Why Baffle A Squirrel Buster Plus Feeder?

Last Updated on October 9, 2020 by Nancie

American Goldfinch and Female House Sparrow on Squirrel Buster Plus Feeder with Baffle Added
American Goldfinch and House Sparrow on Squirrel Buster Plus Feeder with Baffle

You might wonder why you would want to baffle a Squirrel Buster Plus Feeder. Don’t they already keep squirrels out?

I bought my first of two Squirrel Buster Plus feeders (Brome Bird Feeders on Amazon) a number of years ago. It is a pricey feeder even if you can get it on sale, which I did. But I reasoned that if I could keep squirrels out of the sunflower hearts, I’d easily make back my investment in savings on birdseed. It worked. But while these feeders don’t technically need baffles to keep squirrels out of the seed, I still added some. Here’s why.

The Squirrel Buster Plus is Weight Activated

The cool thing about this feeder is that as long as you follow the placement advice that comes with the feeder, squirrels are defeated. This mostly means that you need to allow 18″ clearance all around. Mine are hung from tree limbs using long shepherd’s hooks. They are placed out of reach of other branches squirrels could hang from to reach the feeder’s side without tripping the mechanism.

It works by an adjustable weight-activated mechanism. You set the weight. Then when something heavier puts their weight on the perches, the feeder’s outer sleeve slides down. This covers the food access ports. The squirrel can sit there, but they can’t get to the food. (For more on this feeder, check out my Squirrel Buster Plus Feeder Review.)

This feeder quickly became a favorite with birds in my yard. In particular, American Goldfinches, House Finches, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouses and White-Breasted Nuthatches love it. It became so popular, that I quickly purchased a second. This one also became mobbed.

Squirrels Couldn’t Get To the Seed But Kept Trying

When I first got Squirrel Buster feeders, the squirrels initially left them completely alone. I never even saw a squirrel seriously try them . . . until the weather turned really cold.

Then for week or so, squirrels began an all-out assault on all of the feeders, even these. Despite a lot of effort, they never succeeded in breaching these feeders.

But they started climbing down the shepherd’s hook to get to the feeder. (This is a pretty awesome skill when you consider how thin, curved and slippery as it seems.) The feeder top is metal, so they can’t chew through it. But I worried about the plastic tube.

Baffling Squirrel Buster Plus Feeders

I went to my local bird store (Mother Natures in Columbia) and talked with one of the knowledgeable women who work there about baffles. She assured me that these feeders have a lifetime guarantee. The company will repair any structural damage a squirrel might inflict. She felt that the only reason to need a baffle is if you are bothered by cosmetic damage that might result in the squirrel’s efforts to get into the feeder, as that isn’t covered.

I thought about it, but I really want to discourage the squirrels from hanging on the feeder at all and spooking the birds. And it seems wasteful to have to replace parts, even if it doesn’t cost me anything personally, if there is a way to avoid damage in the first place.

Erva Hanging Squirrel Baffle

So I purchased a large metal baffle (Erva galvanized steel) that reminds me of a green metal parasol. Squirrels can’t chew through the metal and its extra wide size keeps them off of the feeder hanging below it. (If you need to choose a hanging baffle, see my post on Best Hanging Squirrel Baffle.)

This first baffle worked so well that so I purchased a second one for my other Squirrel Buster feeder. The two Squirrel Buster Plus feeders with their Erva baffles still hang on the same tree limbs. The squirrels never have found a way into the seed. Each year at least one of the new crop of young squirrels will give it a try, but mostly the squirrels have given up and have to make due with eating spilled seed off the ground. (Check out one squirrel’s futile attempt in the pictures below.)

Nancie

Squirrel thinking about climbing down to bird feeder.
Planning the Attack
Squirrel on Baffle peering down at feeder.
Peering Down at the Feeder
Squirrel on baffle unable to get to bird feeder.
Nope, Won’t Work.
Squirrel climbs back up the shepherd's hook.
The Retreat
Squirrel on branch after being blocked by Squirrel Buster eeder and Erva baffle.
Frustration

Brome Bird Feeders on Amazon

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