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
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 feeders 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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Wild Birds Unlimited is one of my favorite stores for feeding birds. They always feature quality products, fresh bird food, and the staff is knowledgeable and accommodating.
So it’s not surprising that their squirrel-proof bird feeder is one of the best available!
It’s weight-sensitive, allowing birds to feed but instantly closes with the weight of a squirrel. It features six seed ports, holds 3.5 quarts of seed, and has one continuous perch around the entire base.
Here’s a great video of the Eliminator 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!