A squirrel will enjoy your bird feeder more than the birds if you let it. Here is a plan to squirrel-proof your favorite bird feeder with a sheet metal squirrel baffle. The squirrel baffle is a cone, installed concave down, protecting your bird feeder from squirrels either crawling down the line to your bird feeder or climbing up from the ground of a pole mounted feeder. Fabricate this cone and humanely protect to your favorite bird feeder while saving the seeds for the birds.
Step 1: Layout
Find the center of your piece of sheet metal. Mark the center and punch a hole in it with a screw. Leave the screw in place. Tie a string around the screw and the sharpie using them as a compass. Adjust the string to a 16-inch radius and draw a circle. Also draw one radius line using the straight edge. Next, center the flat washer over the center hole and draw the outer circle.
Step 2: Cut Out
Remove the center screw. Cut out the outer circle, radius line, and inner circle using tin snips or sheet metal shears. Tune up any rough edges with a file.
Step 3: Form a Cone
Pull the cut ends of the radius line toward each other, overlapping them 20 to 30 degrees to form a hem and a shallow cone. Clamp the joint with vise grips then secure the joint permenenly with pop rivets or sheet metal screws.
Step 4: Configure Mounting
Line Hung Bird Feeder Top Baffler
Drill four, 1/8-inch holes, opposite and across from each other, 1/4 inch in from the small end of the cone. Then, use steel tie wire through the holes and create a hanger to attach your line and bird feeder to.
Pole Mounted Bird Feeder Bottom Baffle
Cut and form inner hole to suit you application. Cut cross hairs out from the center of the baffle then bend them outward to form four tabs. This will work nicely on a square pole. Place the baffle over the pole and screw the four tabs directly to the pole. A large hose clamp can be used around the four tabs to secure the baffle to a steel pole. The bottom baffle should be at least 5 feet off the ground. For existing bird feeder installations, retro fit the baffle in between step two and three.
For maximum protection configure a top and bottom baffle to your bird feeder. Paint and decorate the baffle to blend in with your garden. Be sure there are no fences, roofs or tree limbs within 10 feet for a squirrel to jump from and then enjoy a laugh or two at the squirrels’ acrobatic attempts to infiltrate your baffles.