If there’s one thing that bird feeding homeowners hate, it’s squirrels. It seems like as soon as the bird feeder is filled up with see and placed in a location that’s easy for the birds to find, some pesky squirrels come around, raid the feeder and steal all of the birdseed. In response to this unmitigated attack, the homeowners then have to find the best squirrel proof bird feeder that they can find. And while some of these feeders are fantastic, there are unfortunately others which aren’t so well designed.
In order to help our readers find an appropriate bird feeder that’s also squirrel-proof, we’ve found the top ten best ones we could find. These are feeders which are specifically designed to keep hungry squirrels out and allow the birds to feed in peace. Anyone of the following models is good for use around the home, but we’ve gone ahead and ranked them from number ten to the number one position. That way, everyone can find the best squirrel-resistant bird feeders.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders:
#10 Roamwild Pest-Off Feeder
This small bird feeder has a number of properties which allow it to not only fend off squirrels but also fend off raccoons, chipmunks and larger birds that tend to bully the smaller birds and prevent them feeding. Whenever a squirrel or large bird lands on the feeding port perch, the hole immediately closes itself off. Once the pest leaves, the port then opens up again so that the small birds can feed. It’s also a feeder that’s designed to be completely weatherproof, which allows it to keep the birds feed nice and dry. And since it has a large 3-pound capacity, it doesn’t need to be refilled as often as smaller feeders.
Pros: Has a large 3-pound design, is waterproof and weatherproof, made of durable materials, weight activated feeding ports
Cons: Larger birds can’t feed on it, seed tube seems a bit flimsy
#9 Homestead Super Stop-A-Squirrel
With a seed capacity of 11-pounds and a durable steel design, this feeder is designed to keep local birds feed and to prevent weather from ruining the seed. It also has weight activated feeding ports that seal off access to the food when a squirrel lands on it. This feeder can easily be mounted to either a hanger or a pole and does a good job at preventing large birds and squirrels from getting to the seed. It also has a bin that can be removed and easily refilled for convenience. Although this feeder is fairly weatherproof, there are some instances where it will begin to rust in humid areas. Even so, it’s still a great feeder that resists squirrels quite easily.
Pros: Has a large 11-pound capacity, has a durable steel design, can be mounted to a pole or a hanger
Cons: Larger birds can’t feed from it, metal housing may rust in humid areas
#8 Perky-Pet Wilderness Lantern
This lantern-style feeder has a thick plastic seed bin and has a removable top that’s made of metal, so it will hold up quite nicely to the weather. The top of this unit comes off quite easily so it can be refilled, and the 2-pound capacity of the bin is big enough that it doesn’t have to be refilled on a regular basis but isn’t so large that the seed goes bad before it can all be used. This product has u-shaped adjustable trays that birds love to use and has four feeding ports. Although this unit does a good job at keeping squirrels from getting into the feed bin, squirrels can still feed off the tray, not a whole lot but enough that it’s worth mentioning.
Pros: Weatherproof and durable design, a 2-pound capacity, has four feeding ports, a squirrel proof bin and u-shaped trays
Cons: Squirrels can feed off the seed in the tray
#7 Myard Double-Sided Feeder
This colorful bird feeder is sure to grab the attention of most birds and is made with high-quality acrylic and powder coated steel. This means that this product is not only squirrel proof but is also weatherproof as well. It can also hold approximately 6 to 9-pounds of mixed seeds, so it doesn’t have to be refilled on a daily basis. Although it doesn’t come with the hardware to mount it to a pole, it does come with a wire hanger that can be used to hang it. It has an adjustable perch that keeps squirrels and large birds out of the seed so the smaller birds can feed.
Pros: High-quality design, adjustable perches, holds up to 9-pounds of seed
Cons: Doesn’t come with mounting hardware, may not keep racoons out of the feed
#6 Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Bird Feeder
With an antique copper finish and a lantern-style design, this feeder is a beautiful addition to just about any backyard. It has a sure-lock lid that easily locks in place and is designed to keep squirrels from getting into the bird seed. This feeder holds approximately 2-pounds of feed, so it doesn’t have to be refilled daily, and it has a circular perch that birds love to use. It dispenses seed evenly across the seed tray, so birds all have a chance to get it at. And since it automatically replenishes its tray, the tray will always remain full.
Pros: Has a nice looking antique copper finish, has a sure-lock lid, this feeder holds about 2-pounds of feed
Cons: Clever squirrels will find a way into it
#5 Droll Yankees Domed Bird Feeder
This feeder features a 15-inch tube feeder at its core and is surrounded by an 8-inch diameter wire cage. This design is supposed to keep squirrels out of the feed and do it all while birds can enjoy it freely. And it does do a good job at keeping out most squirrels. However, this product is also priced a little bit higher than conventional feeders, and that may scare off some people. The inside feeder is made of UV-stabilized polycarbonate, so it can stand up to sun, wind, rain, and snow. It’s also easy to remove, so it can be easily cleaned.
Pros: High-quality design keeps squirrels out really well, made of weather-resistant materials, dispenses bird feed well
Cons: Costs more than comparable feeders
#4 Droll Yankees Yankee Flipper
This battery-powered bird feeder may be one of the more expensive models available, but it’s also one of the best squirrel resistant bird feeders available. It holds a massive amount of seed, up to 5-pounds, and it has four feeding ports that allow four birds to eat at the same time. This product has an internal baffle that disperses seed evenly to all of the ports. What really makes this product a squirrel-proof model is the fact that it’s battery-powered, so when a squirrel gets on the feeder, it begins to spin around, and this scares the squirrel off of the feeder.
Pros: Made using high-quality materials, holds up to 5-pounds of food, true squirrel proof design, has four feeding ports
Cons: Costs more than what other bird feeds typically cost
#3 Audubon Caged Tube Feeder
This bird feeder has a seed tube at its center that’s made out of chew-proof ABS plastic. This seed tube holds approximately 1.25-pounds of bird seed, has four seed dispensing ports and is safely ensconced in a powder-coated steel cage. The outer cage is not only chew-proof, but it’s also weatherproof and is resistant to rust. It does a great job at feeding smaller birds, but larger bird can’t get into it to get to the seed. The last thing worth mentioning is that this feeder is that while this feeder does a great job at keeping grey squirrels out, smaller red squirrels can usually still get into the seed.
Pros: Holds approximately 1.25-pounds of seed, has a chew-proof design, has four feeding ports
Cons: Keeps out larger grey squirrels, but smaller red squirrels may be able to get into it
#2 Woodlink Absolute Feeder
This feeder is really good at stopping squirrels in their tracks. It’s made of a powder-coated steel body that’s resistant to weather and helps keep the seed nice and safe. This feeder has a 15-pound mixed seed capacity, so it can feed birds for quite some time without needing to be refilled. It can be either hung with a hanger or mounted to a pole. This product is made in the U.S.A. and is shipped fully assembled. Although the pole mounting hardware kit leaves a lot to be desired, all things considered, this is a great bird feed that doesn’t a good job at keeping squirrels out.
Pros: The feeder is made with high-quality materials, prevents squirrel entry, has a 15-pound feed capacity, the feeder is completely weatherproof.
Cons: Mounting hardware leaves a lot to be desired
#1 Squirrel Buster Plus
This squirrel proof bird feeder is consistently voted as one of the best bird feeders available, and there’s a good reason for that. Although this product costs more than comparable feeders, you can see that the extra money went into making this an extremely durable and efficient feeder. Some of the features which can be found on this feeder include a seed ventilation system that keeps seeds fresher longer, a weight activated shroud that cuts off the squirrel’s access to the bird seed when they jump on it, and it’s made with high-quality materials that allow it to hold up to just about any weather. All of which makes it one of the best squirrel proof feeders available.
Pros: Manufactured using high-quality components, weight activated shroud seals off the bird seed, easy-to-use and easy-to-clean
Cons: It’s more expensive than other feeder models.
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Buying Guide
Although there are several tricks homeowners can use to keep squirrels out of their bird feeders, the truth of the matter is that a squirrel proof bird feeder will probably do better than any of these DIY solutions. Most of these feeders are well-designed and do a great job at protecting against any and all squirrel attacks.
It’s not always easy to know when a particular feeder is actually squirrel resistant or not. After all, feeders come in a variety of different styles including tray, house, window, tube, Nyjer and suet feeders. And not all of them have a squirrel-proof design. Fortunately, there are some good models that are resistant to the advances of squirrels, and we’re going to investigate those today.
Top Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Designs
The manufacturer of just about any bird feeder type will claim that their feeders are squirrel-proof. However, in our experience, there are only a few feeder design types that are really effective. These include tube feeders, house feeders, and Nyjer feeders. Let’s examine each of these types a little bit closer.
Tube Feeders: These tubes are what many people think of when they think of a bird feeder. Which isn’t surprising because these types of feeders have been around forever. When buying one of these squirrel-resistant tubes, it’s important to choose the ones that have metal feeding ports. Sure, the feeders with plastic feeding ports may keep squirrels away for a little while, squirrels tend to chew the plastic caps off, so be sure to get metal ones.
House Feeders: These feeders not only do a pretty good job at protecting against squirrels but they’re also pretty good at protecting the seed within it from the weather. When looking for a squirrel-proof model, be sure to choose one that has a squirrel baffle or other feature that restricts squirrels access to it. Also be sure that the feeder is suspended or mounted on a pole away from branches that squirrels may use to access the feeder.
Nyjer Feeders: These feeders are filled with Nyjer seed for feeding Common Redpolls, Goldfinches, and Pine Siskins. It’s not that these feeders are particularly resistant to squirrels because many of them are made with cheap plastic. However, what keeps squirrels out of them is that squirrels don’t eat Nyjer seed (also known as thistle). That’s why they tend to not try to get into these feeders. However, if your particular squirrels do end up chewing your feeder, then you may have to search for another alternative.
Additional Squirrel Resistant Features
Once you’ve selected the right type of feeder for your backyard, then it’s important to choose a feeder that has the squirrel proof features you need it to have. Although not every individual will need their feeder to have all of these features, having a couple of them is usually a good indication of a squirrel proof bird feeder. Let’s examine these features a little closer.
- Cages: Yes, cages are a pretty good way of keeping squirrels out of your bird feeder. However, that’s only true if they’re made of high-quality metal. Cages made of cheap metal or flimsy plastic are simply going to get chewed up by the squirrels. Therefore, it’s important to choose a well-made cage that the squirrels can’t chew through.
- Weight-Activated Perches: Another interesting design feature is a feeder which uses weight-activated perches. This design feature takes advantage of the fact that birds weight only a couple of ounces and squirrels such as the Eastern Grey Squirrel can weigh as much as 1.3-pounds. Birds can use the perches to feed using the feeding holes, but if a heavier squirrel gets on the perch, it activates a mechanism which seals off the feeding holes.
- Squirrel Baffles: Some feeders rely on a squirrel baffle to keep the squirrels from climbing the pole the feeder is mounted on. Although this design does work well with preventing squirrels from climbing from the ground, up the pole, and into the feeder, it’s important there are no overhanging trees over the feeder. If there are, then the squirrels will use it to access the feeder from above.
- Hanging Line: Some feeders are squirrel resistant because squirrels slip off of them when they jump at them. These feeders are attached to a fishing line and then suspended from a branch or a pole. When the squirrel tries to jump on it, the feeder moves and the squirrel falls to the ground.
Additional Tips For Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeders
Okay, now the best squirrel proof bird feeder has been bought, and it has all of the features you need to fend off any squirrel assault. At this point, you probably think that you’re now done. However, that isn’t the case. Even the best squirrel proof feeder will fail if it’s installed or used incorrectly. That’s why we’ve included the following tips.
- The 5-7-9 Rule: What’s the 5-7-9 rule? It’s an easy-to-remember rule for how to set up your feeder. Squirrels are pretty athletic, but there are some things they can’t do. For example, they can’t jump higher than 5-feet upwards from the ground, and can’t jump more than 7-feet across. They also usually won’t drop more than 9-feet onto a feeder. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the feeder is at least 5-feet above the ground, 7-feet away on the sides from building or tree branches, and tree branches are more than 9-feet above the feeder.
- Use a Proper Pole: If your feeder is a pole mounted one, be sure that you choose the right type of pole. In most instances, metal and wood poles are just too easy for squirrels to climb, which gives them easy access to the feeder. However, some people have used copper or PVC poles with great effect. These poles are harder to climb for squirrels than other types of poles.
- Install a Squirrel Feeder: The last trick worth mentioning is to buy or build the squirrels their very own feeder. When squirrels have their own feeders, they tend to get into bird feeders a whole lot less. There are some great squirrel feeders available. These include open platform models that dispense peanuts and mounted jar squirrel feeders.
How Not to Deter Squirrels
Finally, here are a few tips in what you shouldn’t do when trying to deter squirrels from your feeders. The following methods should never be tried in any circumstance because they are either inhuman or have a negative impact on native wildlife.
- Don’t Use Poison: This is a terrible way to keep squirrels away from feeders. Not only can birds get killed if they sample the bait, but birds which prey on carrion may be poisoned when they eat the dead squirrels.
- Don’t Use Grease: Your bird feeder’s pole should never be greased. Not only does grease (or oil for that matter) get into the squirrel’s fur, which can make it more prone to predators, but it may accidentally end up in bird’s feathers, too. And birds with grease or oil in the features end up not being able to fly properly, or they become sick. Just don’t do it.
- Don’t Hunt the Squirrels: Although most states have a designated squirrel hunting time, it’s really not appropriate to kill squirrels any other time of the year and may even result in you being fined. This includes not only hunting with a rifle or shotgun but also using BB guns or air rifles to hunt the squirrels.