For way more than a year I’ve been trying to feed the birds but NOT the squirrels and rats (If you live in central FL you have rats living in your trees!). I had seen this solution before but did not implement until 2 months ago. The squirrels very quickly out-smarted all of the other devices and so-called “squirrel-proof” feeders I had purchased or built… but this one has been in use over 2 months at the time of this writing and no squirrels (or rats).
NOT EVEN ONE!!! SUCCESS!
Basically, it’s 6 inch aluminum duct pipe from Home Depot (the duct comes in 5 foot length which is perfect if you are using the common/popular “shepard’s hook” feeder hangers). The edges of the duct snaps together to form a “pipe.” You will also need 1 (2 optional) caps for the duct (again, 6 inch). You’ll also need some short metal screws for attaching the cap(s) to the duct.
NOTE!! you’ll first need to wrap the duct around the pole and THEN snap the edges together to form the pipe. Then you can put the cap(s) on the pipe (which is now “wrapped” around the pole). To get the caps on you’ll first need to cut a slot in the cap (see photos). Then fit the cap on to the assembled duct “pipe” that is already assembled around the pole of the shepard’s hook. And finally attach the cap securely to the pipe with metal screws (see photos). Also, I used steel wire to keep the pipe/cap centered on the iron pole of the shepard’s hook.
One last thing. You MUST position the feeder at least 4 feet from things that the squirrels can jump to the feeders from (like a palm tree or fence).
This set up is guaranteed to work but takes a little time to fabricate. You can dress up yours with paint if you want.
SEE PHOTOS BELOW. You can also find this same thing via google and YouTube (which is where I got the idea).
NOTE: Birds thrive when there is CLEAN water available! CLEAN is key! Change the water often (daily for me)… AND… to keep algae from growing you can find and toss in pre-1982 pennies. OR, I use a few 1 inch copper pipe couplers which work great and which are heavy enough so they don’t wash/flip out of the bird bath when I change the water (every day or 2 max). Use of the copper virtually eliminates the weekly brush scrubbing of the bird bath due to algae growth (especially in the summer).