If you want to be able to attract birds to your yard, it makes sense to use bird feeders. However, some people encounter problems with this due to local wildlife.
Waking up to find that bears have messed with your feeders will certainly be disheartening. It’s also true that bears are dangerous, and you don’t want to encounter them if you don’t have to.
Bird feeders can potentially attract bears to your yard, but this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on using them. There are some ways that you can try to keep bears away from bird feeders that should work out nicely.
Read on to learn about your options. Once you know more about what can be done, it’ll be easier to take the right actions.
1 – Hang Your Bird Feeders Where Bears Can’t Reach Them
People have gotten good results by hanging bird feeders out of the reach of bears. If you hang the feeders high enough, birds will be able to use them and bears won’t stand a chance of stealing the birdseed.
The best way to go about doing this is to use a pulley system so you can get the bird feeders up and down. You’ll be able to use a rope to lower and raise them as necessary.
It might make refilling the bird feeders slightly more time-consuming, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off. If you have a good spot in your yard where you could hang the bird feeders, you should consider doing this.
2 – Consider Using a Bear-Proof Pole for Your Bird Feeders
Bird feeders don’t necessarily have to be hung from trees if you don’t have trees that are tall enough. Some people choose to utilize poles that will allow them to be placed out of the reach of bears.
The concept is very similar to hanging bird feeders in a high place, but you won’t need a pulley system for this. You just sink a pole into the ground and then place the feeder on top of the pole.
You’ll need to sink a pole deep into the ground to make it bear-proof, though. After sinking it into the ground, it’s going to be necessary to fill the hole with concrete to truly ensure that it’ll stay put.
Bears are very powerful and they weigh a lot. If you don’t take everything into account, they’ll just knock the pole over to get to the birdseed.
A bear-proof pole should probably be made out of a slippery type of metal so that bears won’t be able to climb it. You can use wood as the base for the pole, but covering the wood in metal is better since you don’t want the bear to get to the bird feeder.
3 – Consider Bringing Your Bird Feeders in the House at Night
One good solution to keep in mind is that you can bring the bird feeders into your house at night. This will keep the bears from being able to mess with things while you’re asleep.
The most common situation where bears will mess with feeders involves them sneaking into the yard at night. It’s not impossible that a bear would come around during the day, but they mostly seem to stick to looking for food when it’s dark.
You could simply haul your bird feeders into the garage or barn every evening when it starts to get dark. As long as you’re putting them in a secure location, it isn’t going to be possible for bears to get to them.
Admittedly, this option is going to be a bit of a nuisance since you’ll have to haul the feeders back and forth regularly. It’s a good idea for anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of extra work, though.
4 – Clean Birdseed Off the Ground
Over time, birds are likely going to make a mess under the bird feeder. They might spill some birdseed on the ground, and this will make the bears very happy.
To keep bears from getting a free meal, it’s going to be wise to clean the area under the feeders regularly. This makes it less likely that bears will want to come by, and they won’t be able to get anything if they do check the area out.
You don’t want bears to get comfortable on your property because they could be dangerous. Cleaning under the bird feeders is a precaution that you shouldn’t ignore.
5 – Remove Other Food Sources
There could be other food sources in your yard that are attracting bears. For instance, you won’t want to leave any pet food out in the yard that they’ll be able to smell.
If you feed your dog outside, you’ll need to keep the dog food in secure containers. It’s honestly best to keep the pet food in a barn, secure storage shed, or your house.
Sometimes bears will want to come to your property to feed on various types of fruits and berries as well. If you have trees and bushes that are dropping food on the ground, you’ll want to clean things up.
Taking the time to clean the yard will make it less likely that bears will want to stick around. This might take some time, but it’s for the best when you’re trying to protect your property from bears.
6 – Choose Birdseed That Bears Won’t Like as Much
Another important tip is to be very choosy when picking the birdseed for the bird feeders. You can choose types of birdseed that bears won’t be as interested in so that they won’t come around so much.
For example, safflower seed is something that birds will eat, but bears generally won’t want it. You could also try something such as Nyjer seed, which is also referred to as thistle.
7 – Consider Using Motion-Sensitive Lights or Alarms
Finally, it could be a solid idea to utilize motion-sensitive lights or alarms. These tools can be used to effectively scare off bears when they get too close to feeders.
Generally, bears are going to be scared by loud noises. If you set up a type of motion-triggered alarm that will make noises, bears that get too close will be scared away quite easily.
People have used motion-sensitive lights to scare away bears as well. Whichever option you want to use should help to deter them from sticking around.
Be careful when it comes to having bears in your backyard. It’s understandable that you would want to be able to enjoy bird-watching, but if you can’t solve the bear issue, it might be best to take the bird feeders down.
Thankfully, most people are going to be able to get good results when they use the tips above. Bears can be persistent sometimes, but they’ll likely turn to other food sources in the area when getting to the birdseed proves to be too difficult.
You know a lot more about your options now, and taking care of your bird feeders should be easier. Just don’t underestimate the danger that bears pose to you because you wouldn’t want anyone in your family to get hurt.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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