View Full Version : The Anti-Squirrel Ball---

brian Rupnow
12-24-2013, 06:29 PM
For something a little different---I like to have a hanging birdfeeder outside in the wintertime. Last year no matter what I tried, the squirrels always defeated me and ultimately got to the hanging ball of birdseed and eat it all. The squirrels I have are major league aerialists!!! I had purchased one of those acrilique half domes that mount on a pole planted in the ground to keep squirrels from climbing the pole and tried putting it on the suspended ball of birdseed, attached to the wire. The squirrel would run out the tree limb, jump down onto the half "ball", hook his hind feet in the knot at the top of the ball, hang down over the edge and swing back and forth until he was able to grab the ball of birdseed. This year I have glued two balls together. The top "eye" will attach to the tree limb with a wire. The birdseed ball will hang from the aluminum fixture at the bottom. I have waxed and polished the outside of the acrilique balls. We'll see what happens---

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/BrianRupnow011/anti-squirrelball001_zps9f075250.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/BrianRupnow/media/BrianRupnow011/anti-squirrelball001_zps9f075250.jpg.html)

doctor demo
12-24-2013, 06:50 PM
Poor, poor Squirrels just trying not to starve to death. I never pegged You as being a Squirrel hater:p


12-24-2013, 07:02 PM
Amazing what those squirrels will do!! Remember a few years ago, had a problem , so tied the feeder onto my clothesline, reeled it out, worked good . However shortly after that i watched a squirrel climb the wall of the corner of my woodshed that was closest to the clothesline, climbed up to the edge of the roof, and tried to jump the distance.
CRASH, down into the snow!! Over and over it tried this each time comming within 24 inches of the feeder, every time, crash down into the snow!! He/She finally gave up exhausted, it was hilarious to watch.

12-24-2013, 07:16 PM
Auto-tracking IR-guided laser in the 7500 kilowatt range works much better.

12-24-2013, 07:30 PM
sorry Brian, that should take a few minutes at most for a squirrel to crack. I once built an anti-squirrel bird feeder by hanging a rope between the porch and a tree and hanging it on a length of rope from that. All bits of rope had short greased lengths of PVC pipe. No effect at all. I then put small squares of perspex at intervals between sections of pipe. No effect, they just jumped over them. I then cut really large sections of perspex and alternated them with the smaller squares. This posed a bit more of a challenge, but not much. They just jumped over the first big square then launched themselves from the rope to the feeder before the next big square. It was only when I put a large square over the top of the bird feeder that they couldn't get to it. They still tried though (often with another squirrel watching and taking notes) and occasionally one would hit the square on top of the feeder and slide off. Completely hilarious to watch, but after a while the sun reflecting off the perspex into the living room bugged us too much and we took it down. The kids loved the battle of Dad vs. The Squirrels.

let us know how you get on! With pics if possible (I think I have a video of me laughing uncontrollably somewhere that might have a squirrel in it)..

Merry Christmas!

12-24-2013, 07:32 PM
I bought my mother this thing for Christmas one year. It has been quite the entertainment piece and has been going great for around 4 years now.


brian Rupnow
12-24-2013, 08:05 PM
VPT---I love it!!! I never seen one of those before.---Brian

12-24-2013, 08:33 PM
The most effective way to stop squirrels from raiding a feeder is with a five gallon bucket. You trim the reinforcement rings off the bucket just below the rings, drill a hole in the bottom of the bucket the size of your post, rope, or cable, and than place a clamp or knot under the bucket.
I have 1-1/2" EMT conduit for posts on my bird feeders, I was having fits with a fox squirrel raiding the feeders. I had a couple of old five gallon buckets laying around that had busted bottoms. I fixed the bottoms with a couple of scrap pieces of aluminum plate. I than cut holes to fit the post in the bottom, trimmed the ridges off and hung them the post by placing a couple of Ideal worm drive clamps on the post. I than placed the bucket on the post with the top pointing towards the ground.
I filled the feeders and the waited for the entertainment to start. The first squirrel ran up the post at full speed, and thunked into the bottom of the bucket, he hit the ground flew up the post again repeating the performance several times until he slowly climbed up the post and then tried gripping the edge of the bucket and fell to the ground. It was great entertainment while it lasted.
I will take a few pictures in the morning.

12-24-2013, 08:50 PM
All great entertainment for us guys!! Lol

12-24-2013, 09:34 PM
that Yankee Flipper is amazing, this video had me in tears:

12-24-2013, 09:49 PM
That is amazing! ^

I was gonna say we saw one squirrel stay on and go round and round for like a full minute once. HAHAHA

Mike Burdick
12-24-2013, 11:22 PM

Squirrels? Some of us can only WISH that was our problem! :(


12-25-2013, 01:11 AM
Andy, I had a good laugh at that Yankee Flipper Squirrel Proof Birdfeeder, And then I looked it up on Amazon.com and about fainted at the $119 price tag. But at the price of bird seed these days, it still might be a good thing. ;)

12-25-2013, 07:25 AM
While not quite as elegant a solution, none the less this one is entertaining.

12-25-2013, 09:04 AM
As evidenced by the video where the squirrel hangs on for 7 or 8 minutes, and the comment is made 'no wonder my battery dies', the feeder has at least two problems. The first is the motor is not fast enough to spin off every squirrel. It needs more power! Secondly, the squirrel seems to have learned that if it is able to grab both sides of the ring, the motor stops, allowing it to feed. The ring apparently is triggered by tilting the ring, but not by weight only. The switch needs improvement. If a cylinder extended down from the ring so that the squirrel couldn't grab both sides of the ring and balance it's weight, this could be avoided. Squirrels are cuite until they eat through your house and live in the attic. John

A.K. Boomer
12-25-2013, 10:04 AM
What amazes me is that after ten minutes of hanging on it then hits the ground running as if nothing happened --- what kind of brain do you have to have in your head that would not get dizzy after all that???

The persistence was equally amazing... just goes to show - if you got nothing better to do you will come up with a system, even if your a dang squirrel...

12-25-2013, 10:55 AM
what kind of brain do you have to have in your head

I think you answered your own question.

12-25-2013, 11:44 AM
Repeat after me-"There is no such thing as a Squirrel proof birdfeeder""There is no such thing as a Squirrel proof birdfeeder"

12-25-2013, 11:49 AM
instead of turning the roosting ring, just use servos to close the feeding openings when the weight sensor indicates "squirrel"?

Around here, people buy "Critter Corn" to feed the squirrels--corn on the cob and then screwed onto a feeder.

12-25-2013, 11:53 AM
Hello Brian : All I did to stop the bears and the squirrels from eating all my bird food was to install a stainless steel cone on the 4" plastic sch 40 heavy plastic pipe. Then I reduced it to 3" and put 2 feeders on a tee with pulleys to haul the feeders up high out of the reach of the bear. The plastic pipe is filled with concrete and the squirrels can't climb it even without the cone. Cones are easily made out of Al flashing. No problems with either varmit. Boot http://i750.photobucket.com/albums/xx142/Boot-010/IMG_0004.jpg (http://s750.photobucket.com/user/Boot-010/media/IMG_0004.jpg.html)

A.K. Boomer
12-25-2013, 12:25 PM
instead of turning the roosting ring, just use servos to close the feeding openings when the weight sensor indicates "squirrel"?

Around here, people buy "Critter Corn" to feed the squirrels--corn on the cob and then screwed onto a feeder.

Me thinking same system with just more of an extravagant drivetrain, like get's up to maximum rotational RPM's and then a centrifugal sprag engages causing the units perch to immediately reverse directions, not too complicated - just a little internal high RPM flywheel and some other goods,
and hey if your prepared to kick out $119.00 for a dang squirrel proof bird feeder then why not $139.00 for one that genuinely is?

Edit; although come to think of it just one lower counter-rotating ring with "Ben Hurr" spikes would do the trick and would not effect the birds any, also maybe keep the price down to around $129.00

Errol Groff
12-25-2013, 01:00 PM
Droll Yankee products are made about 18 miles up the road from our home in eastern CT by American craftsmen in an American town. We have one of the spinners that was purchased in 1985 and while we long ago gave up on replacing the batteries the feeder still serves its' purpose. Droll Yankee will repair or replace any feeder they make.

My wife has about 45 feeders out at this time of year and we have mostly admitted defeat to the squirrels. Letting them join at the table (so to speak) is the price to be paid for enjoying the antics.

She feeds mostly Blue Seal seeds and while we normally go to the local feed store, on the other side of town, several times a year she will mount an expedition to Bow, New Hampshire to buy seed at the Blue Seal plant. Buying at the plant she saves enough money to pay for the gas and a side trip to Kittery ME for lobster rolls at Bob's Clam Shack. You know you have a bird seed problem when you buy 8 or 10
50 pound bags at a time!

Happy Christmas to all! ;)

12-25-2013, 01:12 PM
WOW!! Errol you do have some fat birds and squirrels!! Lol
(That's the MOST feeders i have ever heard of anyone having.)

12-25-2013, 04:50 PM
This one is absolutely squirrel proof and doesn't need a battery. The squirrels in my yard ignore mine after a couple of attempts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXM8Ri600HQ


12-25-2013, 05:07 PM
Ha Ha Ha,, well done video.

12-25-2013, 09:58 PM
This is a good one...


12-25-2013, 10:31 PM
A .22,cast iron skillet(for the young ones),and a stew pot for the older ones should solve the problem.+ would lower the grocery bill.

12-26-2013, 12:23 AM
We take care of the squirrels around here when they get too big for their britches!



Errol Groff
12-27-2013, 02:26 PM
I took a few photos of of the bird feeder array. 42 feeders and tons of happy birds.



A.K. Boomer
12-27-2013, 02:31 PM
Wow talk about an entitlement program...

12-27-2013, 03:04 PM
this tread reminded me of this little song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K16fG1sDagU

12-28-2013, 12:35 AM
I second this one, bought one for my family for Xmas. Put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

These are super well made, have great design features, are made from materials that don't rust, and have a lifetime warranty. When the squirrel gets down to the bird perches its weight causes the feeding ports to close. You can adjust the preload on the spring to eliminate crows, starlings or grackles too. Very cool design. And I'm a real cheap bastard, too. :-)


12-28-2013, 09:01 AM
That is really a cool idea and seems to work really well. I've never seen a feeder like that. Someone sent me this clip a while back.



01-02-2014, 11:20 AM
I took a few photos of of the bird feeder array. 42 feeders and tons of happy birds.



Nice setup. How many bags a year do you pay in squirrel tax?


brian Rupnow
01-02-2014, 11:36 AM
So far, my anti squirrel ball sees to work fine. they run out the limb, jump out onto the top of the ball, stretch as much as they can while still holding on with their hind feet, and when they find out they can't reach far enough around the underside of the ball to snag the birdfood, they get madder than Hell, but they eventually give up and bugger off!!!

Errol Groff
01-02-2014, 01:12 PM
Nice setup. How many bags a year do you pay in squirrel tax?


My wife guesstimates maybe five 50 pound bags of black oil sunflower seed over the course of a year. So about $100 worth of sunflower seed. Two dollars a week, cheaper than going to the picture show!


Ian B
01-02-2014, 03:25 PM
Slight thread hijack, but also 'anti critter' themed.


I do square foot gardening for the fun of it. Great system, but slugs rapidly make a mess of the crop. I tried all the usual cures - eggshells, oranges, beer. Even tried using them on the slugs. Useless. Everything got noshed.

Then I came up with an idea that *does* work, 100%. Around the SFG, I ran 2 bare copper wires, 1/2" apart. I put 9V across them. Slugs approach (crawling upwards), touch the first wire, and obviously don't like it an awful lot. They hesitate. However, the fragrance of my juicy lettuce drives them into a slug-frenzy, and they continue on their way. For another 1/2".

Then the slug touches the second wire (whilst still in a very slimy conductive contact with the first one). Ever seen a slug jump? Said slug suddenly loses all interest in my lettuce, and drops to the ground. I didn't see a single one try a second time.

So 9V is enough - try putting a normal 9V battery on your tongue, you'll get the idea. Batteries, however, go flat. Luckily, I had a spare 24V DC power supply handy. What now happens is that, on touching the first wire, there's enough leakage current to stop any further progress by the little buggers, and I don't think they ever make it to the second wire.

Result? A slug-free SFG.


01-02-2014, 05:07 PM
My wife guesstimates maybe five 50 pound bags of black oil sunflower seed over the course of a year. So about $100 worth of sunflower seed. Two dollars a week, cheaper than going to the picture show!


And a guy could have squirrel for dinner any time he wants.

brian Rupnow
01-17-2014, 04:29 PM
I am pleased to announce that my "anti squirrel ball" is a success. We have had red squirrels, black squirrels, and grey squirrels all make an assault on it at different times. They run out the branch, reach down and try to stand on the top of the ball. The ball rocks and rolls from their weight, and they don't even try to let go of the branch and reach down around to the bottom of the ball. Today I had 17 wild turkeys all come out of the bush and start to clean up the "spill" off the snow directly below the feeder. My 3 year old grandson was super impressed---but then again, the turkeys are as big as he is. I had to go out and stake up some of my cedars that are suffering from snow load. I asked Brennen if he wanted to come outside with me.--He replied that yes, he'd like to come out and help Grandpa, but I would have to save him if the turkeys tried to peck him!!!

Alan Douglas
01-17-2014, 07:24 PM
I found that any hanging feeder wasted most of the seed, and then the spilled seed on the ground attracted squirrels and mice. So I installed a horizontal platform on a post like this one:

a board with a raised rim. Now the birds can pick out whatever type of seed they like without scattering the rest, and there's almost no spillage. The only proviso is to have no tree or house wall within jumping distance. I do have a dead tree branch above the platform to provide a little cover.

brian Rupnow
12-13-2014, 11:41 AM
Resurrecting an old thread---I never was able to defeat the squirrels with a bird feeder which hung from a tree branch. They ALWAYS found a way to get at the birdfeed. This year I took a different approach and planted a 7/8" diameter steel rod about 8 foot high in the backyard, mounted a "squirrel shield" on it to prevent them from climbing up the pole, and welded up a three pronged top for it to hold a seed type feeder, a suet block, and a sunflower bell. So far, the squirrels haven't found a way to get to the feed yet, but the winter is young and the squirrels are very clever. This morning I looked out and seen some "little birds" at the feeder.--I have a flock of 22 wild turkeys live in the woods just behind my house. Whatever the chickadees knock onto the ground, the turkeys clean up!!! For such enormous birds, man, can they ever fly!! Wife and I were setting at the breakfast table this morning and they all flew down my driveway and into the woods on the other side of my main road.--It looked like a flight of B52 bombers when they all went by the window. They take off from a running start, flap really hard to gain about 40 foot of altitude, then they soar like eagles (no wing flapping) until they have got across the road to the other side. I know, it's a crummy picture but it was taken through my sliding glass doors. As soon as they seen the curtain twitch, they started moving away from the feeder towards the woods. The machining content is in the 3 pronged "thing" at the top of the post.:rolleyes::rolleyes:
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/BrianRupnow021/TURKEYSATBIRDFEEDER001_zpsf2631a29.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/BrianRupnow/media/BrianRupnow021/TURKEYSATBIRDFEEDER001_zpsf2631a29.jpg.html)

J Tiers
12-13-2014, 01:29 PM
I had an electric fence on teh garden... they eventually launched themselves into the area over the fence, ate as much as they wanted, and 'took" the 200V shock on the way out as a cost of doing business.

We caged the tomatos.

12-13-2014, 05:00 PM
Great post, love to see wild turkeys, the ones we have up here in my area seem to be surviving and multiplying. We have one that is almost white a very light grey, according to info this colour phase does happen occaisionaly. (Info via MNR.)

brian Rupnow
12-13-2014, 06:43 PM
About half my turkeys have red combs and wattles like you expect a turkey to have, the other half have lilac coloured combs and wattles. I asked the MNR and they said that was normal for wild turkeys.

12-13-2014, 09:04 PM
Im in the minority here I guess, I am in the squirrel watcher group, heck I wouldn't shoot one for a snack, they are fun to watch!

Lew Hartswick
12-13-2014, 10:35 PM
What amazes me is that after ten minutes of hanging on it then hits the ground running as if nothing happened --- what kind of brain do you have to have in your head that would not get dizzy after all that???
The same kind of brains that figure skaters seem to have. :-)