I've been trying to fight off squirrels since 1989, when I put my birdfeeder webcam, SeattleBirdCam.com, online. I tried ultrasound generators, slingshots, and spiking the birdseed with hot peppers - all to no avail. After studying a number of expensive "squirrel-proof" birdfeeder designs on the market, I came up with my own inexpensive patent-pending birdfeeder design which can use cable ties (tie wraps) as flexible plastic perches. These "Flexi-Perches" (tm), combined with PVC pipe of the right length and width, make an inexpensive, easy-to-build, and effective squirrel-proof birdfeeder.
Step 1: Materials
- 1/2 " PVC couplers. Quantity 4 ($0.39 each)
- 4" PVC cap. Quantity 1
- PVC glue
- 3/8" sheet metal screws. Quantity 4
- 10 gauge (about 1/10") galvanized wire at least 33" long. Quantity: 1
- 6" cable ties (tie wraps). Quantity: at least 4
- wood block approx 6" high x 6" wide x 1" thick (i.e. a 6" long piece of 1x6 board)
Note on Materials:
The cable ties are critical. When used as perches, they won't support a squirrel's weight.
For maximum anti-squirrel effectiveness, the plastic drain pipe must be at least 24" long so that the squirrel can't reach feed holes while hanging from the top of the feeder.
The pipe must also be at least 4" in diameter so that the squirrel can't cling to the feeder.
The wood block will be cut down to fit into the bottom of the pipe to act as the base plate. It fits flush into the bottom of the pipe so that there are no protrusions for a squirrel to hang on to.
Other dimensions can be changed to suit whatever materials you may have on hand.
Step 2: Tools needed
- drill & bits
- staple gun & staples
- spray paint
- dremel (optional)
Step 3: Make the birdfeeder body
Step 4: Mark and cut the base plate
Step 5: Fit and mark the base plate
Step 6: Drill the base plate
Step 7: Mark holes for retaining screws
Step 8: Insert the retaining screws
Step 9: Cut the perch slots
Step 10: Drill the feed holes
Step 11: Make the seed baffles
Step 12: Put the baffles in the feed holes
Step 13: Glue the baffles in place
Step 16: Make the "flexi-perches"
Staple the cable tie wrap down securely. Do not staple more that halfway to the edge. I used 3/8" staples. You may need to use another cable tie as a spacer to prevent the staple from cutting through the cable tie.
Repeat with a cable tie at each of the other 3 marks. You have now made the flexi-perches for the feeder.
Step 17: Assemble the birdfeeder
Pass the wire through the base plate and bend the bottom 1" of the wire to prevent the base plate from sliding off. Make sure the base plate is oriented properly with the tie wraps on top.
Rotate the base plate until it is in proper alignment and thread the ends of the tie wraps into the pipe and out of the perch slots.
Slide the base plate into the bottom of the pipe while guiding the tie wraps out of the perch slots until the base plate hits the retaining screws. The bottom of the base plate should be flush with the bottom of the pipe.
Step 18: Final step & instructions for use
Hang the feeder so that the bottom is at least 4' off the ground and the feeder at least 18" from the nearest vertical surface. Fill by sliding the top cap up and pour seed into the tube. It doesn't need to be filled up all the way.