons in their tracks. Saw one trying to climb up one of my feeders with this baffle on it the other night, and he was completely unable to.
Squirrels, however, are a different matter. This baffle has no effect on their ability to climb up my poles. Although the stovepipe is 6″ in diameter I am watching, right now as I write this, a squirrel spreading it’s little arms and legs and crawling up the outside of the baffle.
Mine has been up for years and I haven’t had any gray squirrels where I live in Alabama able to climb up it. Perhaps you have a different type of squirrel in Maryland? You might try spraying the outside with silicone spray and see if that helps.
Ben — thanks for the suggestion. I’m pulling out the silicon spray right now. I’m assuming that it won’t have any ill effect on the squirrels themselves, right?
As an aside, we have four types of squirrels here: gray, red, flying, and fox (one of the subspecies of fox is the Delmarva Fox Squirrel, and endangered squirrel and seen only in a small area here — in 26 years I’ve seen only a handful of them).
What is bypassing the baffle are gray squirrels. We have a few reds out here on the Peninsula simply because we have some concentrations of pines. But the grays are the bandits.
Frankly, I don’t mind squirrels. I love watching them, feeding them, etc. I don’t care if they eat out of the bird feeders — there’s plenty of food in plenty of feeders and they aren’t stealing from the birds. My problem with them is that they absolutely *destroy* any bird feeder they come into contact with. If it’s plastic-based they’ll chew it apart. If it’s wood-based they’ll jump and smash their heads up against it until it breaks.
Hey, at least that’s the extent of my problem. Would much rather have this kind of problem than not have any squirrels at all. 🙂
I doubt silicone spray would harm squirrels, but I don’t know for sure. You could also try cooking spray, but it’s pretty greasy. Both will wear off after a while. Before I added the stove pipe baffle, I greased the 1/2″ pipe, and got a kick out of the squirrels climbing halfway up it and then sliding down like a fire station pole, but, like it said, it soon wore off. My only other tips is to make sure there’s nothing near the feeder, like a branch or shrub, they can use to take a flying leap. We had a sunflower plant spout and grow right next to the feeder, and when it got tall enough, the squirrels used it to circumvent the baffle. Since you’ve seen them climb up the stove pipe itself, that’s not the problem in your case.
I recently tried this solution. A 2ft length of 6″ dia plastic pipe, in two days the local racoon climbed right up it. I then waxed it and he still went up with ease. I have the evidence on my criter cam
I’ve been working with a 4″ PVC that covered the length of the post and that has kept squirrels out. Raccoons have been able to defeat it. Today I waxed the post we’ll see if it helps. I know it will wear off but it is my level 2. If I need to take it up a notch I like the 5 gallon bucket route might try.
To Andy Taylor – If the raccoon is able to get his arms around and shimmy up then maybe try a larger diameter – go to 8″. If he is just grabbing on then something slippery – like aluminum flashing on the outside of the baffle might do it.
To Greg M, – Is the squirrel making the jump from the ground to the outside of the baffle? If so then maybe try raising the bottom of the baffle either by shortening it or by getting a longer post so it can’t make the jump. Then you will test his ability to climb the inside of the baffle and transition to the outside.
After years of battling numerous red and gray squirrels robbing our bird feeder, this baffle has stopped the pillage.
Great idea and really easy to make….thanks. Now I am starting to feel sorry for the thieves…
The squirrel baffle is fantastic! The materials were very inexpensive, just as advertised. Easy assembly. But the best thing is that it works! At this very moment I’m looking at three squirrels eating away at the base of the feeder. They occasionally look up, frustration written all across their little furry faces. Dare I say that they’re “baffled”?!
Glad to hear our squirrel baffle worked for you! Thanks for the feedback.
I have a pole with a 4 foot pipe with a 26 inch circumference surrounding it. The pipe doesn’t hang but sits on a wire tray that allows the pipe to swivel and move. The squirrels can’t manage the pipe but the raccoons can still climb it. Not sure if they are just bigger or craftier but hasn’t stopped them yet. I’ve even put petroleum jelly on the pipe and that hasn’t stopped them. I am truly at wits end!
What will work for deer?
I’ve used this solution this past year to guard bluebird houses that had been vandalized by hungry oportunistic chipmunks. The noise of the metal baffle on the steel T-bar make a noise in moderate wind, and we think it discouraged the birders from nesting for next year. We have to wrap the post to diminish the sound of metal on metal. We remain optimistic.
I’ve tried food-grade silicone spray, cooking spray, even vaseline on the pole itself. Some worked briefly but none for long. I stopped after reading on multiple reputable sites that it harms the birds. It gets on their wing feathers when they brush by the pole & they can’t clean it off & it messes with their natural weatherproofing, flight ability, etc. I’m back to trying to design a baffle that will work with my particular setup, without having to buy a taller pole (we’re committed to working with found/reclaimed materials) or moving a giant boulder squirrels can jump past a baffle from (not viable for now). Or moving the pole which is slightly more feasible but less desirable for various reasons. Appreciate everyone’s comments on how they modified or adapted the original design for various applications though!
Got some 6″ galvanized 24″ long stovepipe at Lowes Builders, a 6″ cap for that and a hoseclamp. Used an old chisel to cut the 1 1/2″ hole in the cap, set the hose clamp on the 1 1/2″ PVC Pole at a good height, and put it in place. My friend, Radar Raccoon has been baffled by it and has not succeeded in climbing it. You can see some scratch marks on the stovepipe showing how high he got before he failed. The slick galvanized tin surface, and the fact that the bottom is loose and kind of flaps a bit in the wind – doesn’t promote a “grip”. Don’t think squirrels will get up it either, as they’ll climb the pole up into the baffle and that’s going nowhere fast. So, seems to be a great simple remedy. Thanks.
Thanks so much for these instructions. The squirrels this year were eating so much of my bird seed. I came across your instructions while searching for solutions to my problem. My husband went and bought all the pieces required yesterday and put this together for me. This morning I am having my coffee waiting for the squirrels to show up! Anxious to see what they do!! I’m sure this is going to work! 🙂
Hello Great article but i see no one asked the question of “cats”??? How does this hold up to cats? Would like to install this for a bird house I have 10 feet up on a 1 1/4 inch diameter metal pole which is NOT around any trees. I would think if racoons would be defeated cats should also BUT cats can jump very high? Anyone Thanks
Have been fighting squirrels for 2 years. Since installing these on my 2 posts, one metal and one 4×4, the squirrels have finally been defeated.
Unfortunately this design does not work on Shepard hooks with pronged bases. Like most of them have
Thanks for the great squirrel baffle! Been looking for one to fit a 4 x 4 post and came across this. I cut the cap to the size of the post and then screwed four small blocks to each side of the post. Slide the baffle over the top and good to go. It’s been one week and no squirrels or raccoons have raided my feeders! Thanks again!
I’m using 2 pieces of 6″ x 24″ stove pipe attached end to end on 6′ feeder poles.
The raccoons have beaten me again.
It just takes them a little time to adapt.
My next weapon will be duct pipe at least 10″ in diameter x 24″ long.
After that, probably a howitzer is the only thing left.
Good luck one and all.
I made a modification to the plan so that I could use the baffel on our shephard’s hook pole. In lieu of a stovepipe end cap I cut two semi-circle pieces of 1-inch cedar and screwed them to the top inside of the stovepipe. Also, I used a galvanized split-ring hangar in place of a hose clamp because it provided more surface area on which to hang the baffel from the inside. Lastly, I fastened a strip of metal hanger tape around the bottom portion of the stovepipe to ensure that it wouldn’t pop open at the bottom. It works great!!!
If you’re dealing with the infamous Eastern Gray Squirrel, why even bother with a baffle? They are an invasive species that have knocked out the native red squirrel in many areas.
Besides destroying property and starting fires by chewing on wiring and siding, they also carry diseases like the plague as well as parasites like fleas. They just keep eating and eating, scare off birds and they don’t share. What they can’t eat, they hide and forget about it. You can kiss your garden fruits and veggies goodbyes with these guys in the neighborhood – they will eat your tomatoes before they even get ripe!
They also decimate song bird populations by eating their eggs and live young (search YouTube for examples of this behavior).
I recommend the WCS tube trap to deal with these pests. Place them where they travel like the top of fences. You don’t even have to use bait much of the time – squirrels will instinctively use them for cover.
Another option is a .22 pellet rifle with a well placed shot behind the ear (assuming that it’s legal to use in your city limits). Make sure that you are targeting the Eastern Gray and not the native species which are protected. In many areas, relocating them is forbidden and veterinarian clinics, by law, have to put down Eastern Greys on sight.
If you want to feed your animals some wild game meat, make sure to freeze the meat for at least three days to kill any parasites.
Shave off their cute tail and what do you have? A rat that lives in trees.
Robert Fenchel, thanks for the solution to shepherd’s hook poles! In a nutshell, you need to wrap the stove pipe around the pole before hooking it together. Then, you either need:
– a different type of cap that goes on in two pieces and doesn’t have to slip over the top of the pole. Robert improvised one out of two semicircles of cedar planking. Great idea!
– or, you need to cut a larger hole in your metal cap so that it will fit over the bends in the shepherd’s hook. Don’t overdo it – make the hole as small as possible to save yourself headache later. To assemble, you would start by attaching your hose clamp to the pole. Then, slide a large metal washer over the shepherd’s hook and let it rest on top of the hose clamp, to provide a wider resting surface for the baffle. Look for a washer with an interior diameter at least 5/8″ and an exterior diameter a bit wider than the hole in your cap. Then wrap the stovepipe around the pole and clamp it together. Finally, slip the cap over the shepherd’s hook and attach it to the stovepipe.
I’m very baffled (see what I did there?) to read that occasionally critters are crafty enough to get past this baffle! In all seriousness, if you have installed a baffle and your feeders are still getting raided, the first thing to do is to figure out if they’re getting there another way. Squirrels can jump about 4 feet vertically and 8-10 feet horizontally, and both squirrels and raccoons can find a way down to your feeder from overhanging tree branches. That means your feeder (and the top of your baffle, which could be a landing spot) should be at least that far off the ground and away from bushes, fences, and trees.
If you catch a raccoon or squirrel actually defeating the baffle, you might try experimenting with wider pipe to see if you can find what will keep them out. One reader suggested making a baffle out of an upturned plastic bucket. Keep in mind, though, that if the baffle swings too much, the critters might find a way to beat it.
Unfortunately my squirrels can climb up the baffle itself by grabbing it on the outside. Its taken them about 4 years but they have finally figured it out . Even after I greased it they still managed to use it and climb on top of it to the feeders. I am going to look at the ugly cone shaped ones next.
HOw tall should the poll be and how do you mount the feeder on top?
How to make a ‘squirrel launcher’; a mechanism that catepoults a pesky squirrel over the homeowner’s fence (works when living on acreage), perhaps training the squirrel to stay out of a yard, even when there is no bird feed drawing them into said yard! Oh yes, to love living in the sticks!
Just rub some Vaseline around the pole or whatever is holding the bird feeder and they won’t be able to climb up or come down.
Please DO NOT USE vaseline or other oil based products on the poles. It harms the birds by coating their wings, making them unable to fly. It is the same as an oil spill.
looking for a squirell baffle for a new bird feeder
I hang my bird feeder on a hook from a tree branch. For a baffle, I use the lid from a 30 gallon trash cans, cut a slit in the top, feed the feeder wire thru it and hang it on the hook. Works great. The large baffle is so unstable that the squirrels slow off every time. Also, the large baffle keeps the food dry.
Made one like yours. (Since the cap fit so snugly on the pipe, I didn’t have to use any screws – just had local gas station mechanic drill one-inch hole in the cap that would accept the one-inch-wide metal pole supporting my bird feeders.
Nary a squirrel can get past the baffle! Great, simple design.
Glad to hear it, Tod!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this project.