6 BEST Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders [That Work in 2023]
LOTS of bird feeders claim to be squirrel-proof.
It’s an effective marketing term because companies know it’s something everyone wants to hear. But finding a squirrel-proof bird feeder that actually works is challenging.
Think about it:
The feeder has to allow birds to feed comfortably AND stop squirrels from eating.
But squirrels are smart, especially when it comes to eating from your bird feeders. They are patient, athletic, acrobatic, relentless, and also feature sharp teeth that can chew through almost anything.
After experimenting at my home, talking to other backyard birders, reading books, and doing my diligent research online, I have made my list of the BEST squirrel-proof bird feeders.
The 6 Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders
#1. Absolute II Bird Feeder
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The Absolute II is one of my favorite bird feeders and the center of my backyard feeding station.
But how does it prevent squirrels?
The Absolute II has WEIGHT-SENSITIVE feeding perches. This means that birds can land on the perches without a problem. But as soon as a squirrel steps on, the perches collapse down, which closes access to the food inside!
Here’s a video showing how the weight-sensitive perches work:
*You can typically see this squirrel-proof feeder on my bird feeder camera! – Watch LIVE here*
Almost all birds that come to your backyard are much lighter than squirrels. For example, Blue Jays weigh approximately 3 oz, and they are one of the larger birds that visit backyard feeders. But the common Gray Squirrel weighs anywhere between 14 oz to 29 oz, which is more massive than almost every common feeder bird.
Here are some other reasons why I recommend the Absolute II:
- This large hopper bird feeder is where I put my general bird seed mix (sunflower, peanut pieces, safflower, and white millet) to attract as many species as possible. I love that it holds up to 12 pounds (5.4 kg) of bird food!
- It is simple to refill and clean. The top lid unlatches easily to open.
- The seed is protected from the rain. Therefore, I have no problems with seed spoilage due to moisture or dampness.
- The perches are adjustable to different weight sensitivities, which allows you to also prevent large and medium-sized birds (like blackbirds!) from eating.
- It’s made of steel. This fact is important because the hard metal prevents squirrels from chewing their way inside.
#2. Yankee Flipper by Droll Yankees
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The Yankee Flipper gets my vote for the most FUN squirrel-proof bird feeder!
How does it prevent squirrels?
Believe it or not, this feeder SPINS squirrels off when they try to eat! When enough weight is put on the perches, the internal, battery-powered motor comes alive and gently tosses the squirrels from the feeder.
Don’t worry; birds are light enough to feed and not set off the motor.
Since the tube is 21 inches (53 cm) in length, it’s long enough that squirrels can’t hang down from the top to eat without activating the feeder and making it spin. I also like that it also holds up to 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of bird food, so you shouldn’t have to refill it every day.
The biggest complaint with the Yankee Flipper is the constant need to recharge the battery. In addition, after a few years, you will eventually need to replace the battery. The exact lifespan depends on how often the motor is activated to spin.
After a bit of time, the hope is that you will have trained your squirrels that it’s not possible to eat from this feeder.
Can you imagine something more entertaining than watching squirrels try to eat, only to be gently tossed off? Check out the video below and tell me you didn’t smile. 🙂
Droll Yankee’s offers a Lifetime Warranty on any parts damaged by squirrels and a 1-year warranty on the electronic components for the Yankee Flipper.
#3. Audubon Caged Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
One look at this bird feeder, and you know how it prevents squirrels!
The cage openings measure 1.5 in x 1.5 in (3.8 cm), which is too small for squirrels to fit through (except for the smaller American Red Squirrel).
Caged feeders only let small songbirds through, such as finches, chickadees, small woodpeckers, and sparrows. Larger birds, such as cardinals, jays, and doves, are not going to be able to use it. In addition, starlings and grackles, which can cause problems at feeders, also can’t fit inside!
By not letting squirrels or larger birds eat, you will be amazed at how much LESS bird seed this feeder uses. I only have to fill it up every few days, and that is after many smaller birds have been visiting.
This specific feeder from Audubon holds about 1.25 lbs (.5 kg) of bird food and features 4 feeding ports.
#4. Brome Squirrel Buster Standard
- JCS Wildlife – Save 10% by using code BWHQ at checkout!
When it comes to squirrel-proof bird feeders, Brome is one of the best and most trusted brands available. The company’s specialty is stopping squirrels, and basically, every style of feeder they offer does not allow these rodents to eat!
Once you see how Brome products work, it’s easy to see why squirrels can’t eat. The weight of a squirrel anywhere on the feeder body closes access to the seed ports.
The reason I chose the Squirrel Buster Standard is simple. It works as advertised, and I have owned it for a few years and have never once seen a squirrel eating on it.
Here is the ONLY thing I don’t like:
It requires a bit of work to refill the feeder.
To accomplish this, I have to take the top off to get access to the tube, typically putting the parts on the grass as I am refilling (see photo above). Winter is when I notice the extra effort the most because I have to take my gloves off. As a result, my hands get cold, and I am always afraid I will lose a part in the snow.
If you’re not a fan of this specific feeder, Brome makes quite a few others, WHICH ALL PREVENT SQUIRRELS. The links below will take you to Amazon to see the prices.
Squirrel BusterSquirrel-proof Bird Feeder w/Cardinal Ring (Six Feeding Ports, 5.1-pound (2.3 kg) Seed Capacity)
#5. Brome Squirrel Solution 200
The Squirrel Solution is another fantastic squirrel-proof feeder made by Brome. When a squirrel grabs onto the feeder, the metal cage slides down, preventing access to the food inside! And since the outside is made of metal, squirrels can’t chew through it either.
- RELATED: The 10 Types of Squirrels That Live in the United States! (& Canada) Learn about the squirrel species you battle in your backyard! Range maps included. 🙂
Personally, I like the appearance of this feeder and the fact it holds up to 3.4 pounds (1.5 kg) of bird food. There are also six feeding ports, which provide ample space for multiple birds to eat.
As with all products from Brome, it features a limited lifetime guarantee against defective parts or squirrel damage. Call them if it breaks, and they will send out a replacement piece.
#6. Brome Squirrel Buster Plus
- JCS Wildlife – Save 10% by using code BWHQ at checkout!
The Brome Squirrel Buster Plus is definitely one of the BEST squirrel-proof feeders!
It’s weight-sensitive, allowing birds to feed, but it instantly closes with the weight of a squirrel. It features six seed ports, holds about 5 lbs (2.3 kg) of seed, and has one continuous perch around the entire base.
Here’s a great video of the Squirrel Buster Plus in action!
Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders Will Save You Money
If you hadn’t noticed, the best squirrel-proof feeders above are not the cheapest. It’s true; you will pay more money to make sure these ravenous rodents can’t access your bird food.
That’s why buying a squirrel-proof bird feeder is truly an investment.
I’m not sure exactly how much food a squirrel eats per day, as it varies between different species, but I do know that it is way more than your typical bird. If these voracious furballs get full access to your feeders, they are going to consume A LOT of pricey bird food. After a while, this puts a severe dent in your wallet.
Purchasing an effective squirrel-proof bird feeder will save you money by not allowing squirrels to eat and waste half of your food.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
As you can tell, I am a big believer in purchasing a squirrel-proof bird feeder, and this list of the best should give you a great start to finding the perfect addition to your backyard.
But squirrels are a worthy opponent. They are not defeated easily, and they will not let their free and easy food get taken away without a fight!
In my backyard, I combine squirrel-proof bird feeders along with a few other strategies to help control them. Having multiple approaches seems to work best when trying to defeat these relentless and determined mammals.
Before you go, can you help make this article better and answer these questions?
What squirrel-proof bird feeders do you recommend?
Thanks for reading, and good luck!
It’s good to know from your post here that there are many outdoor bird feeders online that is squirrel proof. My friend like to have a bird pet for her house but is unsure if she can keep it for a long time since there are many squirrels in their area. I tell her about the squirrel-proof feature of the outdoor bird feeding we can buy online.
You are a very good person. God bless you for caring about that squirrel that lots think is a nuisance animal.
I thought a Slinky prevents the squirrel from climbing up; so don’t bother trying it?
I have had several different “squirrel proof” feeders and none have worked. Ones like the Absolute, they learn to sit on top and lean down so the closer isn’t triggered. The cage type – red squirrels and young ones can get in. Ones like the Brome 200, they bent up the “leaves” and chewed the plastic to enlarge the holes. Any feeders that have plastic or wood at the top, they chew through so the feeder falls to the ground. I’ve also tried the peppered seeds but my southern squirrels must be part Mexican because they are not deterred. My house is on a hill, with the front porch and living room half a story above ground level, too tall for a shepherd’s hook, so I have to hang my feeders off the roof overhang. There’s no way of baffling the squirrels. sigh
I totally agree. But I’m more upset with the Company, Droll Yankee, who invented and is selling such a sick cruel product. Imagine if this was being done to a cat or dog!! It should be taken off the market. I am upset that this site would feature it!! Please remove it.
I agree with Carol Ann, shocking treatment. just because you don’t like the furry tailed creatures others who feed a lot of wild birds are not cruel to them in fact if you put out a squirrel box with corn in it they will be so focused on the corn mine don’t bother with the seed feeders and only eat seed dropped on the grass.
chipmunks are emptying the bird feeders also.
We have a slinky on our pole. The squirrel uses it like a ladder…climbs up easily!!
I’d love to see a pic of this set-up.
I just watched a video on YouTube where a man used a golf umbrella as a baffle. It worked too. He had to modify it and place metal tape around the umbrella rim but it kept the squirrels out. 😀
I just bought the Brome Squirrel 150. It arrived today. I am tired of having the squirrels eat all my bird seed AND chew up my feeders. I have had to replace my feeders every spring. So with the money I’ve wasted on seed and feeders I decided to invest in a BROME feeder. If it works like all the reviewers say it does I may purchase a second one.
For bird feeders on a pole we have found the perfect and inexpensive solution. Buy a Slinky toy for about $3. Stretch it out and place it on the pole. We have many squirrels that try to get in that feeder and we’ve never seen one succeed! The local squirrels rarely even try anymore.
I had an Absolute feeder in my backyard, and it did a decent job being squirrel-proof. My birds would gather at the feeder in big #’s, and the roof would get so full of droppings. I was cleaning it thoroughly once a week, too. I finally got tired of the cleaning maintenance, and replaced it with a tube feeder
The Absolute worked for a very short time before the squirrels figured out how to get to the food by hanging upside. Also, they eventually broke the spring on one side, so they were able to get food on that side.. The birds didn’t care for #2.
That worked for about a month and then I guess the squirrels decided they didn’t mind the taste…
I think it’s ridiculous spending that much money for a bird feeder. If you put any feeder on a tall shepherds hook or pole and mount an upside down flower pot (about 10 inch) on the shaft (high enough to thwart jumpers), it acts as a baffle. If it’s light duty pot, put a metal pie plate inside pot to frustrate the chewers. You have to keep the feeder away from trees and buildings or the jumpers will make try for it. I have used this method for a decade now, always works. A floppy metal disc (about 15″) will also work.
It’s good entertainment watching them slid down, but you have replace your lubricant almost daily.
I tried this too. It was good entertainment value, but whatever lubricant you use, must be replaced regularly. Since I won’t spend $50 for a bird feeder, I found a tall shepherds hook and an upside flower pot on the shaft (baffle) works like a charm and I have used this method for years. You do have keep the feeder away from trees etc, or they will take a flying leap from them.
Cage feeds are a danger to squirrels. A squirrel got its foot caught and was hurting, couldn’t release it. I took the feeder and attached squirrel ( put in a large box) to a nearby vet. He was sedated so the vet could safely and humanely dislodge it’s foot. The squirrel was released into the woods behind the vet’s once. I threw the cage feeder away.
I own 3 of the Brome Squirrel Buster feeders and Cardinals seem to like the Brome Squirrel Buster Standard even over the specific Cardinal feeder (Brome Squirrel Buster Plus). Plus the Standard is much easier to clean that the 200.
Totally happy with the Brome 200. No squirrel problems and it’s easy to refill. I just recommend placing the feeder in a large aluminum tin while refilling to catch seed coming out of openings. However, this doesn’t work for cardinals and blue jays since they are tray/hopper feeders. Recommendations?
I’ve had the same problem. Red squirrels and young fox squirrels can get in.
I put a slinky on the pole below the feeder. Works like a charm.
#3 doesn’t work if you have red squirrels or flying squirrels. I took a photo of a red squirrel very smugly snuggled safely INSIDE one of those cage feeders.
I use a 4 x 4 post with 8feet of aluminum pipe wrapped around it. I also have a metal mixing bowl converted to a baffle. The squirrels can’t get up the metal sheeting but in winter I have to keep the snow removed from the base of the pole so they can’t jump from the ground. Also, I don’t have any trees near the pole. Works like a charm.
I have determined that that is also true of the wire-and-tube type, as well. If a squirrel can get purchase adjacent to these feeders, they can just hang upside-down and drain your feeder in short order. I finally bit the bullet and got the Wild Birds Unlimited Eliminator. It is pricey, but so far no squirrels have successfully breached. And, boy, they’ve tried everything from every angle!
I just now rubbed canola oil all over the Shepherd’s Hook that my seed feeder hangs from. We’ll see what happens.
I’ve seen squirrels take a flying leap at the pole, hitting it hard enough to shake seeds loose from the feeder. Then it’s chow time at ground level. They only get a small amount at a time, so at least they can’t easily pig out and empty the feeder, but it goes to show just how clever the little buggers can be.
I have been researching for a squirrel proof feeder but also pigeons proof one as well. I live close to town . The pigeons hog out on the bird food and drive away the little birds. I appreciate the comments . I learned a lot from them.
I have the drill rechargeable and to recharge you have to empty the feeder, take apart the bottom then plug it in for 14-24 hours. Pain in the butt! They should have a covered port to recharge battery. I HAD to recharge every week or so. It was fun watching the squirrels spin but I’m iver it and the feeder now. On th the next….
Lucky you and your birds … could your squirrels send the memo to mine, who don’t care about what they are eating, except for the “hot” recipes – that loose their hotness very fast! In fact, they seem to particularly enjoy safflower seeds.
I changed from pricey birdseed to safflower seeds… the squirrels left 🙂
I bought a dog zapper collar and mounted it under my feeder, wired to the weighted doors. So when the squirrels get on it and it closes, it also gives them a nice shock. And I also have the remote, in case they get cute and try and figure out a a way around it. Collar cost less than $20 and has a rehargeable battery.
Dont the squirrels chew through the $15 plastic dome type baffles.
I had to give up on my Absolute II feeder because the squirrels learned how to hand upside down from the top of its roof and empty it totally in one day – that is a lot of pricey and excellent bird food! Now I rely only on the Brome and Wild Birds Unlimited ones. I invested in extra wide arms to install on my pole because last winter, when the snow was deep enough, the squirrels were able to jump on top of the baffle and lean from there to bypass the weight activated perches. They also found that they can spin these feeders so that the seed spills on the ground, making an easy and less acrobatic dinner. At the same time, they were welcome at the table hopper and even had their own corn webs – but they always seem to want more and to invite more friends. Last winter, I counted 26 black ones and 6 grey ones at the same time at my bird feeding station – that is a lot of hungry furry bellies!
As to chipmunks, they have never be able to get over the baffles, so they content themselves with the food on both hoppers and what the birds spill on the ground.
I am tempted by the Droll Yankees, can anybody tell me how often you have to recharge the batteries? Do you have to take the feeder down every night?
I had hoped that our hopper feeder with the weight activated door would stop our squirrels. Unfortunately, our squirrels have learned to sit on top of the feeder house, then lean over the front to access the food without having to lean on the weight activated perch. 😡. Darn squirrels! Time for hot meals.
Yes I want one I also have chipmunks problem will it still work
I’ve got the squirrels under control. The best thing was getting a metal roof. The used to come over the roof to get to the feeders. Now my problem is chipmunks. They are too light to activate the weight bars. Any ideas??
I’d probably choose the weight sensitive one I like watching the birds including blue jays eat at the suet feeder our old seed feeder the squirrels chewed through the glass and the lid wouldn’t fit on it
Yep Karen and Scott, I totally agree with you both! I was totally going to buy one…till I saw the price…just too steep for what you get. But then again, the entertainment value might make it worth while lol
I laughed at the pic of the squirrel above as he stretches to the feeder. I purchased the ever-clever weight sensitive perch feeder, thinking my squirrel problem would be solved, after all, I have a feeder of corn and nuts specifically for the squirrels, yet they’ve always chosen to dine at both restaurants! The weight sensitive feeder would be my answer, until it wasn’t. Seems the squirrels are the ever-clever ones, as they outsmart ever human endeavor when it comes to feeders. My senstive perch feeder had only been hanging two days when I came outside just in time to see a squirrel regular, his weight securely settled on the tree while his body was stretched to the max to the feeder, with one little paw resting above the perch area while he lapped up seeds without ever touching the trigger. Sigh.
I would love to have one of the Flipping Bird Feeders , but can’t afford one !! Don’t you think that price of $149 is a little bit exaggerated ??!!?? $69 or $79 would be more believable and affordable !! 🙁 🙁 🙁
Hey Karen! Yes, I agree that they do charge quite a bit for this bird feeder. I wish it would come down in price too!