Do you enjoy feeding the birds? Have the bears in your area ruined that experience by destroying your feeders and poles? Unfortunately, we have built our homes in the bear's backyard and now they want to enjoy what we have to offer. Feeding birds is a popular pastime, with annual sales expected to reach over $2 billion in the United States. It’s pleasurable, knowing that you’re benefiting wildlife. It’s also necessary, given that over one-third of North American species are at risk of extinction. That’s part of what makes bears at your bird feeders so frustrating. Bears are so destructive. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Black Bears or Grizzlies. We’re talking about an animal that can get 400 pounds or more. It is highly intelligent and can remember things well. They also have a keen sense of smell and will eat just about anything they can find, including the birdseed you put in your feeder. That’s what makes a bear-proof bird feeder pole a must-have.
Why Bears Visit Feeders
Part of the problem with feeding birds is that you’re putting out the welcome mat to attract them. You pick their favorite seeds. Perhaps, you have a birdbath in your yard. Unfortunately, the bears notice your efforts, too. Bears aren’t much different from other wildlife—or people. They go for the low-hanging fruit to conserve energy. It doesn’t help if other things are attracting them, such as accessible garbage cans, outdoor pet food bowls, or a filled composter.
The Problem With Bears
It isn’t as much as the damage that bears can do. They present a safety risk to you, your family, and your pets. The worse part is that a female may teach her young to do the same thing, creating a vicious cycle of destruction and conflict. It’s also harmful to the bears. Animals that get used to people are more likely to get killed, whether by a vehicle or conservation police officer. They’re also harder to deter. Therefore, the best solution is prevention.
Things to Look for in a Bird Feeder Pole
Many people just throw in the towel when it comes to a bear problem. They often resort to taking down their feeders during late winter when bears are more likely to be on the hunt for an easy meal. Unfortunately, that’s when the birds need supplemental food the most, too. One effective solution that will allow you to keep feeding your feathered friends is a bear-proof, bird feeder pole. The best products are sturdy and able to withstand the strength of a hungry and determined bear. They must also have the proper installation to prevent the intruder from tipping over the pole. They must also be high enough. Remember that bears can climb. They’re also tall when they get on their hind legs. Our bear proof bird feeder pole (pictured above), has worked well to ward off those pesky bears. With a tall heavy grade steel pole, the bear can't bend the pole or reach the feeders. The result is no broken feeders, bent poles or unhappy people. The pole is equipped with 5 hooks and the feeders can be easily reached with an extension pole with a handy hook.
Elements of a Bear-Proof Installation
The first thing is the pole itself. It has to be tall enough to keep the feeder out of the bear’s reach. If you’ve had problems with squirrels, you’re probably familiar with the so-called 5-7-9 rule. That means situating your feeder so that it’s 5 feet high, 7 feet from any potential launching pads, and 9 feet below any overhanging branches. With bears, you’ll have to make some adjustments. Instead of 5 feet, we’re talking at least 10–12 feet high. The distance from other trees or buildings still applies. The other thing to consider is the strength of the pole. Our pole is 4 inches in diameter to ensure that it’s tough enough for the job. You’ll also need to set the pole fairly deep in the ground. We recommend digging a hole that is at least 42 inches deep. You’ll then pack the space around it with cement. If it seems like overkill, remember that we’re talking about a 400-pound animal. Once it’s good to go, you can hang your feeder from it, using a pole fitted with a hook to place it and take it down to fill.
Making It Work Better
At The Bird Store & More, we help you take your bear-proof bird feeder pole to the next level with additional things to deter these pests. Bears typically try to avoid humans and will save their scavenging for nighttime. That makes installing a motion-sensor light or sprinkler an excellent way to ensure the intruders will move on to someplace else. Bear in mind that animals seek out the easiest and most accessible food sources. Everything you do to make things harder or more unpleasant sends a strong message.
Having bears come to your bird feeder isn’t only a nuisance. It can be dangerous for you and your family. That’s why it makes sense to deter them with a bear-proof bird feeder pole. If they learn that your yard doesn’t have food, the animals will move on to easier pickings. Does it really work? Take a look at our video to see for yourself. The pole as shown in the photo works perfectly to keep your feeders out of the bears reach. Examine the specifications and give us a call to discuss the best option for your yard. NOTE: We do not feature this item in our online store, you must call so that we can meet your specific needs.
A hands-on review from a satisfied customer ~ Thanks to Paul Bottis for the video. Information and pricing are available below.
Another view from a satisfied customer in Florida .
Another satisfied customer review!
The price list and pole description listed below is for the standard pole shown in the photograph.
1199.00 (plus tax & shipping if applicable) Kit Includes: 15' x 4" 3 piece galvanized steel pole with cap, 5 hooks, and squirrel baffle.
Accessory hooks available at additional cost. Call for details and pickup/shipping options. 508 347-2473
Frequently asked questions Q: How tall is it? A: The total length assembled is 15 and 1/2 feet Q:How deep is it in the ground? A: You must dig a hole 42 inches deep. A:I have too many rocks in my yard to dig a hole that deep what can I do. Q: With over 150 poles installed to date I have only had one that I could not get in the required depth. But with some on site modifications to the pole and a little extra work the pole is still standing to this day. There is a video link at the bottom of the Q and A section that shows the hole digging process. Q: Do you need to put cement around the pole? A: In most cases two or three 80-pound bags of concrete are required. Q: Do you deliver and install? A: Call for pricing. Q: Do you ship and what is the cost? A: The pole is shipped in 3 sections and needs to be assembled by the customer, the cost of shipping to most locations within the US is approximately $130.00 in some cases it maybe more. We will provide you with an exact price quote before shipping. Q: If I pick the pole up at your location how can I transport it? A: The best way is to have it assemble it and you pick it up in one piece. We transport them on a set of kayak racks on the roof of the car or with a ladder rack on a pick up truck. The other way is to take the 3 pole sections and assemble it yourself. The longest piece is about 7 feet. Q: How heavy is it? A: just under 100 pounds Q: Do you need any special tools and skills to assemble it? A: You need to be fairly handy and have a cordless drill with a 5/16 inch socket drive and a 3/4 inch open ended wrench. There is a video link at the bottom of the Q and A section that shows you the assembly procedure. Q: What is the pole made of? A: 4 inch galvanized steel tubing. Q: Can it be painted? A: We have painted them with Rustolium spray paint and it works quite well. We suggest wiping the pole down with white vinegar prior to painting. Q: How big a feeder can I hang from the pole? A: We recommend you use a feeder that weighs no more than 5 pounds. Once installed the pole is over 11 feet tall and you will have difficulty lifting anything heavier over your head. Q: How do I lift and hang the feeders A: We have developed system using a telescoping painters pole along with some hooks that we developed for this purpose. There is a video link at the bottom of the Q and A section that shows you the hanging system.