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The DEFEEDER - Make Your Hanging Bird Feeder Squirrel Proof.

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The DeFeeder (creative, cheesy word construction out of defeat and bird feeder)
I love squirrels, but bird food is expensive. Those little fuzz brains are pure artists, when comes plotting problem solutions. You can see them think and evaluating the situation. They are also not giving up easily, when they fail at their first attempt; and they learn as they go - very admirable!
You can turn any hanging bird feeder into a DeFeeder, at a very minimal price, if you can create the right conditions.
The squirrels will still get enough food from the seeds, the birds are throwing overboard.
I assure can you, no squirrel has been harmed in my attempt to keep them out of my bird feeder.
  • the defeeder make your hanging bird feeder squirrel proof, crafts, outdoor living, pets animals
List of things I used:
1) my hanging bird feeder, which is rather large
2) cloth line assembly
3) a snow saucer for children (5 bucks at Giant Tiger)
4) a 3/16 press-board sheet 4' X 4' (6 bucks at Home Depot)
5) Some exterior paint
I used a spare cloths line assembly, that I installed between our back deck and a fence line tree.
This way, I do not have to walk into the deep snow, when I have to top up the feeder.
  • the defeeder make your hanging bird feeder squirrel proof, crafts, outdoor living, pets animals
The basic idea, would apply to any type of hanging feeder: give the squirrel just ONE way to get to it. Once that is accomplished, a simple disk, hung directly above the feeder, large enough to reach beyond the edge of the feeder, when fully tilt, will do the trick.
  • the defeeder make your hanging bird feeder squirrel proof, crafts, outdoor living, pets animals
The disk can be out of any material, as long as it does not provide too much traction.
A plexiglass disk would be ideal, but corrugated plastic or sheet metal would be great too as long as the disk is large enough to reach beyond that sweet point, were the squirrel still has something to hang on to.
In my case, I wanted to go cheap, as I was just experimenting and did not want to waste too much material.
After I cut my ~3 feet diameter disk out of the 4X4 pressboard, I painted it with some left over exteriour paint to water protect it. That will hopefully prevent it from getting wet and warped.
  • the defeeder make your hanging bird feeder squirrel proof, crafts, outdoor living, pets animals
All that was left to do, was to drill a center hole into my black disk and into the kid's snow saucer. Then I fished the hanging line of the feeder through the holes of the two disks.
The saucer was important to stabilize the black disk, as it was very thin.
  • the defeeder make your hanging bird feeder squirrel proof, crafts, outdoor living, pets animals
Now, the squirrels will have to step out onto the disk to get to the seeds. The disk will tilt under their weight. If this does not make them glide off, they still don't have anything to hold onto, when they dry to navigate the edge. Squirrels that try to swing themselves around to the feeder, find the feeder too out of reach and fall off, which does not stop them from trying again, of course.
If you use a smaller, lighter feeder, you may have to tie a knot into the line, about 2-3 inches above the feeders roof, so the feeder itself does not get tilted. The disk will have to rest on this knot.
The 10 min video to squirrels and the DeFeeder in action. It's quite funny. There is nothing happening the forst 2: 25 min. So scroll in, using the progress time bar by about 2min and 25 secs. Look for that squirrel assessing the chances from various locations, before making the first attack attempt. As I said before, none of them got hurt, even though it may look like that for a sec. The feeder is about 10' above the ground.
I should have zoomed in, but then one would miss out on all the little action. So look closely for those little black furry things. Sorry for the bad quality. This is my first time filming and posting.
  • Miriam I
    Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
    on Dec 5, 2015

    Wow - this is even more impressive than I expected! Thank you SO much for sharing your clever solution!

  • Christin Adree
    Christin Adree Milldale, CT
    on Dec 5, 2015

    Thank you for the flowers. I am now done uploading that video to YouTube and still have to find the link on my post to add it.

    • Miriam I
      Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
      on Dec 5, 2015

      @Christin Adree Do you mean you want to add the youtube video to this post? If so, you can click on "edit" - located in the arrow drop down at the upper right hand corner of this post - and you'll see an option at the bottom of the post to upload a video. Hope that makes sense?

  • Christin Adree
    Christin Adree Milldale, CT
    on Dec 5, 2015

    Thanx. Have a look for a good laugh. The action does not start before 2.5 min, so maybe use the vid time scroll bar to move into that location. You have to look closely as everything is very tiny.

    • Miriam I
      Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
      on Dec 5, 2015

      @Christin Adree I'm sitting here with my fiancee and we're mesmerized watching the squirrels attempts. Your background music is priceless. It worked!!!! So cool!

  • Lori
    Lori Canada
    on Dec 5, 2015

    That made me laugh right out loud when the music started. I think you've done it. Keep us up on things if they find a way in.

  • Carole
    Carole Australia
    on Dec 5, 2015

    They are very determined little critters aren't they! Very entertaining! I am thinking this might also work to keep the big cockatoos away from the bird seed and give some of the smaller birds a chance to feed without the bullies muscling in! Might keep possums out too from fruit put out for the birds.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!