Stop Baffled Feeder Blowing in Wind

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Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker at the Suet Feeder
Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker at the Suet Feeder

How do you stop a baffled bird feeder from blowing around in the wind? Here in Maryland, the sun is shining and the wind is gusting. It is beautiful, but gusty wind can sometimes cause problems with hanging feeders.

If you’ve got both hanging bird feeders and squirrels in your yard, you probably use baffles. The right baffle can keep out squirrels and protect the feeder a little bit from wet weather. But when you add gusty winds to the mix, things can get very interesting. How do you keep a baffled feeder from kiting around in the wind?

Three Feeders with ERVA Baffles
Three Feeders with ERVA Baffles

Strategies to Stop Baffled Feeders From Blowing in The Wind

But baffles and domes do have a downside. They are fine in a breeze and even on a moderately windy day. But when strong or gusty winds hit a baffle the right way, the wind can pick it up. This causes the feeder to lift up in the air unexpectedly, snap to one side and then drop back down. While I’ve never seen a bird hurt this way, it surely does freak out every bird around when heavy objects start swinging around in violently unexpected ways. So how do you stop feeders from blowing in the wind?

Strategy 1: Take Down Baffles in High Wind

So what to do? I have two strategies. If the weather folks are calling for really high winds (tropical force or hurricane for example), I take down the baffles (and probably the feeders as well) for the duration.

Birds do feed on rainy days. But when it really pours down rain and things get crazy windy, they are probably hunkered down in protected spots anyway. They are typically not at feeders.

Strategy 2: Add Weight to Feeder

But on days where winds gust periodically to maybe thirty or even forty miles per hour, I’ve found that often my second strategy is enough to stop feeders from blowing around: add weight.

I’ve noticed my heaviest feeders tend to kite around much less in the wind. In fact, the very light-weight suet feeders I’ve baffled are the ones most likely to really go crazy in wind.

So when a windy day comes around, I make sure all my seed feeders are full to keep their weight up. These are usually fine then. They might sway a bit in the wind but they don’t usually do anything violent and the birds seem fine with it.

Birds Choice Suet Feeder Open to Add Suet
Birds Choice Suet Feeder Open to Add Suet

The baffled suet feeders are pretty light-weight and a typical suet block isn’t that heavy. The feeders I’m using are the Birds Choice feeders that look like little houses. To fill them, you lift the roof and drop a suet cake inside and replace the roof.

There is actually a lot of room in these feeders, so when it is really windy, I drop a second suet cake on top of the first. The combined weight of this doubled stack of suet is usually enough that I don’t have to take down the baffle or the feeder. It might wiggle around in the wind, but usually the added weight is enough to keep it from going completely crazy. The birds can still use it. Problem solved.

I did have one feeder where adding more food didn’t help: a light-weight feeder filled with light-weight dried mealworms. I added weight to that feeder in a different way.

Hope you find this helpful in your yard!

Nancie


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