For some, nothing is better than setting up some bird feeders in the backyard, sitting back, and watching as birds zip in and out of the yard throughout the day. When you feed birds, you’re providing them with a reliable food source, which is hard to come by during the wintertime. Additionally, when food is scarce, you’re providing them with essential vitamins and nutrients they may not be getting from the other food that’s available in their environment. But when you’re dealing with a food shortage in your area, you may need to invest in the best squirrel proof bird feeder to prevent your birds from going without.
You’ve probably noticed that birds are not the only animals that visit your backyard feeders. In fact, it’s pretty common to find squirrels latching themselves onto these feeders and hogging resources. Squirrels are pretty crafty, so breaking into a bird feeder isn’t exactly hard work. If you have a squirrel problem, you may also notice that you’re spending significantly more on bird feed compared to the cost of feeding the birds only. So not only are your precious birds missing out on their daily meals, your squirrel problem is now causing you to pay more to watch them demolish a week’s supply of bird feed in a matter of minutes. Squirrel proof bird feeders are the only answer here.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists the top models on the market and many of their important features.
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders Comparison Chart
Squirrel Buster Plus Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder
This model by Squirrel Buster is made out of chew-proof materials that will significantly lengthen the life of your feeder. This product is also protected by a lifetime warranty, which is pretty impressive. Weight activated, the seed port covers are triggered as soon as a squirrel places its weight on one of the perches. This causes the covers to slide into place over the seed ports, preventing the squirrels from gaining access to the birdseed. The feeder also comes complete with a cardinal ring, which is designed to attract large these orange birds of North America. The unique design includes an extensive ventilation system, which helps to circulate air throughout the feeder, working to minimize mold growth, which can occur if the seed gets and stay wet, or in humid conditions if condensation is able to build up inside the feeder.
- Weight activated
- Weight adjustable
- Cardinal ring included
- Made out of chew-proof materials
- Extensive ventilation system
- Lengthy assembly time
- Requires frequent maintenance during the winter months
This model is a great buy if you’re looking for an easy solution to your squirrel problem, however, this model will require frequent maintenance in the winter months since the design doesn’t do much to protect the seeds from the elements. Overall, the chew-proof design, combined with the weight-activated trigger system makes this model a great buy and a feeder that will actually work to protect your seed stockpile from hungry squirrels.
This model is made out of steel and features a powder-coated finish that’s designed to prevent the feeder from rusting, allowing it to easily withstand the elements. The fact that it’s made out of steel also means that it’s chew-proof, which will prevent squirrels from chewing through the feeder to get to the seeds. The double-sided design will attract twice as many birds, while the built-in baffle will help to cut down on seed waste. The feeder has a twelve-pound seed capacity, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on whether or not the seeds get wet during heavy rainfall. Ultimately, this higher seed capacity means you won’t have to fill the feeder often. The weight-activated perches will close off the seed ports, preventing squirrels from eating their fill of your birdseed. The model’s adjustable weight will allow you to control what species of birds regularly visit your feeders.
- Chew-proof design
- Weight activated perches
- Large seed capacity
- Double-sided design
- Built-in baffle
- Can cause foot and leg injuries
There have been some reports that the perch design can be damaging to a bird’s nails and can lead to nail and foot injuries if a nail becomes stuck and the bird attempts to fly away. Obviously, this is a big deal and hopefully the manufacturer will work to correct this design flaw in the future. Fortunately, this issue has not been reported often. Overall, this is an effective squirrel-proof feeder and one that’s low maintenance and offers a larger seed capacity, which will minimize the frequency in which you have to refill the feeders.
Perky-Pet 338 Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House Bird Feeder
This latest model by Perky Pet features a charming red farmhouse style design, complete with a cardinal weathervane, and a unique design that will deny hungry squirrels access to your birdseed. The feeder is also easy to refill, simply pop off the top of the roof and fill up the feeder in a matter of seconds. The perches are weight-activated and highly adjustable, so you can choose from a total of four weight options. This will allow you to decide whether you want to feed smaller species or allow larger species of birds to enjoy your feeder as well.
- Low maintenance
- Four weight adjustments to choose from
- Decently priced
- Low seed capacity will require you to frequently refill the feeder
- Complicated assembly process
This model is very versatile and can be installed just about anywhere. The lower eight pounds seed capacity may be a drawback for some potential buyers since it can require more frequent refills. Overall, the weight-activated perches do a great job of slamming the seed port covers into place the moment a squirrel places its weight on the perch, so it’s very effective in safeguarding your birdseed from greedy rodents.
Droll Yankees Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
The Yankee Flipper offers more protection against squirrels compared to your average squirrel-proof bird feeder. It comes with a battery-powered motor that will begin to spin once a perch is triggered by the squirrel’s weight. The built-in internal baffle works to disperse birdseed evenly to all four ports, while the powder-coated cap and base will protect the feeder from rust and other damage caused by constant exposure to the elements. The included batteries are rechargeable and offer a length of one to two months of juice before it needs to be recharged. However, you must test the feeder frequently to determine the battery life, since the feeder doesn’t come with a battery life indicator. This model offers a unique and more effective way to deter squirrels from sticking around your yard, which will be a big plus for any birder who is struggling with a booming squirrel population in their neck of the woods.
- Built-in internal baffle
- Powder-coated cap and metal base
- Made out of UV protected polycarbonate
- Weight activated perches will cause feeder to spin
- Low price
- You must test the feeder’s motor often to determine if it needs to be recharged
- Low seed capacity of five pounds
If you’ve tried feeders that claim to be squirrel-proof in the past, with no luck, then you’ll definitely be impressed with this model’s performance. The lower seed capacity and the fact that the feeder must be tested regularly, can both be drawbacks for some buyers. However, the model’s unique design, combined with the durable construction will give birders every reason to buy and give this style of feeder a shot.
Homestead Super Stop-A-Squirrel 3201S Bird Feeder
This is a box-style feeder that features weight-activated perches that will cause shields to come down, effectively denying squirrels and other rodents from feeding on your birdseed. However, there have been some reports that persistent squirrels may be able to figure out how to break into this feeder, which is obviously a huge drawback for any buyer. But in most cases, this model is very effective in safeguarding your birdseed supply. The durable, powder-coated design will allow you to leave the feeder out all year long, while the larger than average seed capacity means that you won’t have to refill this feeder often.
- Large seed capacity
- Powder-coated finish
- Made out of chew-proof materials
- Low price
- Easy refill system
- Some squirrels may figure out how to break-in
- Hight maintenance
This model by Homestead may not be the best feeder if you’re dealing with a large squirrel population since some squirrels are able to figure out how the weight-activated perches work. However, if you’re looking for a durable, easy to refill feeder that offers a higher than average seed capacity, then this model is a great buy.
Perky-Pet 336 Squirrel-Be-Gone Wild Bird Feeder
This is another top-selling bird feeder by Perky Pet and it features an eye-catching cage design, complete with large metal decorative leaves. The cage will help to prevent squirrels and some larger birds from eating their fill of your birdseed, while the weight-activated perches will cause the leaves to instantly slide over the seed ports. The feeder’s powder-coated finish will allow you to leave the feeder out all year long, however, because of the open cage design, the seed is more susceptible to spoilage, if left out in rainy weather. This model comes with a total of six feeding ports, and unique U-shaped perches that will allow multiple birds to feed at once. The lower seed capacity can be seen as a pro, since you won’t have to worry about tossing out wet spoiled seeds during the rainy season. But in warmer weather conditions, you’ll find that you have to fill the feeder very often.
- Six feeding ports
- Eye-catching design
- Powder-coated finish
- Made out of chew-proof materials
- Low price
- Low seed capacity
- Seeds are more likely to get wet in inclement weather due to the feeder’s open design.
This is a very durable, beautiful feeder that’s both eye-catching and functional. It works well to deter and prevent squirrels from using your feeder, but the open design exposes the seeds to rainy weather conditions, which means you may need to toss the seed out often in the event it gets wet. Overall, this model is a great buy, but I would recommend only using it during the spring and summer months.
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders Buyer’s Guide
Squirrels are cute, fun to watch, and can get into some serious trouble when it comes to ransacking your bird feed supplies, making it a big problem if your area is experiencing a boom in the squirrel population.
The goal here isn’t to harm squirrels or other types of wildlife that may try to break into your bird feeders, such as raccoons. Basically, the point of these feeders is to make it impossible for the squirrels to get their paws on your precious birdseed and to also discourage them from repeat attempts since their presence can scare off birds and keep your yard pretty empty once the word spreads.
There’s no doubt that squirrels are adorable, but they can be a huge nuisance if they’re hoarding your bird feeder supplies. A hungry squirrel has a tendency to scare birds away as they steal all the food. Because of this, a bird feeder that’s specifically designed to keep squirrels out is essential. These feeders can be very effective when it comes to keeping squirrels and other types of wildlife away, but some models will work better than others.
Some manufacturers may market their feeders as squirrel proof, but they’re not really designed to withstand these crafty critters. The big problem with squirrels accessing bird feed is the fact that they can literally empty it within a matter of a day or two of you filling it. Squirrels can also cause serious damage to your feeders since they gnaw and chew on the exterior in order to access the feeder’s contents. Because of this, it’s crucial that you purchase feeders that are designed to withstand a squirrel’s sharp teeth.
The best types of feeders to choose for this purpose are the models that are designed to use the weight of the squirrel against them, making it almost impossible for even the most determined squirrel to access the food as their weight works to close the feeding ports. This is an ingenious idea that prevents even the most clever squirrel from escaping with the goods.
Unfortunately, a squirrel is very smart, which means it won’t give up easily and they’re actually pretty good at troubleshooting a stingy bird feeder. They will do their best to break in, trying all the possibilities in order to access the contents of the feeder. So, when you’re shopping online for a new feeder, look for a model that’s labeled as chew-proof. Obviously, a model that’s made out of metal will be a better choice than one that’s made out of plastic, at least when it comes to chewing. The teeth of the squirrel are simply not strong enough to chew through plastic. Because of this, they tend to give up pretty easily.
Most models can handle deterring larger squirrels since they’re much heavier than a bird however, you’ll run into problems when a smaller squirrel tries to break in. This is an issue you’re bound to run into if you purchase a model that’s weight sensitive. This is due to the fact the lower weight of a younger squirrel can confuse the device. Fortunately, a baby squirrel isn’t as big of a problem as an adult.
A model that offers top of the line ventilation will also be important in order to keep the feed tasting fresh. When you place one outside in rainy or hot weather, the grain will begin to rot if ventilation is an issue. This can have a negative impact on the food stored inside the chamber and can lead to mold growth and unwanted odors, causing you to toss out your feed at least once a week. To avoid this, make sure you look for a model that comes equipped with a good ventilation system before you buy. Ventilation will allow any trapped humid air to escape from inside the chamber, circulating the air and preventing condensation and mold growth.
If you’re desperately trying to outsmart your backyard squirrels but nothing seems to work, then try using a feeder pole feeding system. This type of setup offers a variety of benefits for your birds. Most bird feeder poles will come equipped with a variety of hooks that will allow you to attach several feeders. Many will also come equipped with a large plastic bowl, which you can fill with water. These poles are totally squirrel-proof and can be placed anywhere in your backyard. Not only will they keep squirrels out of your bird feed, but they also offer some great protection for your birds, keeping them safe from predators.
When you’re looking for a feeder that can withstand wildlife, durability is going to be one of the most important features. The seed ports, enclosure, and the material it’s made out of will all be vital parts to consider before you buy. Some models come equipped with closing mechanisms that will work to secure the feeder, the moment a squirrel jumps on it.
This type of feeder is available in a variety of sizes. Choose a model based on where you plan to mount or place it. Additionally, consider how many birds visit your feeders during the day. You can easily determine the size based on how often you have to fill the feeders. If you want to fill them less frequently, then opt for a bigger model.
If you’re feeding most of your neighborhood birds then you need a model that features a larger seed capacity. This can also depend on the type of seeds you fill the feeders with. Most manufacturers will label the seed capacity and type clearly on the spec sheet or label, so finding the right type should be a cinch.
There are many different style options available. Once you’ve chosen a model that’s made out of the right type of material, is the right size, and has the correct seed capacity, then you can choose the design and style based on personal preference. Choose a model that has a style and color that will complement your existing backyard or porch décor. If you’re going to mount or hang it, make sure that the mounting material and handle is made out of durable materials.
I briefly mentioned this type of feeder earlier in my guide. These are the most popular option and they work to close the ports on the feeder, which is triggered by the weight of the squirrel. It will usually be triggered by a weight of more than four ounces. The average squirrel weighs fifteen to thirty ounces, which is significantly more than even larger birds such as blue jays and different types of black birds. These bird feeders will take advantage of this big difference in weight and will come equipped with weight-sensitive perches, which are attached to a spring. Once a heavier weight is placed on one of the perches, the attached spring, which is attached to the feeding ports, will cause these ports to close automatically, preventing the squirrels from accessing the seed. While your backyard birds can feast as long as they want to, the moment a squirrel hangs on one of the perches, they’ll be out of luck.
Another option is a feeder that’s surrounded by a cage. The way this style works is simple. The openings in the cage are just big enough for small birds, but not big enough to allow a squirrel to fit their hands through. However, the biggest drawback of this style is that it can also prevent larger species of birds from accessing the food. Unfortunately, only smaller species will be able to feed.
A tube feeder is a great option, especially if you only want to use a single feeder in your yard. Make sure you choose a model that’s equipped with metal ports located around the seed dispensers. These are designed to protect the feeder from hungry squirrels. This type of feeder should be hung at least five feet off the ground to prevent small rodents from accessing the contents. This type of feeder usually attracts smaller birds, however, larger birds can also feed from them.
This style of feeder features a screened bottom tray with birdseed in it. Birds will be able to sit on the table and peck at the seed below. Some models will come with a wire mesh that surrounds the table and protects the contents from squirrels and rodents.
These battery-powered models also work well to block squirrels from eating your bird feed. Once a squirrel lands onto the feeder it triggers the motor, which will cause the feeder to start spinning. Obviously, this will scare the squirrel and cause it to run for its life. The motor is triggered by the weight of the squirrel, so there’s no fear of it activating if a bird lands on one of the perches. The only downside to this type of feeder is the fact that you’ll need to keep an eye on the batteries, which will need to be changed periodically.
A baffle is usually sold separately from a standard bird feeder, so you can purchase these and try them out on your current feeders to see if they work to deter squirrels. These are cone-shaped devices that are installed above or below the feeder and they’re designed to keep rodents out. They won’t prevent birds from feeding, but they can definitely make it difficult for squirrels to gain access. The big drawback here is that they can also prevent larger birds from feeding. If you have a pole feeder, you can use several of them to make it more difficult for a squirrel to gain access.
This type of feature is designed to dispense thistle seeds. These seeds are not the same type of prickly weeds you’ll find in the garden. These feeders come equipped with very small holes that will only allow very small beaks to access the seeds. While it will work to keep squirrels away it can also prevent larger birds from feeding.
A squirrel may be short on resources, which is why they may be so willing to spend an entire day trying to break into a feeder, regardless of how resilient or indestructible it may be. While they may not be successful with their efforts, they can do a fine job of scaring off any birds in your yard. So, even if you have the right type of feeder to keep them out, you’ll still have to deal with a yard full of squirrels, with no birds in sight. So what else can you do to get rid of the squirrels and make your backyard more bird-friendly?
Placing your feeders away from any type of nearby obstacles such as bushes and branches is a great way to prevent predatory animals and squirrels from hiding and scaring your backyard birds.
You can also try using petroleum jelly or coconut oil on any poles that your feeders are mounted to. This will hinder the squirrel’s ability to climb and reach the feeders.
Some people will take down their feeders during the winter months, thinking that no birds will remain in the area until spring, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Leaving your feeders up year-round can ensure the survival of many birds in your neighborhood. In fact, it’s more important to keep your feeders going in the winter than it is in the spring and summer since food is so scarce in cold weather.
Whatever you do, avoid setting up your feeders in the branches of trees. Doing so is basically ringing the dinner bell for squirrels and will also make it easier for a cat or other predator to attack birds when they’re feeding.
To learn more about how birds survive during the colder months of the year, click here to read my guide on where do birds go at night in the winter.
Maintaining your feeders is important to minimize the spread of diseases and bacteria that can make a bird very sick. Every feeder should come with instructions on how to clean the feeder out and properly maintain it.
However, if you’re still having trouble cleaning out your feeder, or the included instructions weren’t very helpful, then you can use the directions below for most models.
To start, you’ll want to empty the feeder out, removing all of the components. Next, you’ll use soap and warm water to remove any remaining residue, debris, and birdseed. You can also use vinegar and water, but most people prefer using a mild dishwashing liquid, such as Dawn. You can use a bottle brush to scrub out the inside of the feeder more thoroughly. This will remove any dried on particles. Rinse out the feeder and set it in the sun to allow it to air dry. It’s important that the feeder is completely dry before you attempt to refill it with birdseed. Even if only a little moisture remains inside, if you fill it with feed, it can cause a boom in mold growth, which is exactly what you don’t want.
Your feeders should be cleaned out at least once a month. You will need to clean them out more often once it gets hot out to minimize the chances of mold growth and to prevent spreading disease. I recommend cleaning out the feeders twice a month during the summer months.
When you choose the best squirrel proof bird feeder that’s designed to deter your neighborhood wildlife from accessing your birdseed, you will not only save money on feed, but you’ll also end up attracting and feeding more birds in your backyard. These feeders can be a huge help in making your yard more bird-friendly, allowing you to sight new and elusive species that you haven’t been able to since, in most cases, they have quickly taken flight at the first sign of squirrels.