Homemade Predator Baffles for Bluebird Houses

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Bluebird houses need to be protected from predators.
Bluebird houses need to be protected from predators. (Image: Male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) on a stump image by Steve Byland from Fotolia.com)

Specific birdhouses attract specific types of birds. Unfortunately, they can also attract predators. One of the most common predators that a bluebird house will encounter is snakes. Snakes are able to climb poles to reach the bluebird house and will eat the birds and their eggs. Once they prey on the bluebirds, snakes will also set up residence in the house. Even though they are resourceful at finding ways to reach bluebird houses, you can create your own predator baffle to discourage unwanted visitors to your bluebird house.

Things You'll Need

  • Thin PVC pipe
  • Stove pipe cap
  • Stove pipe
  • Mesh hardware cloth
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Carnauba wax

Insert a thin PVC pipe into the ground to mount your bluebird house on. PVC is harder to climb than wooden posts. Set the birdhouse and pipe at least 4 yards away from any structures, including trees, houses, and fences. The 4 yard buffer makes it difficult for predators to jump from other surfaces onto the birdhouse.

Cut a hole in the top of a stove pipe cap that fits an 8 inch diameter stove pipe. The hole should be the same diameter as the diameter of your PVC pipe. The stove pipe should be at least 3 feet in length. You can find the pipe and the cap at your local home improvement store.

Cover the opening of the stove pipe with mesh hardware cloth. Fold the edges of the mesh over the side of the stove pipe. The mesh should hang down about 2 inches on all sides. Cut a hole in the center of the mesh that is the same diameter as the hole you cut in the stove pipe cap.

Place the stove pipe cap onto the stove pipe, over top of the mesh cloth. Secure the cap in place using sheet metal screws.

Measure and mark a point on your PVC pipe that is 5 feet from the ground. Hammer two nails through the side of the pole at this mark. The nails should be on opposite sides of the pole and they should stick out half way. This will give your baffle a place to rest.

Slide your stove pipe with attached cap down over the pole. Allow it to rest on the nails you inserted in the previous step.

Mount your bluebird house onto the PVC pole. Your mounting procedure will depend on the specific house you have purchased. Follow the instructions included for proper mounting.

Coat the PVC pole with carnauba wax or petroleum jelly. This will make it harder for predators to climb the pole.

Tips & Warnings

  • This baffle is effective against most predators, such as most snakes and squirrels. However, rat snakes will not be stopped by this baffle.

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