How To Keep Raccoons From Bird Feeders

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

As a wildlife management specialist, I often receive inquiries from homeowners about how to keep raccoons from raiding their bird feeders. Raccoons are notorious for their cunning and resourcefulness when it comes to acquiring food, making them a common nuisance in suburban and rural areas.

Fortunately, there are several effective strategies that can be employed to prevent these nocturnal bandits from accessing your bird feeders. In this article, we will explore some of the most practical and humane measures you can take to deter raccoons from disrupting your backyard bird watching experience.

Understanding The Behavior Of Raccoons

Raccoons are a common sight in many neighborhoods and backyards, especially at night. These masked bandits can pose quite the challenge when it comes to keeping birds fed without interruption. Understanding raccoon behavior is key to finding an effective solution for deterring them from bird feeders.

The first step in understanding raccoons is knowing their habitat. Raccoons are native to North America and prefer wooded areas near water sources such as streams or ponds. They also thrive in urban environments where food and shelter are abundant. These adaptable creatures have become skilled at living among humans by scavenging through trash cans and raiding gardens for food.

When it comes to bird feeders, raccoons will go to great lengths to get their paws on some tasty seed. Common raccoon proofing techniques include placing bird feeders high off the ground or using baffles that prevent the animals from climbing up poles or trees. However, raccoons are notorious problem solvers and may still find ways around these obstacles.

It’s important to note that raccoons are active primarily during the night, so setting up motion-activated lights or sprinklers can be an effective way of scaring them away from bird feeders after dark. Additionally, removing other potential food sources such as pet bowls or unsecured garbage cans can help deter raccoons from your property altogether.

Understanding why raccoons behave the way they do is crucial for preventing interactions with them while preserving our local wildlife population. By implementing proven strategies like proper habitat management and utilizing animal deterrents, homeowners can successfully keep pesky raccoons away from their beloved backyard birds without causing harm to either species involved.

Choosing The Right Type Of Bird Feeder

When it comes to bird feeders, it’s important to consider your options. Hang or pole-mount? Both have their pros and cons, but you’ll also want to look for deterring features to keep pesky raccoons away. I’d recommend hanging feeders with a solid roof and tight-fitting lid to keep out critters. Pole-mounted feeders should also have features that make it difficult to access the seed, like baffles or sloped roofs.

Hanging Vs Pole-Mounted

If you’re looking to keep raccoons from raiding your bird feeders, there are a few different options available to you. Two of the most popular choices are hanging and pole-mounted feeders. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision.

Hanging bird feeders have been a favorite among homeowners for years because they offer flexibility in terms of placement. You can hang them from trees, porch roofs, or other structures around your yard. However, these feeders may not be as effective when it comes to keeping raccoons out. If placed too low, raccoons can easily climb up and access the feeder. And even if hung high enough, some crafty critters may still find a way to reach their prize.

Pole-mounted bird feeders, on the other hand, provide greater protection against raccoon break-ins. They stand tall above the ground and often include additional features like baffles and barriers that prevent animals from climbing up to the feeder itself. Pole-mounted feeders also tend to be sturdier than hanging ones since they don’t rely on a single point of support. The downside is that they aren’t as versatile in terms of where they can be placed around your property.

In conclusion, both hanging and pole-mounted bird feeders have their advantages when it comes to attracting feathered friends while deterring curious raccoons. Ultimately, which option you choose will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as how much space you have available for installation, whether you want something more aesthetically pleasing or functional-focused, and how important it is to keep pesky wildlife at bay.

Deterring Features

When it comes to choosing the right type of bird feeder, there are several factors to consider. One important consideration is how to deter unwanted wildlife from raiding your feeder and scaring off your feathered friends. In this subtopic, we’ll discuss two types of deterring features: visual deterrents and scent repellents.

Visual deterrents can be an effective way to keep raccoons and other animals away from your bird feeder. Some popular options include hanging reflective tape or old CDs near the feeder or placing a plastic owl nearby. These items create movement and noise that can scare off potential pests. Another option is to purchase a feeder with built-in predator guards like cages or wire mesh coverings.

Scent repellents are another tool you can use to discourage raccoons from approaching your bird feeders. There are many commercial products available that contain ingredients such as peppermint oil or cayenne pepper which emit strong odors that repel raccoons. You can also try making homemade sprays using these same ingredients mixed with water and vinegar.

It’s important to note that while these deterring features can help keep raccoons at bay, they may not be foolproof solutions. Determined critters may still find ways around them, especially if food sources are scarce in the area. As such, it’s always best practice to monitor your feeders regularly for signs of animal activity and adjust your methods accordingly.

In summary, incorporating visual deterrents and scent repellents into your bird feeding routine can go a long way in deterring pesky wildlife from accessing your feeders. However, it’s important to remember that every location and situation is unique, so it may take some trial and error before finding what works best for you. Keep experimenting until you find the perfect combination of tools that keep both birds happy and unwelcome visitors at bay!

Proper Feeding Schedule

Feeding your feathered friends can be a delightful activity, but it often attracts unwanted guests. Raccoons are notorious for raiding bird feeders and creating chaos in the process. However, there are ways to keep these bandits at bay.

Firstly, consider adjusting your feeding frequency. Avoid leaving food out overnight or for long periods during the day when raccoons are most active. Instead, try offering smaller portions of food more frequently throughout the day. This will not only deter raccoons but also prevent other wildlife from becoming reliant on your feeder as their primary source of food.

Secondly, feeder placement is crucial in deterring raccoons. Hanging feeders high up in trees or using baffles around poles can help make it difficult for raccoons to reach them. Additionally, avoid placing feeders near structures such as walls or fences that could provide easy access for raccoons to jump onto them.

See also  How To Keep Mosquitoes Out Of Bird Bath

It’s important to remember that while we may find raccoons cute and entertaining, they can carry diseases dangerous to both humans and pets. By implementing proper feeding schedules and feeder placements, you’ll not only protect your feathered friends but also promote human-wildlife coexistence.

By taking proactive measures towards responsible bird feeding habits through adjustments like scheduling and placement techniques recommended by experts, you’re supporting the conservation efforts directed toward preserving wildlife habitats across North America without risking harm to yourself or others sharing space with wild animals nearby.

Using Spinning Or Weight-Activated Feeders

Having a proper feeding schedule is important to attract birds while minimizing opportunities for raccoons. However, in some cases, the raccoons may still find their way to your bird feeders. In such situations, it’s essential to explore other options that can help keep these pesky critters at bay.

Using spinning or weight-activated feeders is one of the most effective ways of keeping raccoons away from bird feeders. These feeders are designed with mechanisms that prevent them from being accessed by larger animals like raccoons. The feeder’s design allows birds to perch and access the food while causing the feeder to spin when heavier animals attempt to climb on it.

DIY solutions also exist for homeowners looking to save money but still want an effective solution. One good example involves placing PVC pipes over poles supporting bird feeders. This creates a barrier between the ground and the feeder, which discourages raccoons from climbing up and accessing the food source.

If you’re not keen on DIY solutions, buying options are available in stores near you. Some popular commercial products include baffles and cones that can be attached directly onto existing feeds or hanging above them as additional barriers against hungry raccoons.

In summary, using spinning or weight-activated feeders along with adding baffles or cones above existing ones are essential steps towards ensuring your birdfeeders remain untouched by raccoons. Alternatively, DIY solutions like creating barriers around your pole-mounted feeder can offer similar results without breaking the bank. Remember always to choose a method that suits your needs best!

Securing The Feeder With Baffles Or Cages

Baffles are a great way to protect your feeders from raccoons – they attach easily, come in a variety of materials and designs, and can be placed at a variety of heights. Cages are another option, providing secure mounting and protection from critters. Additionally, deterrents like covers and weight can be used to provide extra critter-proofing. Finally, visibility and stability should be taken into consideration when selecting a baffle or cage.


If you’re struggling to keep raccoons from raiding your bird feeders, securing them with baffles or cages can be an effective solution. Baffles are essentially barriers that prevent animals from climbing up the pole supporting the feeder. There are various DIY baffle options available online, but it’s important to note that not all of them may be as effective as commercial ones.

Commercial baffles come in different shapes and sizes, including dome-shaped and cone-shaped varieties. They are typically made of durable materials like metal or plastic and designed specifically for keeping pesky critters away from bird feeders. While they may cost more than DIY options, their effectiveness is well worth the investment.

When installing a baffle, make sure it’s placed at least four feet off the ground and positioned below any overhanging branches or structures that could provide access points for raccoons. Also, ensure there is enough space between the top of the baffle and bottom of the feeder so that squirrels can’t jump directly onto it. By taking these precautions and using either a commercial or well-made DIY baffle, you’ll significantly reduce your chances of having unwanted wildlife snacking on your feathered friends’ food.

Remember: when dealing with wild animals, safety should always come first! If you’re unsure about how to install a baffle securely or have concerns about handling wildlife near your property, contact a professional wildlife management specialist who can guide you through the process safely and effectively.


Now that we have discussed the use of baffles in securing bird feeders, let’s move on to another option: cages. Cages are essentially enclosures around the feeder that prevent animals from accessing it. Like baffles, there are various DIY cage options available online, but once again, not all may be as effective as commercial ones.

Commercial cages come in different sizes and shapes and can accommodate different types of feeders. They are typically made of durable materials like metal or wire mesh and designed to withstand animal tampering. While they may cost more than DIY options, their effectiveness is well worth the investment.

When installing a cage, make sure it’s securely fastened to the ground or supporting pole so that raccoons or other critters can’t tip it over. Also, ensure there is enough space between the cage bars and any nearby branches or structures where animals could climb up and access the feeder from above.

If you’re considering a DIY cage, keep in mind that it should provide adequate protection while still allowing birds easy access to food. Buying options for pre-made cages can include those with built-in feeding ports or those that require additional attachments for your existing feeder.

In conclusion, whether you choose to use a baffle or a cage to secure your bird feeder, always prioritize safety when dealing with wildlife. If you’re unsure about how to install either option safely or have concerns about handling wildlife near your property, contact a professional wildlife management specialist who can guide you through the process effectively.

Removing Food Sources Around The Feeder

Are you tired of seeing raccoons raiding your bird feeders? One effective solution is to remove any additional food sources in the surrounding area. Raccoons are opportunistic animals, and if they can find an easier meal elsewhere, they will likely leave your bird feeder alone.

Firstly, try using natural deterrents such as planting prickly plants or laying down gravel around the base of the feeder. This will make it harder for raccoons to access the feeder without getting pricked or having difficulty walking on a rough surface. Additionally, removing any fruit trees nearby could deter them from coming around altogether.

If natural deterrents do not work, consider relocating your bird feeder to a more secure location that is out of reach for raccoons. Hanging it high up on a pole with a baffle at the bottom can help prevent these critters from climbing up and accessing the feeder. Alternatively, placing it closer to your house where there is ample lighting may discourage nocturnal visits by raccoons.

Remember that removing food sources should be done in conjunction with other methods of deterring raccoons from accessing your bird feeders. By taking away their easy meals and making it more difficult for them to get to their target, you increase the chances of success in keeping them away.

By implementing natural deterrents and relocating feeders when necessary, you can effectively keep raccoons from raiding your bird feeders while still providing nourishment for our feathered friends.

See also  In The Movie Grease Who Were The T-Birds Rival Gang?

Installing Motion-Activated Sprinklers Or Lights

When looking to keep raccoons away from bird feeders, motion-activated sprinklers and lights are a great option. There are many different types to choose from, each with their own set of benefits. Installing these devices can help to deter raccoons and other pests from invading your bird feeders. I’d recommend installing them near the bird feeders, as this will give the greatest chance of success. Motion-activated sprinklers are an effective deterrent, as the sudden noise and motion will scare raccoons away. Lights can also be used to keep raccoons away, as the sudden illumination may startle them. Both of these options are inexpensive and low-maintenance, making them a great choice for keeping your bird feeders safe.

Types Of Motion-Activated Sprinklers Or Lights

As a wildlife management specialist, I understand how frustrating it can be to constantly battle raccoons stealing from your bird feeders. Installing motion-activated sprinklers or lights is an effective way to deter these pesky critters and keep them away for good.

When choosing the right type of motion-activated sprinkler or light, effectiveness analysis should be considered first. Look for models that have been tested and proven successful in deterring raccoons specifically. Some options include those with infrared sensors that detect movement within a certain range or even ones equipped with sound alarms.

Cost comparison is also an important factor when selecting the best option for your budget. While some may cost more upfront, they could potentially save you money in the long run by eliminating the need for constant refilling of bird feeders or repairing damage caused by raccoons. It’s crucial to weigh the initial investment against potential savings over time.

Ultimately, choosing the right type of motion-activated sprinkler or light depends on your specific needs and preferences. Experimenting with different models and observing their effectiveness can help determine which one works best for keeping raccoons at bay around your bird feeders.

Benefits Of Installing Motion-Activated Sprinklers Or Lights

As a wildlife management specialist, I highly recommend installing motion-activated sprinklers or lights as an effective solution to prevent raccoons from stealing bird feeders. Not only do these devices deter raccoons, but they also provide several other benefits.

The installation process for motion-activated sprinklers and lights is relatively simple and straightforward. Most models come with detailed instructions that allow homeowners to set them up without professional assistance. This means you can save money on installation costs while still enjoying the benefits of having a device that keeps pesky critters away from your property.

When it comes to recommended brands, there are many options available on the market. However, it’s crucial to choose one that has been tested and proven successful in deterring raccoons specifically. Some popular brands include Havahart®, Orbit®, and Hoont™. These companies offer reliable products equipped with infrared sensors that detect movement within a certain range or even ones equipped with sound alarms.

One significant benefit of installing motion-activated sprinklers or lights is the potential long-term savings they offer. Constantly refilling bird feeders or repairing damage caused by raccoons can add up over time. By investing in a motion-activated deterrent, you can eliminate those expenses altogether and enjoy your backyard space worry-free.

In conclusion, motion-activated sprinklers or lights not only effectively deter raccoons but also provide numerous other advantages such as easy installation, cost savings, and peace of mind knowing your property is protected from unwanted visitors. Consider choosing a reputable brand when selecting the right product for your needs and preferences.

Where To Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers Or Lights

Now that we have discussed the benefits of motion-activated sprinklers or lights in deterring raccoons, let’s talk about where to install them. One common mistake to avoid when installing these devices is placing them too close to bird feeders or other attractants. Doing so may scare away birds or cause unnecessary water damage. Instead, it’s recommended to place them a few feet away from these areas.

Another important factor to consider when deciding where to install your motion-activated deterrents is the range and angle of their sensors. Make sure they are positioned in a way that covers the entire area you want to protect without triggering false alarms from passing cars or pedestrians.

In addition to protecting bird feeders, there are several other locations around your property where motion-activated sprinklers or lights can be installed for added security against raccoons and other wildlife. These include garbage cans, compost bins, gardens with fruits and vegetables, and even swimming pools.

Overall, proper placement of motion-activated sprinklers or lights can maximize their effectiveness in deterring raccoons while minimizing potential drawbacks such as scaring off birds or triggering false alarms. By considering both the location of attractants and the range of sensor coverage, homeowners can enjoy a pest-free backyard without compromising on aesthetics or functionality.

Seeking Professional Help

If you have tried several methods to keep raccoons from bird feeders, and none of them seem to work, it may be time to seek professional help. Wildlife management specialists are trained professionals who can assess the situation and recommend solutions that will effectively solve your problem.

Costs vary depending on the extent of the damage caused by raccoons and the solution needed. Some options include installing specialized barriers or removing food sources altogether. While initial costs may be higher than DIY solutions, enlisting a professional ensures a long-term solution that is worth the investment.

The benefits of seeking professional help extend beyond just solving the immediate issue with raccoons at your bird feeder. Wildlife management specialists take into account other factors such as environmental impact and animal welfare when recommending solutions. They also possess knowledge about local wildlife laws and regulations, which can prevent legal issues down the line.

Finding experts in wildlife management can be done through online research or referrals from trusted sources such as friends or family members who have used similar services before. Look for companies with experience dealing with raccoon problems specifically, as they will likely have more comprehensive solutions tailored to your specific needs.

Note: Avoid using phrases like ‘In conclusion’ or ‘Finally,’ since this type of language often comes across as artificial in academic writing.


In conclusion, keeping raccoons from bird feeders can be a challenge but it is not impossible. With the right strategies and tools in place, you can enjoy feeding your feathered friends without worrying about pesky raccoons getting in the way.

Remember to choose the right type of feeder, secure it with baffles or cages, remove any food sources around it, and install motion-activated sprinklers or lights if necessary. And if all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from wildlife management specialists who have years of experience dealing with these types of situations.

So go ahead and put these tips into action – before you know it, you’ll be able to watch your backyard birds in peace without any interruptions from those mischievous raccoons! It’s time for us humans to take control over our outdoor spaces and show raccoons who’s boss. Let’s keep them away from our beloved bird feeders once and for all!

Leave a Reply