If you’ve recently purchased a bird feeder or are in the process of deciding what to buy, you likely need a bird feeder pole. Yes, you can hang a bird feeder from a tree limb, or from a planter hook if you’ve got one on your porch. But what if you don’t have any of these? What if you need a bird feeder pole installed in the yard to hold your bird feeder? In this article we will go over the different types of bird feeder poles, give you some recommendations on what pole would work for you. Also, We give some pointers on what to consider when accessorizing your bird feeder.
Bird Feeder Pole Types
Luckily, the evolution of bird feeders and their poles has been accelerated in the past decade. You now have many pole types to select from. While we favor some over others, each pole type has its benefits.
Most Common Bird Feeder Pole: Pressure Treated 4×4
The first type of bird feeder pole is the good old pressure treated 4×4. This is the most difficult to install as well as the most frustrating. However, it’s also the first thing many people think of when they think of a bird feeder pole. If you are planning to build your own bird feeder tray you may be thinking this is the only option for your bird feeder.
Benefit Of A Pressure Treated 4×4 Pole
If you have a bear problem where you live, you may want to consider a pressure treated 4×4 bird feeder pole. This is not guaranteed to protect your bird feeder from damage. Bears are incredibly strong, you likely will be able to turn this pole upright after the bear pushes it over. Bears will usually just push over the bird feeder pole to get to the bird feeder itself. When you have a metal pole, sometimes the bear will bend the pole in the process. Unfortunately, that will destroy your bird feeder pole.
How To Install A Pressure Treated 4×4 Pole
To install a 4×4 bird feeder pole the first thing you’ll want to do is buy a 4×4 that’s at least 10’ long. This is because you are going to bury 3’ of the pole in the ground. Next, you’ll want to borrow, buy, or rent a post hole digger and get to work.
Dig the hole down about 3’ and set the pressure treated 4×4 in the hole. Next, you’ll want to cut some 2×4’s or 1×4’s into stakes. This way you can pound them into the ground to hold your 4×4 in place diagonally. This means you’ll cut a sharp angle on the end of the stakes. This will let you pound them into the ground to brace the 4×4 so it stays perfectly vertical.
Get out your level and screw the 4×4 to the stakes in two directions to make sure the 4×4 is vertical. Next, mix up a bag of premixed concrete in a wheelbarrow and pour into the hole around the 4×4. Come back the next day and remove the stakes. You now have a 4×4 bird feeder pole. You can screw your bird feeder tray to the top of the pole, or you can install hooks on the pole to hang bird feeders from, plants on hooks, etc.
4×4 Bird Feeder Pole Designs
If the pressure treated 4×4 bird feeder pole is a bit too rustic for you, you may want to consider the wrought iron look of a shepherd’s crook bird feeder pole. These are simple, push into the ground, and largely will not be damaged all that much in a bear attack as they easily will push right over. Likewise, they will easily blow over in heavy winds, during blowing snow squalls, etc.
However, if you get the bird feeder pole in the ground before the first frost, the frozen ground should help stabilize the legs of the shepherd’s crook. The most typical lengths found in the shepherd’s crook style bird feeder pole are 76” and 92” tall respectively.
Keep in mind the height is from the sharpened feet all the way up to above the hook. We would always recommend sticking to the taller height to keep the bird feeder further away from house cats.
Our Favorite Bird Feeder Pole: Augur Style
The next type of pole is an augur style. These poles are designed to screw into a bird feeder tray, or bird house style bird feeder, then be augured into the ground.
The screw shaped augur on the base of the bird feeder pole will screw into the ground and provide a semi rigid support for the bird feeder. These are at high risk of bear damage, as the augur holds the bird feeder pole in well, and a bear may just bend over the pole rendering it useless.
Benefits Of An Augur Style Pole
However, sometimes you just need to take the risk for the birds sake. If you don’t live in bear habitat, these are great bird feeder poles. Additionally, they’re actually one of our favorite styles of pole for many reasons. The benefits include their simplicity, stability of the bird feeder, and the ability to take down the bird feeder and pole at the end of the season. Again, you’ll probably want to install this bird feeder pole well before the frost. This will allow you to make sure you have a solid base once the ground freezes.
Don’t Forget Your Bird Feeder Pole Accessories
Hopefully this has been a helpful overview of what you might look for when putting in a bird feeder pole. Now you know how to make sure you have your bird feeder supported and installed the best way possible for your yard. Next, you should consider some accessories.
The most common accessory is a method to squirrel proof your bird feeder. Some people like to feed the squirrels along with the birds, and if you’re one of them, that’s okay. There are others out there who can talk the pros and cons of feeding the squirrels in a more intelligent manner than I can. However, if you want to keep the squirrels out of your bird feeder, I know a thing or two about that.
How To Prevent Squirrels From Getting Up A Bird Feeder Pole
If you have a pressure treated 4×4 bird feeder pole, you can use sheet metal around the bottom 4’ of the pole. This will help you eliminate the climbing surface. This may not look all that great, but I’ll keep the little guys from climbing up the pole to get into the bird feeder.
With any bird feeder, you’ll want to check and see if there are any nearby trees. Squirrels can jump from these trees and land in the bird feeder. If this is an issue, there are some purpose-built squirrel proof bird feeders. These feeders will help avoid squirrel jumps being successful. Even when the squirrels are successful, the seeds are extremely difficult to get at without a beak.
If you have a metal pole bird feeder you can install a squirrel baffle. This will help reduce and hopefully eliminate all but the craftiest squirrel from getting into your bird feeder.
Additionally, you can use vaseline to grease your bird feeder pole. This will make the pole slippery enough that squirrels can’t climb up. Obviously this is a manual solution as you need to apply the vaseline every day. Investing into a squirrel baffle is a far more economical method. However, if you’ve ordered your squirrel baffle and await its arrival, use vaseline for a few days. We guarantee the squirrels will absolutely hate it and they will not eat your bird seed.
There are infinite numbers of additional features and accessories you can buy for your bird feeder and bird feeder pole. There are hooks which attach directly to your balcony so you can install a bird feeder to suet cages and on and on. If you have a favorite bird feeder accessory, we’d love to hear about it.
Bird Feeder Pole Summary
As you can see, there’s plenty of subject matter surrounding a bird feeder pole. There are several types and a plethora of products for each one. There’s also common problems with all bird feeder poles and accessories built to help you. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and feel more confident in getting a bird feeder pole and deterring squirrels.