Bird feeders are fantastic for the birds you’re helping and for the birdwatching; you can do right from your garden. Bears are naturally curious animals, so it’s no surprise that they’re drawn to things like bird seed, trash, compost, fruit trees, berry bushes, barbecues, pet food, and even outdoor refrigerators and freezers.
Therefore, knowing how to keep bears away from hummingbird feeders is important.
Bears aren’t usually an issue for bird feeders. However, those facing constant challenges can follow some of the tips below.
- Keep the food stored appropriately in the feeder so birds cannot access it.
- Ensure that the fences are properly repaired and at a good height to prevent the bears from entering.
- Install motion sensor lights mainly aimed at the bird feeders.
Due to their size and power, bears can easily knock down bird feeder poles, giving them free access to all the bird seeds that they can eat. Therefore, this article will discuss keeping bears away from hummingbird feeders.
10 Effective Ways To Keep Bears Away From Hummingbird Feeders
Although it sometimes becomes difficult to keep the bears away from the feeders, it is not impossible with the correct methods.
1. Always Bring In Your Feeders at Night
To avoid being seen, bears typically attack bird feeders at night. Though it’s not impossible for bears to cause trouble during the day, they usually only venture out at night. Take the bird feeders inside at night to avoid attracting bears.
If your bird feeders and food are safely stored, bears shouldn’t be able to access them.
However, they might be able to find a few dropped seeds. When night falls, bring your feeders inside and put them back out in the morning. Also, if you miss a day, bears may demolish your feeders, nullifying your efforts.
2. Put Your Bird Feeders Up High
This plan is easy to understand and implement. Your bird feeders should be up high, out of the reach of bears. The challenge here is in putting this into practice.
The first rule is that if a bear has trouble reaching the feeders, it’s probably out of your reach, too. Keeping a long pole close to your feeding station can help lower and raise the feeders easily. One alternative is to create a pulley system that allows the feeders to be moved to different heights.
A bear may be able to topple a common pole used to hang bird feeders, even while the feeders themselves are out of reach. Take a look at these suggestions for hanging your feeders.
- Place a line or wire in the air between two towers: Trees, decks, houses, sheds, etc., might all fit under this category.
- Bird feeders can be hung from the branches of a tree: To prevent the tree from falling because of the bear’s weight, choose a sufficiently large one.
3. Put Up a Bird Feeder on a Pole That Bears Can’t reach
Erecting a pole that bears can’t topple requires more than a bit of fortitude. The commitment and strength of these beasts are remarkable. When bears detect the aroma of tasty birdseed, they will stop at nothing to get their paws on it.
But if you’re going to spend the money, a feeding station pole built to withstand bears is the best option. Bears won’t be able to get into your bird food, so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
4. You Should Always Keep the Floor Around Your Feeders Clean
Keep bears away from bird feeders by preventing food from falling to the ground. There’s no point in erecting a bear-proof pole if the birds are constantly dumping the seeds on the ground, where the bears will find them even though they won’t harm the bird feeders.
Keep an eye on your feeders to avoid wasted food. Birds are notoriously untidy eaters, often scattering their food as they rummage through it by poking and throwing birdseed everywhere. You’ll need bird feeders that prevent the birds from doing that.
It’s possible that hopper feeders and trays aren’t the best choices since birds can sit on a perch and scatter their food all over the ground if the feeder is too small.
5. Add Unattractive Food Items to the Bird Feeder
Bears like suet and seeds, but they’ll also drink from dripping nectar feeders and sample fruit from a feeder if given a chance. Plant natural foods and provide birds with safflower seed or Nyjer, which have a bitter taste, as an alternative to using feeders.
Even if feeders aren’t present, bears will still explore various natural sources, notable food on berry bushes or fruit trees.
Bears that forage in yards for birdseed may become accustomed to easy access to other foods, so removing any potential attractants is important. To avoid attracting bears, store pet food indoors, keep garbage covered, manage composting piles properly to prevent odors, and clean barbecue grills regularly.
6. Use More Sturdy Feeders
It is significant to utilize sturdy feeders as bears may easily knock over weaker ones with their strong paws and jaws. Bears are resourceful creatures that will keep going after an appealing feeder until they have it, but some bears may be deterred from nibbling if there are fewer easy targets.
Feeders should be made of strong, sturdy recyclable plastic or metal. Bears also have a more difficult time accessing food in tube feeders and cage feeders. Bears might not always be interested in feeders, so keeping all of your seeds in a secure location is important.
Birdseed should be kept in a dry, cool place, ideally inside a secured garage or shed where bears can’t get in.
7. Add Some Spice
In order to deter bears that don’t enjoy the spicy flavor, we recommended adding a lot of red pepper to the birdseed mix. Bears can be scared away from the feeder by applying pepper, vinegar, or ammonia on the ground nearby.
8. Nighttime Lawn Watering
Nighttime lawn watering is more water-efficient, and strong sprinklers can also deter bears from a property. While this isn’t the most successful strategy, it can be helpful when combined with other methods for discouraging bears from eating bird seed.
9. Motion-Activated Lights
Put in motion-activated lights with the maximum safe wattage and point them at the bird feeders. The bears’ proximity will set off the lights, which will disrupt their night vision.
When bears feel threatened, they often retreat to the safety of the night, far from the feeders.
10. Keep the Fences Repaired
If you have fences around your property, keep them in good repair and reinforce them so that bears can’t dig under them. Bears can be kept at bay using high metal fences (six feet or more is ideal) and locked gates.
However, it might not be easy to totally bear-proof a bird feeder, and none of these solutions is foolproof on its own.
The easiest approach to prevent bears from raiding bird feeders is to take many preventative measures. To increase the chances that bears would avoid feeders, make the food difficult for them to get to.
Why Should Bears Avoid Feeders?
Bears are large, powerful animals with voracious appetites; nevertheless, even a modest bird feeder and the items it offers might be harmful if the bears get their hands on them.
Bears will frequently select the most convenient meal available; nevertheless, a diet consisting only of food from bird feeders does not give enough of the necessary nutrients for a healthy diet, especially for cubs and younger bears.
Bears are susceptible to contracting diseases from unclean bird feeders. Those infections can subsequently be passed on to other bears, wiping out an entire local population even if only one bear visits the feeders.
A bear’s lips, paws, and eyes can be injured by sharp fragments from a broken feeder, potentially leading to infections, impairments, and other challenges.
Bears exposed to human activity regularly, such as at feeders, become more habituated to being in human-populated places, making them more likely to be hit by cars or unintentionally shot.
Once a bear becomes accustomed to human food sources, it may be impossible for local wildlife officials to persuade the bear to leave a residential area. The bear might have to be killed if relocation is not an option.
It’s best to keep bears away from bird feeders as much as possible, both for the birds and the bears.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Keep the Bear off the Deck?
Metal flashing is an easy way to prevent bears from accessing your deck or treetops. The use of aluminum or stainless steel prevents rust from forming. Sheets should be at least 1 meter wide.
Metal flashing can be purchased at a discount from a scrap yard near you.
Flashing should be wrapped around the tree that will hold the bird feeder so that there is room for the trunk’s girth to expand with the tree. If you cover a tree in smooth metal flashing, bears won’t be able to climb it since they can’t get onto it. Bears can be kept off a second-story deck by wrapping the support columns and other potential entry points with metal flashing.
How To Ensure That the Birds Return to Your Feeder?
Regardless of the season, you may ensure the return of your feathered friends by providing them with the following triad of goodies:
- Good seed, and lots of it.
- Grow a lot of native vegetation that the birds can feed on.