I bought my first of two Squirrel Buster Plus feeders (Brome Bird Feeders on Amazon) last summer. 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 them out of the seed, I 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 Can’t Get In But Keep Trying
The squirrels initially left these feeders completely alone. I never even saw a squirrel 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 haven’t 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 it seems.) The top lid is metal, so they can’t chew through it. But I worried about the plastic tube.
Baffling The Squirrel Buster Plus Feeders
I went to my local bird store (Mother Natures in Columbia) and talked with the knowledgeable woman who works 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.
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 size keeps them off of the feeder hanging below it..
This first baffle worked 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. (Check out the squirrel’s futile attempt in the pictures below.)
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