Snow, sleet and freezing temperatures can really take the fun out of feeding the birds — especially when the feeders are covered in snow and moisture has gotten in, making a frozen mess of your bird seed!
A few simple steps will make a big difference in how well your feeders weather the storm. If you have hanging feeders and are lucky enough to have a covered porch or carport, consider moving the feeders to this more sheltered area. If that’s not possible, purchasing a weather baffle can really help keep the elements out of your hanging feeders. There are several kinds of baffles you can use that are suited for different sized feeders and situations.
Tube feeders are perhaps the most difficult to protect from rain and especially blowing snow, simply because of their length. Most tube feeders have a hanging bail on top. The best type of baffle for these feeders would be one with a slot at the top where the bail slides through such as the Aspects Super Baffle or Duncraft’s Weather Guard. The reason for this is so you can get the baffle as low over the feeder as possible for the greatest protection. With other baffles, there is usually a hook-type connection between the hanger bail and the baffle which can put the baffle up too high to be of much use.
For hanging hopper, globe and tray feeders, be sure to choose an overhead baffle that’s wide enough to cover the entire feeder. For tray feeders, a wide, flat baffle such as Duncraft’s SB5 works well. For hanging hoppers and globes, a wide dome-type baffle such as the 20” Clear Squirrel Baffle is a great choice.
Two points to keep in mind when you’re using a baffle for weather protection rather than just for squirrel protection is to hang the baffle over the feeder as low as possible, and secondly, to buy a baffle that’s wide enough to completely cover the feeder and extend out from it by at least several inches.
You may not be able to keep all the snow off your feeders this winter, especially in really windy conditions. But weather guards and baffles will certainly help!