PREDATOR BAFFLES: Easy, Inexpensive and Effective

Ron Kingston 8″ by 24″ stovepipe baffle

  • Every pole supporting a bird house should have a predator baffle on it. Otherwise, pole-climbing predators, such as snakes, raccoons or squirrels can make an easy meal of your birds, their eggs, or their young nestlings. Below are plans for making an effective baffle.
  • Materials needed: hardware cloth (1/4″ mesh), machine screws with nuts, hanger iron (2 – 7″ strips, duct tape and a section of galvanized stovepipe (24″ long by 8″ in diameter), sheet metal screws. Lowe’s or Home Depot have these stovepipes and caps to fit. Approximate cost: $5.
  • With tin snips, cut the hardware cloth into a circle 9″ in diameter. Place it over the stovepipe, bending the edges down so that it will fit snugly into the pipe, about an inch down from the top. Close any gaps between the hardware cloth and the stovepipe, so snakes can’t squeeze through. Next, use tin snips to cut three tabs in the top of the stovepipe. Bend these over the hardware cloth. Cut a small hole in the middle of the cloth to allow the assemble to slip over the mounting pipe. Use small sheet metal screws to fasten the hardware cloth to the stovepipe tabs.
  • Bolt the two strips of hanger iron securely on either side of the mounting pipe and bend them to support the hardware cloth. Duct tape wrapped around the pole helps hold the hanger iron in place. Slip the assembled baffle over the hanger iron bracket, and mount the baffle at least four feet off the ground. The baffle should wobble which further discourages climbing predators.
  • You can spray paint your new predator guard baffle black, brown, etc —– or just permit the silver color to weather. Now your nest box is protected and it will give you years of enjoyment.