The Absolute Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Options That Actually Work (Hanging & Pole Options Reviewed)
Squirrels are one of the smartest and most acrobatic pests around. They have really sharp teeth and the persistence to chew through almost anything.
Are you looking for a squirrel proof bird feeder to make a great addition to your yard?
Then you’ve come to the right place.
Together we will be reviewing the best-recommended squirrel proof bird feeders.
We’ll be looking at their quality and unique characteristics while discussing their affordability.
In no particular order, let’s go ahead to review the…
- Best Overall: Droll Yankees ‘Yankee Whipper’
- Best for Large Birds: Brome Squirrel Buster
- Easiest to Clean: Audubon Squirrel-Proof Caged Feeder
- Easiest to Refill: Stokes Select Caged Bird Feeder
- Most Economical: Gray Bunny Caged Tube Feeder
5 Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Reviews
1. Best Overall - Droll Yankees ‘Yankee Whipper’ Squirrel Proof Feeder
The Yankee Whipper has a design that is completely squirrel-proof. It’s a great attraction for birds.
This device has a weight-sensitive mechanism that closes the seed ports once a squirrel grabs any of the perches. This device has a 17-inch tube (quite tall for squirrels to hang from easily) that can take up to 5 pounds of birdseed (or nut).
It has a snug-fitting metal cap that is too heavy for the squirrels to lift open, and too hard for them to chew into.
The bottom perch ring is motorized and the spin is activated by the heavy weight of the squirrel. The device hangs by a stainless steel hanging wire that minimizes motion, preventing seed spill. It is made of a UV stabilized polycarbonate that lets the bird feeder keep its aesthetic value for eternity.
It’s the best kind of squirrel proof feeder for attracting small birds like cardinals, woodpecker, and sparrows.
But, the thing is, it uses a rechargeable (also replaceable) battery for its motorized ring perch, which has to be charged. It lasts but using an electric feeder in the open is just not the best idea.
In comparison to others, it can seem expensive - but it does the job extremely well.
2. Best for Large Birds - Brome Squirrel Buster Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
The Brome Squirrel Buster has feeder parts that are all made of chew proof materials. It has an adjustable weight sensitive perch that hinders squirrels from getting access to the seeds.
As long as the squirrel lands on the cage without supporting its weight on any object nearby, it shuts access to the seed. In this case, you have to place it at least 5 ft away from any object or shrub the squirrels can jump from or use as support.
Don’t worry if you are using these objects for shade from the sun as the feeder not only does a good job of keeping seeds dry but also withstands sun rays with its UV stabilized parts. If it helps, it’s also easy to clean and even fit for dishwashing.
The seed tubes have a relatively complicated opening mechanism which can cause challenges when refilling.
Nevertheless, Brome Squirrel Buster products are some of the best hanging squirrel proof bird feeders in the market with up to 18 inches clearance space all around them.
Not just that, its design includes a negative grip tube that makes it hard for squirrels to grab the wire hanger with their hind legs.
One other great thing about the product is its high number of seed ports that feed different kinds of birds. However, the deep seed ports are not good for feeding some birds like Cardinals.
3. Easiest to Clean - Audubon Squirrel-Proof Caged Bird Feeder
Audubon Caged Feeder is an easy-to-clean bird feeder with multiple seed ports. This device has a 9” diameter cage that does a good job of keeping squirrels and large birds at bay.
You don’t need to mount a pole to install; instead, you just hang it with a tall shepherds hook. The cage and seed tube is made to be always accessible for birds.
It has a medium sized seed tube with a holding capacity of about 1.25 pounds of variously sized seeds and its seed ports are enclosed in a steel cage.
The squares in the cages are quite small and do a good job of preventing the entrance of squirrels. Sometimes, however, juvenile squirrels squeeze their way into the cage.
This feeder is also great at stopping Blue Jays, doves and grackles from eating the bird feed.
4. Best for Easy Refilling - Stokes Select Squirrel-Proof Caged Bird Feeder
This makes it extremely easy to refill.
The device has a 10 inches diameter cage around it that can also serve large birds.
A great thing about Stokes Select is its large seed capacity and compatibility with additional security (like Baffles). So you can be completely sure that squirrels will find it relatively impossible to reach the seed cake.
It doesn’t need a pole to be mounted, just a hanger.
This device makes use of a simple mechanism to open the seed cage. This makes it easy to maintain by regular cleaning. The seed cage has a transparent feed design that lets you see the bird seed level at all times. So you can plan ahead of refill before it runs out. It has a tight-fitted, powder coated roof that’s weather-proof and durable.
Cons: The wiring of the cage is tight and may regularly trap small birds. What you can do to prevent that from happening is to cover the top of the inner cages with a mesh structure (like a gutter guard). To prevent it from shifting around, make sure the structure is the same width as the outer cage.
5. Best Budget Buy - Gray Bunny Caged Tube Feeder
Out of all of the products in this review, it’s the most affordable and has a medium sized cage that protects the internal tube from squirrels.
The cage is designed from chew proof materials and the seed tube is transparent for easy monitoring.
If you’re on a lower budget then this is the one for you.
It’s quite easy to clean and refill, with a simple latch-and-unlatch lid.
Note that the medium sized square holes of the cage may permit juvenile squirrels and large birds like a blue jay, to get access to the seeds from time to time.
Features To Watch For When Choosing A Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
Without any further ado, let’s dive into them:
- Weight Sensitive Perches: This is an efficient feature that makes it extremely tough for the squirrels to get to the bird feeder. Generally, squirrels weigh more than the birds you’d expect at your backyard. The bottom perch (ring) is designed to be weight-sensitive. There’s usually a kind of door on the wall of feeder that closes when a maximum weight is applied on the perch. Once a squirrel grabs it, the bird feeder access will be locked down due to the heavy weight of the squirrel.
- Clearance Space: I’m sure you know that squirrels are great jumpers. It’s for this reason that it’s recommended that the bird feeder is mounted somewhere 10-15 feet away from trees, poles or platforms that the pests can use to launch themselves from.
- Electric Features: Some bird feeders have battery-powered motors in their bottom ring that make it a spin. The weight of the pest activates the spin; and no matter how tough these squirrels can be, they eventually lose their balance and fall off. The feeders may also administer mild electric shocks to the squirrel to knock them off.
- Seed Holding Capacity (Size): Feeders come in different sizes for accommodating many sizes of birdseed, for a variety of birds. To attract smaller birds, you’ll need small sized bird feeders. However, a small-sized feeder may have a large seed holding capacity. Generally speaking, bird feeders that contain a large number of seeds are great for attracting many kinds of birds.
- Feeder Prices: Squirrels sometimes cause complete damage to the birdfeeders, so it’s important to pick those that can be replaced affordably.
- Making Your Own Bird Feeder: You can decide to make your own proof bird feeders. It can be a fun and productive activity that’s pretty easy, especially if you consider yourself a handy person. You may not need to build the bird feeder from scratch; just a few changes to your current one can increase its efficiency at keeping squirrels away.
- Types of Bird Feeders: I’m sure you’ll want to consider the variety of birds that you’d love to attract into your yard when choosing a squirrel proof feeder for them. Different birds prefer different kinds of feeders. For example, cardinals have big necks and small feet, which is why they prefer gripping a perch of thick texture while they eat from a low seed door.
I recommend that you choose squirrel proof bird feeders with styles that complement the kinds of birds you want to watch, and also beautify your yard.
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of squirrel-proof bird feeders. The first kind is those designed with mechanisms that close the food door when the weight of the squirrel triggers it in the feeder. The second bird feeder type is those with wire installed (cages) around the tube to bar the squirrel from getting through.
Note: Bird feeders with more basic (traditional) designs usually have a higher affinity for squirrel proof accessories like baffles.
Maintaining the Feeder
It’s important that you clean the bird feeders thoroughly, at least twice every year.
Here’s how to do that correctly:
- First, remove all seeds. It’s advised that you stick to the disassembly instructions that came with the product. Some models are designed with removable shrouds while others aren't. Check the manual for your particular model.
- Use soap and water to wash all parts (watch out for any electric components!). Be sure to reach all the cracks and spots where seed and particles may hide and possibly cause bacteria infiltration.
- If possible, scrub with a small brush. You should make sure to rinse all the soap away. You can dry it off and let it hang dry for a night or two.
- It is highly advised that you lubricate the hinges and springs (and other moving parts) with light machine oil regularly. Don’t forget to wipe off all excess lubricant before reassembling.
- Now you can fill new seeds into your bird feeder. Don’t ever use old seeds.
Note: Most bird feeders can only accommodate bird seeds and nuts. Find out if the seed tube is compatible with other kinds of bird food for easy refill and cleaning purposes.
Bonus Tips for Keeping Squirrels At Bay
If you want, you can also make additions such as to your current bird feeder. Position it in the spot that is least accessible to squirrels.
Learn to always keep the area around the feeder clean to keep squirrels away and the birds healthy.
Also, don’t be scared to add spicy seeds to the mix when refilling the seed tube. Unlike a lot of humans, birds are quite fond of peppery tones in their food.
If the squirrels succeed in chewing down your bird feeder (they are stubborn), you can always get a better one. Just make sure to get a stronger and more durable product. I’m sure you have enough information to do that by now. And if you can't beat 'em, join 'em by getting a dedicated squirrel feeder.
I’m of the opinion that you should consider getting yourself a truly squirrel-resistant bird feeder.
I personally recommend the Droll Yankees ‘Yankee Whipper’.
I’ve been using it for a while now and I really enjoy its effectiveness at keeping squirrels away. Its adjustable weight sensitive bottom perch works just fine for me.
However, you shouldn’t forget that squirrels are stubborn opponents that make them defeating them worthwhile. They just don’t give up.
In closing, squirrel resistant bird feeder reviews show how these products are great at their jobs and they also beautify your yard or landscape.