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Photo © Al Tuttle

How can I discourage predators from accessing my nest boxes?

The best way to guard against predators is to mount the box on a smooth, slippery pole and to install a predator guard or baffle on that pole. Galvanized pipe or PVC pipe are both slippery, smooth surfaces that most predators will have difficulty climbing. Trees, wooden fence posts, and fence posts intended for wire fence won’t stop most predators, as all of these provide toe-holds for climbers, or rough surfaces for snakes. Adding a predator guard or baffle will help prevent most predators from accessing your nest box. Learn more about predator guards and download construction plans for them from our Dealing with Predators page. Also, be sure your nest box is not set up next to a tree or similar object that allows predators to access the box from overhead or adjacent surfaces.

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Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology