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We have a bird feeder in our wooded yard, hanging down from a tree branch, its top covered with a 'squirrel baffle' of about two feet diameter.
We also have gazillions of squirrels that love to eat the stuff in the bird feeder (and deter the birds).

I made sure the bird feeder is hanging in a place where the squirrels can't jump to (it's about 10 feet away from anything else).
However, we have watched the squirrels climb down the rope the bird feeder is hanging on, heads up, and then slide down the baffle, swinging around the edge, and grabbing onto the bird feeder while falling (some quite impressive acrobatics). enter image description here I think having a larger baffle would solve that problem, because they would fall down too far away from the bird feeder to grab it. I am thinking about a rounded metal, wood, or plastic sheet, formed like a trashcan lid, but a bit larger (I'd like 4 to 5 feet diameter).

I'm not qualified to make something like that myself, and don't want to spend a lot of money on some custom built thing.
What object could I buy cheaply and 're-dedicate' to be a squirrel baffle?

Trashcan lids are too small, umbrellas are too easily destroyed (shredded) by the squirrels. A walk through the local home improvement stores didn't show me anything of that form.

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    A satellite dish? From the tip.. – Solar Mike May 9 at 18:04
  • get a cheap plastic salad bowl and drill a hole in the bottom for the chain to pass through ... one of those colored transparent bowls ... you can probably find one that is large enough – jsotola May 9 at 23:25
  • That may be tough, figuring out how to defeat squirrel excluders and reach the squirrel feeder is basically the purpose of squirrels. If we really wanted to sneak mini-bombs onto Russian nuclear submarines underway at speed at 600' depth, we would just build a mockup of one, fill it with birdseed, and loose a bunch of squirrels on it. They'd find a way. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 10 at 14:02
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    There is not much you can do to keep squirrels out of that feeder. The grease idea is probably the best. This is a really interesting video to show you how agile and resilient these little guys are: youtube.com/watch?v=hFZFjoX2cGg – PhilippNagel Jun 9 at 13:30
  • So you are putting squirrel food on display and you don't want the squirrels to eat it ? – blacksmith37 Jun 9 at 16:23
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Anything soft like plastic or wood would end up in a fail as they can get a grip or chew through. We found using an 1/16 steel cable rope was two small for them to grip but was plenty strong, after changing to the cable they did try a few times to climb it but soon gave up. I like squirrels and we feed them unsalted peanuts but the greedy buggers wanted the bird seed also, this was the best method we found to keep them out of the bird feeder with a very similar one.

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Grease. Recommend food grade.

The second material I'd use is a small bb gun, pump, so that you aren't killing them. Just enough to scare them off.

Honestly though you're going to be hard pressed to find something big enough to stop them from getting there. Whatever you do they'll figure out how to get around- otherwise a single piece of sheetmetal that's 2x longer than their body in radius (and they CAN stretch) should make it impossible to swing under.

That'll also turn it into a nightmare in any wind...

You can make it harder, and make it funnier with food grade grease, but otherwise...

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  • a BB gun would inflict serious injury or even death – jsotola May 9 at 23:22
  • On a squirrel? We're talking BBs, not pellets. And a single pump, not a piston/break barrel. No, no they wouldn't. – J.Hirsch May 10 at 0:31
  • BBs, small metal spheres ... what kind are you talking about? ... i used to have a BB pistol that was spring powered and it was able to put dents in plywood ... that kind of force could penerate skin or eyes – jsotola May 10 at 0:41
  • Yep, @jsotola, that's it. But yours is a 'spring' powered. Breakbarrel? Pushing 600 fps (real numbers? Sadly I can't find any lit to show a single pump, but this video has it at ~400fps for 6grain pellets. You really aren't going to kill the animal with this. I've also been shot with a single pump out of 10 pump and while it'll leave a welt, it didn't break the skin. youtube.com/watch?v=ejel7pzZRDo – J.Hirsch May 10 at 1:02

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