Light Feeder Blowing on a Windy Day

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Male Eastern Bluebird on Feeder
Male Eastern Bluebird on Feeder

One thing spring brings to the Mid-Atlantic is wind. Some times things can get a bit crazy. When the wind is in the twenty or so mile per hour range, feeders sway a lot. When wind gusts over thirty miles per hour, bird feeder baffles start kiting around and the feeders move with them. Birds can deal with a certain amount of movement (they are used to moving tree branches after all), but there is a point when a feeders are yanked around violently enough that a bird (or even a person) could get hurt. 

I have a strategy I use whenever winds pick up that works quite well in my yard. I described it in this post: Bird Feeder Baffles in the Wind. But I am now also using a very small feeder for mealworms. For this particular feeder, I needed to use a different strategy.

Remove the Baffle or Add Weight

I’ve been using a small Squirrel Buster Standard feeder for a couple of weeks. It is currently hanging from a tree branch under an extra large Erva baffle. Technically I could skip the baffle as it is designed to be squirrel proof, but I like the Erva baffles as a second line of defense to keep the squirrels off it completely and because it also provides a little protection from rain. But I could just remove the baffle during windy periods. That would reduce a lot of the movement. And I do this sometimes for various feeders in the yard.

Weights (With Coin to Show Size)
Weights (With Coin to Show Size)

Finding Small Weight Bars

But I’m using this particular feeder to offer dried mealworms which weigh almost nothing, so I felt it could still get knocked around in the wind even without the baffle to push it. To prevent that, I added weight. The easiest way to do that with this particular tube feeder is to put the food in the feeder and then add weight on top of it inside the tube. I looked around the house and came up with small weight bars that are designed to slide into wrist or ankle weight bands. Each weight is a little over three ounces.

Wrapping Weights in Sandwich Bag
Wrapping Weights in Sandwich Bag

Weights in Zip-Top Bags

Because I’m not sure what the weights are made of, I didn’t want them in direct contact with the food, so I put two weights in a food safe zip-top sandwich bag, wrapping the bag several times around the weights and then securing it with a rubber band.

Securing With Rubber Band
Securing With Rubber Band

Adding the Weights

I made three of these double-weight packages, one for each of the feeder tube’s three sections. I then filled the feeder half full of dried mealworms and topped it off with the weights. 

Three Sections Inside Tube Feeder
Three Sections Inside Tube Feeder

Success!

It seemed to work very well, even with the baffle still on the feeder. Even in wind gusts up to 30 or more miles per hour, the feeder quivered a bit when the wind pushed the baffle, but it stayed put. As soon as the weather reports told me that the winds were done, I took the weights out and we are back to business as usual. Problem solved.

Nancie

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