Keeping the seed feeders dry is essential, as this will ensure that the bird seed inside, or outside in the open, will remain dry.
Seed feeders can be kept dry by placing them in shady areas, such as beneath a porch or an overhanging tree, provided that birds can still get to them. Even better, provide protection for hanging seed feeders by suspending a squirrel baffle or umbrella from the pole.
Avoid worrying too much about keeping bird seed dry in bird feeders; foods intended for birds are just as resilient to minor amounts of moisture as those kept indoors.
The truth is that bird seeds spoil quickly once they are placed up outside in a bird feeder, thus it makes little difference whether you store them in the dry or let them get wet.
It is true that keeping bird seed dry can delay the bacterial growth and extend their shelf life.
Hanging bird feeders under cover is a simple way to prevent the seed from drying out. A mature tree’s natural coverage can ensure that feeders are always dry, but a covered porch or roof overhang will do the trick as well.
Since birds will cheerfully continue to feed even in the rain, it is not a good idea to bring the feeders inside when it starts to rain.
A bird feeder is safe from precipitation, and seeds can germinate much more quickly when exposed to the sun or rain.
In this case, I will reach for a squirrel baffle of the hanging variety to place above the seed feeder, whether or not there is an existing squirrel problem. If the feeder is placed high enough, it will provide some shelter from the rain, and the baffle will further increase that shelter.
The only way to prevent the bird seeds from becoming wet in the rain is to either keep them in an airtight container or to keep the plastic tube away from the seeds.
Mount a wide squirrel baffle
The easiest way to prevent the bird food in a feeder from becoming ruined by rain is to install a squirrel barrier above it.
When I say “squirrel baffle,” I’m not referring to a pole-mounted device; rather, I’m referring to a wide disc-shaped baffle that hooks over a hanging seed bird feeder; however, this solution, like all others, is ineffective.
The hanging squirrel baffle is hooked onto a suitable bracket or branch, and the seed feeder is hung from the baffle’s underneath hoop for hanging feeders.
The bird feeders will be safe from the squirrels if the baffle is at least two feet wide.
If there is minimal wind and the rain is falling straight down, the seeds in the feeder should stay dry. However, if the rain is falling at an angle, the seeds will get soaked if they are left exposed to the elements.
Hang the squirrel baffle as usual, but attempt to position it lower or lift the seed feeder higher beneath it so that as much of the feeder is out of the rain as possible.
Fashion umbrella roof
Have you considered putting an actual umbrella on a pole and suspending it above the seed feeders?
Bird feeders can be hung from a pole by attaching the pole’s umbrella handle with wire or rope.
Protecting the seed feeders and providing shelter from the elements for all feeders in use is the job of a huge umbrella. Making use of an umbrella as a cover for bird feeders is a great way to protect them from the heat of the day.
Construct an umbrella atop the pole of the bird feeding station, suspending the feeders as high as they will go; otherwise, the birds will be subjected to a soaking if the station is located too low.
This technique is now only used for hanging bird feeders from a bird feeding station pole; no other object is suitable for tying such a large umbrella to it.
Use this umbrella solely for protecting your seed bird feeders from rain and wind, and for the occasional cleaning of muck or bird dung, as you would for any other bird feeder you maintain.
Site feeder under shelter
Although it may seem obvious, a backyard can offer some protection from the rain, allowing the birds to continue feeding in peace despite the sogginess of the seed.
What I mean is the side of the house that is closest to it, since rain tends to fall on one side while the other remains relatively dry.
If this describes your situation, hang the seed feeder from a bracket you’ve attached to the wall on the protected side of your home. No matter how much cover there is, I still think a squirrel baffle should be used.
A seed seeder is similar in that it can be hung under a porch and used to water plants.
Since it is not possible to hang this seed feeder flush against the wall, place it towards the outer edge of the porch, where the birds may still see it and feel secure enough to keep feeding from it.
Hanging a seed feeder in a densely leafed tree can also give natural protection from wet weather throughout the year.
Rain guard must be low down
If you’ve decided to use one of the methods I’ve shown for keeping bird seed dry in the bird feeder, there’s one more item to think about.
When using a squirrel baffle or an umbrella as a rain shield for a seed feeder, position them so that their undersides are as close to the feeder as possible.
The hanging wire should be shortened or the seed feeder should be hung higher if the feeder will be placed in a protected area, such as beneath a porch or an overhanging portion of the roof.
There are a variety of methods for keeping rain away from a bird feeder, but in the end, the seeds still won’t be safe.
The strong rain can splash or sprinkle onto the exposed seeds after the cover atop the bird feeder is hit. Since this is the case, the seed feeder will receive precipitation from the sky in any direction.
Using an umbrella or other form of natural shelter, you can elevate the seed feeder up to about midway under the baffle, giving it more protection than if it were allowed to hang far too low.
Never rely on seed feeder alone
While I would suggest using a seed feeder with a wide roof to provide some protection from the rain, in practice this is unlikely to be effective.
Even though it is possible to construct a bird feeder with a roof to protect the feed from precipitation, even rain that is off by a single degree can still make contact with the seeds.
Seeds in a hanging hexagon or panoramic seed feeder are exposed to the elements, and a rainstorm might easily wash away the entire tray if it weren’t for the drainage holes.
A hanging seed feeder is useful since it prevents wet seed mixes from falling to the ground, but keep in mind that many birds may have trouble accessing the food within.
A transparent plastic tube holds the seeds, and the only access points are the port holes that the birds utilize to get their meals.
Although these cracks are smaller and more oblique, it is still possible that rain could eventually find its way in.
Seed mixes can get wet
The good news is that bird seeds may get wet in feeders, so there’s no need to worry if you store wild bird seed mixes in one.
If you want to ensure that your wild bird food stays dry, the best course of action is to follow my guidelines; but, if you live in an area with consistent rainfall, it’s not a big deal if some of your food gets wet.
All bird seed loses some of its shelf life after it’s exposed to the elements in bird feeders, but damp bird seed has the shortest shelf life.
Given this, it’s safe to assume that you’ll still need to replenish the seed mixes at around the same intervals as if they were stored in a completely dry environment.
Wild bird seed blends are made to withstand the elements, so you may feed them to your feathered friends regardless of the weather.
The trick is to reduce the quantity of seed mixtures you sow so that they are consumed rapidly and none are wasted.
Keep in mind that it is not strictly necessary to keep bird seed dry in feeders, but it can help to do so.
When using hanging bird feeders, a wide squirrel barrier hung above the feeders might prevent squirrels from gaining access to the seed and drying it up.
To do this, first hang the squirrel baffle from the appropriate bracket, branch, or other item in the yard, and then use the hook on the underside of the baffle’s center to suspend the seed feeder.
Rainfall will be deflected away from seed feeders by the baffle’s ceiling, keeping the feeder dry and dust-free below.
An old, inexpensive umbrella can serve the same purpose when attached to the pole of a bird feeding station with rope or twine.
Having a collection of bird feeders beneath a large umbrella will protect the seed and other food for the birds that hang from them from the rain.
Making an umbrella to cover your seed feeders is an efficient solution, and it won’t prevent your backyard birds from using the feeders in any way that is natural to them.
If you want to keep larger, more annoying birds away from your feeders, try hanging a squirrel baffle or mounting an umbrella low over the feeders.