Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

I have the most wonderful birdhouse. I love it so much and was thrilled last Spring when a momma bird immediately adopted it as home for her upcoming little ones.

In only a matter of days, we heard the chirping of her baby hatchlings. I felt like a proud grandparent.

And then it happened —

About 3pm one beautiful, sunny afternoon I walked out our front door and was stopped by the most awful sounds – momma and daddy bird screaming hysterically. I had no idea birds could scream so.

But there, hanging out of my beautiful birdhouse was about 2.5 feet of snake swinging back and forth. I watched in horror as the rest of him slithered into the nest.

Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

It was literally three weeks before I could go back out that door. And quite some time before I could take down the birdhouse to clean it out. It was no longer my wonderful birdhouse, but my snake feeder. I did not want a snake feeder.

I know this is how nature works, but I don’t want it to work this way in my yard.

So I began researching how to protect future baby hatchlings – or no more birdhouse for me (definitely no snake feeder).

Low and behold, my garden teacher, Ellen Ashely, gave me the answer.


Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

It’s so easy, everyone should be using it. Simply slide a slinky over the post to your birdhouse and the snake can’t slither up. Not only is it easy, but barely detectable.

Safe birds, safe birdhouse, no more snake feeder.

Here you can see the slinky on my newest birdhouse as well  :)

Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

Thanks, Ellen!


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16 Responses to Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

  1. Joyce Becker says:

    Did the slinky work to keep snakes out of your bird house?

  2. Karen says:

    Slinky absolutely works for keeping snakes out of birdhouses! Just make sure the house isn’t near a tree or overhang where the snake can crawl down from the top. But they definitely can’t crawl over it to get up a pole.

    I also use slinky on some of my bird feeders to keep squirrels from climbing up! Works just as well for that.

    Good luck and thanks for asking!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I had the same experience as you, with bluebirds. Now that I know this idea, I’ll try being a bluebird landlord again. 😊
    And there is a funny video going the rounds on Facebook of a frustrated squirrel trying to climb up a bird feeder pole protected by a Slinky. Like an escalator that keeps dropping him to the ground!!

  4. Karen says:

    Thanks for writing, Suzanne. I hope we save a lot of birds, and I’ll look for that video on Facebook!

  5. ruthie says:

    Will the slinky deter raccoons as well? We have raccoons, squirrels, snakes and bluejays. We don’t know what got our bluebird. We had been watching for weeks. We had 4 fledglings we watched every morning and every evening. Then one day we didn’t have any activity so I looked in the box and it was empty. They had just hatched days before.

  6. Karen says:

    I can’t speak about the raccoons, but slinkies do keep out squirrels and snakes. Bluejays could fly right in if they wanted to. Perhaps your bluebirds were old enough to leave the nest? *hope*

    Good luck to you and I’d certainly use the slinky if I were you because they can only help keep out predators!

  7. Cathy says:

    Thank you so much for this idea. We had a black rat snake attempt to get in our birdhouse that hangs in our carport Friday night and we killed it. We’ve lived here for 15 years and have many babies raised in that birdhouse and have never seen that before. Then last night it happened again, a new snake appeared and killed the mama bird and got her eggs. We were devastated! We are going to buy a slinky today!

  8. Karen says:

    Oh, Cathy, I’m so sorry you lost your babies – I know how terrible that feels.

    And I’m thrilled you found my article. I’ve had no more snakes and it even helps keep squirrels out of bird feeders (though their weight tears up the slinky!).

    Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

  9. Ginny leigh says:

    Just experienced a snake in my bird house I have a slinky an 64 oz bottles around my post an it did not stop this snake .so up set he manage to eat one baby. But he want eat another

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Ginny:

    I’m so sorry you lost a baby. I have my birdhouses hanging on shephard’s hooks. The slinky runs from the top to the bottom of the hook so there’s no way a snake can go up that pole. I also don’t put the houses under anything hanging (like tree limbs) so no snakes can come down from above. The houses must be hanging out away from structures that allow snakes to get up. So long as they have only the pole the house is on, the pole can be wrapped with a slinky and the snakes will not go up those.

    Good luck to you going forward and thanks for sharing your story.

  11. Irene says:

    Slinky, what a great idea. I got a new wren house for my bday. While watering my garden I heard the wren screaming. Sure enough there was a snake . I ran outside my fence to get the snake out of the birdhouse. Got the snake out and while carrying the house I fell down the slope and dislocated and broke my ankle. Had surgery this week and will be out of commission for 12 weeks. You can be certain that I will be buying slinkys! Thanks for the great tip.

  12. Karen says:

    I’m so sorry for your accident! I hope the baby birds were saved, at least…

    No good deed goes unpunished!

  13. Jan Byrne says:

    Karen, I can’t thank you enough for this idea! I am terrified of snakes, but I love my flower gardens and birds. Do you have any ideas related to how I can deter the nasty things from the parts of our yard that we frequent? Do you know if that stuff they sell works?

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Jan:
    I have no idea how to keep the snakes out of your yard. I’ve never tried anything. I have a large black snake that I love because he keeps mice, etc. away, but I also have a lot of copperheads that I just try to stay away from!

    I’m happy you now know how to protect you birds nests! Thanks for writing.

  15. Dawn says:

    Karen, thanks so much for your article! I will be investing in slinkies! Last spring I watched in horror as a black snake climbed into a blue bird house on a fence post. I wonder how far away from a fence should I place a new post and house. This black snake is pretty pesky since he also tried to climb the side of the house to get to the nesting swallows. If only he would stick to eating the field mice!! And leave my chicken eggs alone while he is at it!

  16. Karen says:


    I realized snakes need to survive, too, but please leave our babies alone!

    Thanks for the comment, Dawn.

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