Keeping squirrels off feeders

  • Location: Squirrels can jump distances of 10 feet or greater, so place feeders well away from trees, wires, porches, gutters, roofs, and other launching points to make it harder for squirrels to get on the feeder. Ideally, mount or hang feeders on a smooth metal pole at least six feet high, and prune back any branches or bushes within a 12-foot radius.
  • Cages: Place a wire cage around a bird feeder. Squirrels will not fit through small wire openings but that will not restrict smaller birds from feeding. This is also useful for preventing larger bully birds, such as starlings, grackles, and pigeons, from accessing the feeder. Some feeders come equipped with cages, or you can easily add mesh such as chicken wire around an existing feeder. A larger cage can be placed around a feeding station with several feeders inside the barrier.
  • Baffles: Add smooth plastic or metal baffles above and below bird feeders. The baffles should be at least 15-18 inches wide or long to prevent squirrels from reaching around them. Many squirrel baffles are designed to twirl or tilt if a squirrel climbs onto them, keeping the animal off balance and unable to access the feeder.
  • Cleanliness: Keep the area around the feeder clean and remove debris and spilled seed from the ground that could be attracting squirrels. This also ensures that ground-feeding birds do not eat old, contaminated, or rotting seed that could be unhealthy.
  • Spinners: Hang a feeder from a thin horizontal wire strung with spinners to keep squirrels from climbing across the wire. Spinners may be a line of empty thread spools, short lengths of pipe or hose, or empty plastic bottles strung along the wire that will spin and keep squirrels from accessing the feeder. When squirrels try to cross the spinners, they are tipped over and fall away from the feeder.
  • Feeder Style: If you need to replace feeders that squirrels have already destroyed, opt for specially designed feeders with doors or hatches that will be triggered to close by a squirrel’s weight. This will restrict squirrels’ access to seed, but lighter birds will not trigger the hatches and can still feed freely. Alternatively, choose metal feeders or designs with thick, sturdy materials that squirrels will be less able to damage.
  • Seed: While squirrels will readily sample most types of birdseed, they are less attracted to nyjer and safflower seed, both of which have a slightly bitter taste. By using these seeds exclusively, you close the squirrel snack bar without eliminating feeding the birds.
  • Spicy Seed: Mammals, including squirrels, are sensitive to the perceived heat of pepper, but birds are not. Adding cayenne pepper or similar spices to birdseed can deter squirrels, but it can wash off and must be used consistently for the best effects. When handling pepper, wear gloves and avoid breathing in the dust. Some retailers have pre-treated seed and suet available with even hotter pepper components.
  • Traps: If squirrels are a strong nuisance at your backyard feeders, contact local wildlife authorities about the possibility of using humane traps to remove squirrels from the area. Local regulations on trapping and releasing squirrels will vary, and you should follow all wildlife laws meticulously.
  • Remove Shelter: Be sure squirrels don’t make a convenient home nearby by removing possible shelter locations. Take steps to keep squirrels from nesting in old sheds, under eaves, or in attics. The further away a squirrel’s home is from your feeders, the less likely they will be to visit.

Squirrels are always rather mercenary when it comes to getting food, but fall is when they become relentless. Nobody knows this better than the innocent bird lover. You’re thinking about taking your feeder down for the year, but a few feathered friends still rely on it. So, your bird feeder remains, perched against the fall like a bird seed-based symbol of defiance. Then… the squirrels come.

These rodential rascals stop at nothing to deprive your birds of the meal that’s meant for them. They’ll hang upside down, perform death-defying acrobatics, and get shockingly aggressive, all in the name of a little seed. They seem unstoppable. They’re not. You just need to get even more creative than they are. Here are four ideas to help you get started.


Baffle Them

You can find a bowl-like contraption called a “squirrel baffle” for sale at most hardware stores. They’re designed to, well, baffle squirrels. Baffles are made of plastic or metal and hang near the bird feeder. If your feeder hangs from a tree, then the baffle attaches above the feeder. If your feeder rests on a pole sticking out of the ground, then the baffle goes beneath the feeder on the pole.

Place the “bowl” upside down, so that the concave opening points down. When squirrels try to climb on the baffle, they won’t be able to find purchase. Instead of getting at your feeder, they’ll slide off the plastic slope and fall off. Don’t worry–squirrels are master acrobats, so a little fall won’t hurt them. It is pretty funny to watch, though. Baffles are cheap and relatively easy to make. Make sure your homemade baffle is wide enough that squirrels can’t stretch around it. If they can, you know they will…


Based on the gusto they exhibit in the act, it’s easy to assume squirrels enjoy their feats of robbery. Believe it or not, however, that’s not the case. Squirrels go to great lengths to get at your feeder for one reason: they’re opportunists. When temperatures start to drop, squirrels get desperate to fatten up for winter. They need the food, and they’ve got the skills, so why not stage their high-flying heists on your feeder?

But what if they didn’t need to? Squirrels are all about the path of least resistance. If you were to, say, distract them with a more accessible food source, they’d leave your feeder alone. We’re not saying this idea doesn’t have drawbacks. You’d need a lot of food. Squirrels are nigh-insatiable this time of year. Plus, you’d invite more squirrels to your yard than ever. And you’d be feeding the enemy. When it comes to keeping squirrels away from a vulnerable feeder, however, a diversion may well be your best option. Everybody eats, everybody wins.

Spice It Up!

Alright, so you don’t want to deal with any more squirrels than you have to. And you don’t want to feed those glorified bandits anyway. Fair enough. What if you could make the food you’re leaving for birds into something only birds would want to eat? You wouldn’t have to set out more food or even go to great lengths to squirrel-proof your feeder!

Well, did you know that birds don’t mind spicy seeds? They can’t taste the difference. Guess what can? Sprinkle some cayenne pepper or a similar spice onto your birdseed before you put it out. Birds will eat the seed just fine, but squirrels will smell the heat and stay well clear. You’ll have to re-apply the spice frequently, however, or it’ll wash off or blow away. Squirrels will notice the spice is gone as quickly as they smelled it in the first place, and then you’ll be back to square one. Some stores also sell bird seed that starts spicy, so you don’t have to add the spice yourself.


The squirrels around your house can leap up to 10 feet horizontally, but they can’t fly. If you could figure out a way to suspend your feeder just right, you could make it a birds-only zone. The easiest way to manage this gravity-defying trick would be to string up a wire between two trees.

First, find two mature trees that are at least 10 feet away from each other. Run the wire between the trees and pull it taut. Then, run some “spinners” along the wire to prevent particularly determined tightrope walkers. Spinners can be plastic soda bottles, yarn spools, or anything else that rolls. Squirrels won’t be able to walk across the spinner without rolling off the wire and onto the ground. Finally, hang your bird feeder in the dead center of the wire, far from either tree. Voila! You have a floating bird feeder. Terrestrial mammals need not apply. Just make sure the bird feeder is high enough off the ground, too. All this work won’t matter if your squirrels can just leap up and knock seed down whenever they want.

Look, all of these ideas may make it sound like we hate squirrels. We don’t! We actually find their determination and resourcefulness charming. Plus, they have those bushy little tails. The fact of the matter is, though, squirrels don’t need your birdseed. They’ll be just fine on their own. They got this far, after all.

Unfortunately, squirrels aren’t the only wildlife you’ll have be on the look-out for this fall–and most of the rest of it isn’t nearly as charming. If you have a pest problem in your home, whether it’s rodent or insect based, give Griffin a call today. We’ll set you up for winter right, so you have nothing to worry about. Happy bird watching!

Five Inexpensive Ways To Squirrel Proof Your Bird Feeder

If you have a bird feeder, you likely already know the damage a hungry squirrel can do. Bird Man Mel has some tips for keeping squirrels out through traditional ways, such as shepherd’s hooks, under baffles and hanging baffles, and you can also stop squirrels by purchasing squirrel proof bird feeders. But, for those looking for inexpensive ways to protect your current bird feeder, here are five things to try.

Put crushed cayenne pepper in the bird feed

Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Since mammals have taste buds, the hot spices bother small animals like squirrels and chipmunks. Putting crushed pepper in the bird food can act as a deterrent. More importantly, the crushed pepper does not have any negative health effects on birds. In fact, one scientific study that monitored the effectiveness of using capsaicin-treated sunflower seeds found that areas with large bird populations saw an increase in visits, while deterring squirrels from stealing seeds.

Use safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds

Many observers have noticed that squirrels tend to avoid bird feeders with safflower seeds. Though they have been spotted on occasion eating safflower seeds, squirrels tend to dislike its bitter taste. Safflower is also very nutritional for birds because it has protein, high fat content and nutritious oil. Finally, another added benefit of using safflower seeds as a deterrent for squirrels is that grackles and starlings, which keep other desirable birds away, are not attracted to it.

Use a Slinky to prevent squirrels from climbing the pole

A Slinky is another quick and inexpensive solution to stopping the squirrel menace. All it requires is attaching the Slinky to the top of the bird feeder pole and letting it hang down to the ground. When squirrels try to jump on the pole or climb it, the Slinky simply dumps them back to the ground.

Make the bird feeder pole out of PVC pipe

That same pipe used for plumbing can make a great stand for your bird feeder. The PVC pipe, typically made out of a hard plastic, prevents the squirrel from getting a strong grip and, like the Slinky, sends the squirrel tumbling back to the ground.

Use an old record as a baffle

If you have an old record lying around, you can put it to good use by mounting it underneath the feeder as a baffle. Its thick circular design and slippery material makes it a great baffle to keep those squirrels out of your bird feeder.

Another sure way to get rid of those pesky squirrels, browse our inventory of squirrel proof bird feeders here. Each squirrel proof bird feeder we sell, like all of our products, is backed by a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee.

6 Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders [That ACTUALLY Work!]

Trust me; there are LOTS of bird feeders that 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 kind of hard.

Think about it:

The feeder has to allow a variety of bird species to feed comfortably AND at the same time stop squirrels from eating anything.

*Skip Ahead to the list of the BEST squirrel proof bird feeders!*

  • Related: 7 Effective Ways To Keep Squirrels Off Your Bird Feeders
  • Related: The BEST Squirrel Baffles For ANY Situation (11 Ideas!)

But squirrels are incredibly 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.

As I said before:

It is incredibly difficult to find the best squirrel proof bird feeders!

After experimenting at my home, talking to other backyard birders, reading books, and doing my diligent research online, I am ready to release my list of the best squirrel proof bird feeders.

But first, I think it’s important to provide a bit of education. There are actually different ways that bird feeders use to keep squirrels off from eating. Next, you are going to learn about the four different strategies you will see utilized by squirrel-proof bird feeders.

1. Weight Sensitive Perches:

The most popular method and extremely effective in my yard!

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 basically all your common feeder birds.

Many squirrel proof bird feeders take advantage of this enormous weight difference between birds and squirrels by featuring weight sensitive perches.

Typically, the perches are attached to a spring on the feeder. Once a certain amount of weight is put on the perches, then a door or wall is activated and will come down and close off access to the bird food. (View feeder #1 below for a video demonstration.)

Birds can land and eat until their bellies are full, but as soon as a squirrel puts their greedy paws onto the bird feeder access to the food is closed off!

2. Cages:

Buying a bird feeder that is surrounded by a cage is almost 100% guaranteed to keep squirrels away!

Here’s how it works:

The openings in the cage are large enough for small birds but too tiny for squirrels to fit their bodies through.

Audubon Caged Tube Feeder

The biggest downside to cages is that they also prevent larger birds from feeding. Only smaller backyard birds will be able to fit, like goldfinches, sparrows, and chickadees.

And cages also work great keeping blackbirds away!

3. Battery Powered Feeders That Spin:

This style gets my vote for the most entertaining squirrel proof bird feeders!

When a squirrel jumps onto the feeder, the internal motor is activated by the rodents weight, and immediately starts spinning!

Squirrels will try their best to hang on as long as possible, but eventually, they will lose and get flung off.

This below video demonstrates the concept of a spinning squirrel proof feeder. Every time I watch I can’t help but smile.

The biggest negative with this type of feeder is the fact you have to change the batteries periodically.

4. Electric Shock:

These are similar to the squirrel proof feeders that spin above, except with one notable difference.

Instead of spinning the squirrels around, it provides them with a mild shock when activated. Don’t worry; no squirrels have ever been harmed because of these bird feeders.

You will not see any squirrel proof feeders that utilize electric shock in my list below. The reason for this is because I have not tested, talked to anyone, or read enough positive reviews to be convinced a specific model deserved to be included. If this changes, then I will add one to the list!

The 6 Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

#1. Absolute II Bird Feeder Buy Now/View Price

The Absolute II is one of my favorite bird feeders and the center of my backyard feeding station.

How does it prevent squirrels?

The perches are weight sensitive and close if a squirrel climbs on the feeder. It’s also made of steel so they can’t chew their way inside.

Here’s how the weight sensitive perches work:

Here are some other reasons 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) that is designed to attract as many species as possible. I love that it holds up to 12 pounds of bird food!
  • It is simple to refill and clean. The top lid unlatches easily to open.
  • The seed is protected from rain. 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.

#2. Yankee Flipper by Droll Yankees

Buy Now/View Price

The Yankee Flipper gets my vote for the most fun squirrel proof bird feeder!

How does it prevent squirrels?

It spins them off when activated! 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 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 of bird food, so you shouldn’t have to refill every day.

The biggest complaint with the Yankee Flipper is the constant need to recharge and eventually replace the battery every few years.

Droll Yankee’s also offers a Lifetime Warranty on any parts that were damaged by squirrels and a 1-year warranty on the electronic components for the Yankee Flipper.

#3. Audubon Caged Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

Buy Now/View Price

One look at this bird feeder and you know how it prevents squirrels!

The squares in the cage measure 1.5 in x 1.5 in, which is much too small for squirrels to fit through, except maybe an occasional juvenile. It lets most songbirds through, and your birds should not have much trouble getting used to flying through the new metal cage.

FYI, this feeder is also going to stop Blue Jays, doves, grackles, and all but the smallest starlings from eating.

This specific feeder from Audubon holds about 1.25 lbs of bird food.

#4. Brome Squirrel Buster Standard

Buy Now/View Price

In the world of squirrel-proof bird feeders, Brome is one of the most popular and trusted brands out there. Their specialty is stopping squirrels, and basically, every style of feeder they offer does not allow them to eat!

It was hard to narrow down the best Brome squirrel proof feeders because they are all great for their intended purpose: Keeping squirrels off your bird feeder.

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 what I don’t like:

The Squirrel Buster Standard is one of the best squirrel-proof bird feeders, but it’s dedication to preventing squirrels comes at a cost.

It’s sort of a pain to refill.

To accomplish, I have to take apart the top 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. My hands get cold, and I am always afraid I am going to lose a part in the snow.

#5. Brome Squirrel Solution 200

Buy Now/View Price

The Squirrel Solution is another fantastic squirrel proof feeder made by Brome. As discussed in feeder #4 above, they are the industry leaders in squirrel prevention.

Personally, I like the appearance of this feeder and the fact it holds up to 3.4 pounds of bird food.

As with all products from Brome, it features their limited lifetime guarantee against defective parts or squirrel damage. Call them, and they will send out a replacement piece.

#6. Wild Birds Unlimited Eliminator

Buy Now/View Price or visit a local store!

Wild Birds Unlimited is one of my favorite stores. 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, designed and perfected over the years by their founder, Jim Carpenter.

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 are going to 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 that 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 serious dent in your wallet.

Purchasing an effective squirrel proof bird feeder will actually 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 finding the perfect addition to your backyard.

But squirrels are a worthy opponent. They are not defeated easily, and they are not going to 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 that prevent squirrels. Having multiple approaches seems to work best when trying to defeat these relentless and determined mammals.

  • 7 Effective Ways To Keep Squirrels Off Your Bird Feeders

  • Squirrel Feeders: The Best of 2018 (6 total)

Before you go, can you help make this article better and answer these questions?

What squirrel-resistant bird feeders do you recommend?

Which type of squirrel proof feeder works best for you?

  • (Weight-sensitive perches, cages, spinning feeders, or electrical shock)

Thanks for reading and good luck!


4 Hilarious Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Methods

Are the squirrels in your garden taking all the wild bird food for themselves? Are you starting to tire of their greed and trying to come up with ways to stop them getting at the much loved peanuts? Blow off some steam here with us as we look at 4 of the funniest and most extreme squirrel proof bird feeder methods. Don’t worry, no squirrels were harmed in the making of these videos!

1. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

At almost 3 minutes long, this video really demonstrates just how determined some squirrels are. This specially built squirrel proof bird feeder spins when the squirrel lands on it’s perch to try and fling them off. However this particular squirrel decided that the feed really was worth a lot of hassle.

2. Mission Impossible: Squirrel Unit

In this hilarious video, someone has devised a series of spinning obstacles for the squirrels to conquer to claim any feed. Unfortunately it just wasn’t enough for some very gymnastic and determined squirrels.

3. The ‘Ol Vaseline Slip ‘n’ Slide

Like a drunk pole dancer, this squirrel has no luck hanging onto this pole. Even after several attempts, the Vaseline pasted along the pole is just too much for them to hold onto to fetch the sweet seeds at the top.

4. Squirrel Army Assault Course

This video takes the approach of, ‘well if you can’t beat them…why not just have a bit of fun with it then?’ They’ve developed an intricate assault course for the squirrels including beams, rickety bridges and more. Not only are they making the squirrels work hard for the food, but also providing themselves with a bit of entertainment!

However, if none of these methods seem suitable (surely you agree?), we of course offer lots of squirrel proof bird feeders that work.

Do you have any squirrel proof bird feeding tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders – the best squirrel proof bird feeders of 2020. Top feeder reviews, brands, selection tips, and more. Best for attracting birds while keeping squirrels away.

Watching wildlife in your backyard is a fun and relaxing pastime that is enjoyed by many people. But sometimes, you’ll come across a conflict that will disrupt your atmosphere, and you’ll need to come up with a solution, and squirrel proof bird feeders solve one of those problems. A squirrel eating out of a bird feeder is not uncommon, but it can feel a little hopeless to resolve. However, we’ve got some helpful tips on how to keep the birds happy and the squirrels away from their food. Here to help get you started are our picks for top squirrel proof feeders.

Top Squirrel Proof Feeders Reviews 2020

1) Brome Squirrel Buster Standard Wild Bird Feeder

If you’re ready to give your birds the space they need to eat, this squirrel proof bird feeder will get the job done. You can adjust the weight as needed, and you’ll save seed with the innovative ventilation system that keeps them fresh for birds to enjoy. Plus, the bird feeder is attractive to look at in your yard, especially without squirrels stealing the food out of them!

Check it out:

2) Homestead Super Stop-A-Squirrel Bird Feeder

You can place this squirrel proof bird feeder on a tree or buy a separate pole to incorporate it in your landscape wherever your heart desires. The birds will like that they can focus on the on food instead of what’s around them, and squirrels won’t be able to get to the seed.

3) Woodlink Absolute Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder

If you have a lot of birds to feed, then this squirrel resistant bird feeder will be the perfect element to incorporate into your landscape. The baffle saves you on seed, and the weight of the squirrel will deny access to the food.

Check it out:

4) Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Wild Bird Feeder with Cardinal Perch Ring

You’ll love watching the range of birds that come to visit this feeder. It’s safe to put in the dishwasher, so you’ll save time. And you’ll save money on seed because squirrels won’t be able to rob any from your bird feeder due to the weight settings that can be adjusted. As soon as that heavy squirrel tries to get to the seeds, the access to the food ports will close, and the critters are deterred from the snack.

5) Myard ROCKET Double Sided Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder

This squirrel proof bird feeder is designed to feed the weight of the birds that you want to watch, and not the squirrels that you don’t. Even if you enjoy watching squirrels in your backyard, you may not want them to do damage to your feeders and scare the birds off. Because the feeder holds so much, you won’t have to fill it as often (although it is very easy to fill and clean).

Check it out:

6) Squirrel Solutions Seed Saver Wild Bird Feeder

You won’t have to worry about a squirrel breaking into this bird feeder because the seed locking mechanism will keep them out. The bird feeder is durable and will look attractive displayed in any lawn. Plus, birds love spending time around the feeder when the squirrels are deterred from it, so you’ll enhance your bird watching skills.

Check it out:

7) Wild Bill’s 8 Station Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

If you’ve tried all of the squirrel proof bird feeders, but still have no luck keeping them out of the bird’s food, then you may want to test this product out. The squirrels will get a small shock when they try to steal the birdseed. The shock won’t hurt them, but it will deter them from attempting to raid the food, and they’ll simply throw in the towel and find another food source.

Check it out:

8) Squirrel Buster Peanut Plus Wild Bird Feeder

If you want to attract larger birds by giving them peanuts or bird food nuggets, then you’ll need a feeder that can keep the squirrels away. Squirrels are attracted to the larger food sources that fill their bellies a little more than traditional seeds. This one does the job beautifully, and you’ll love that you can watch the variety of birds that come for the bigger sized treats.

Check it out:

9) Squirrel Stopper Pole and Baffle Set

If you’re ready to stop those squirrels from getting to your bird feeder, you can do this with a squirrel stopper pole and baffle set. This one can hold up to four different bird feeders and will look beautiful in any lawn. You’ll bring life to your landscape, as well as keep squirrels away from the bird’s food source when you invest in this attractive squirrel stopper pole and baffle set.
Check it out:

10) Woodlink Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle

If you have a bird feeder that you love, but don’t like that squirrels keep stealing seed from it and beating it up by knocking it to the ground, then this baffle will work wonders. You can leave your bird feeder exactly where it is to mount this squirrel proofing mechanism.

Check it out:

Squirrel Proof Feeder Selection Tips

When selecting a squirrel proof feeder for your birds, you’ll want to consider the types of birds that you want to attract in your yard. Different styles of feeders will attract and accommodate birds of various sizes and breeds, and you want to be sure that you keep the birds around that you love to watch feed, as well as deter the squirrels. If you want to make both of them happy, then consider getting a separate squirrel feeder that is designed just for them.

Types of Feeders

When it comes to squirrel proof bird feeders, you’ll want to find a style that compliments the kinds of birds you want to watch, as well as looks attractive in your landscape. There are three primary types of feeders, and the first is one designed to close the access to food when the weight of the squirrel triggers that mechanism in the feeder. The second will have a wire around it that the squirrel won’t be able to get through, and the third will be a traditional bird feeder with squirrel proofing accessories like baffles added to them to keep the invaders out. You can make the decision which type of feeder is right for you and your surroundings. And you may find that some feeders work better in certain landscapes than others, so be sure you test a few styles out if you haven’t found one that works just right for you yet.

Feeder Sizes

Feeder sizes will vary in some cases because the different seeds and nuts will attract different sized birds. So if you want to fill your feeder with peanuts or food nuggets, you’ll need a feeder that is equipped to handle these larger sizes. If you want to attract smaller birds, you can find feeders that hold the seed sizes and types the prefer. However, just because a feeder is small doesn’t mean it holds a tiny amount of food and vice versa. Many people want to entice multiple birds to come into the yard, and the more seed your feeder holds, the more birds will be there to dine.

Feeder Prices

You’ll find that the best squirrel proof bird feeders will range in prices anywhere from twenty to a hundred dollars. However, they’re durable and save you money on seed in the long run. And if you want to preserve your current bird feeder, then you can get accessories such as a baffle for a little less. When squirrels knock down your feeders and rough them up, it can be expensive to replace them continually, so paying a bit more on the front end will save you in the long run.

Feeder Brands

Brome, Woodlink, and Homestead are all brands that you’ll find value in when it comes to squirrel proof bird feeders, but there are more quality manufacturers out there you can count on. Each person will have their own personal preferences and appreciate the unique qualities that the brands provide customers, and it won’t take long for you to have a personal favorite.

DIY Feeder

Making your squirrel proof bird feeders is a fun and productive way to spend an afternoon, and it’s pretty easy when you have some simple materials and little knowledge about how to use a drill. You can make the entire bird feeder from scratch, or you can add a few additions to your current feeder to keep squirrels from getting to them.

How to Build your Own Feeder

Step #1: Gather your supplies such as a drill, epoxy, and an old wine bottle with the cork, wire to hang the feeder with, and a small plate.

Step #2: Make sure the wine bottle is clean, and carefully drill a few holes spaced out evenly (two to three will be perfect). Use a diamond drill bit near the base of the bottle to drill the holes for the bird seed to come out of. You’ll need to keep the drill lubricated with water during the process and always wear the proper protective gear. Make sure you drill at the best angles that will allow the seed to come out easily.

Step #3: Use the epoxy to attach the small plate to the bottom of the bottle to catch free seeds and give the birds a place to perch. And then connect the wire to the top so that you can securely and easily hang it.

Step #4: To keep squirrels away, you can hang the bird feeder on a string between two tree branches and block it with baffles by punching a hole at the base of the two litter bottles and sliding them on both sides of the string.

Tips for Keeping Squirrels away from your Feeder

  • #1: Add protection to your current bird feeder such placing a wire cage around it, adding plastic or metal baffles, or incorporate spinners to prevent squirrels from bothering the bird food.
  • #2: The location of your feeder may also play a part in how accessible the seed is for squirrels. Remember that squirrels are acrobatic and very determined so don’t make the location of the feeder quick for them to reach.
  • #3: How clean you keep the area that the bird feeder is located can deter or entice the squirrels to invade. If you have a lot of free seed on the ground, then you’ll attract squirrels to that spot every time. Keep the area around the bird feeder clean and you’ll not only keep squirrels away, but you’ll keep your birds healthy because they won’t be eating old, rotting seeds.
  • #4: Many animals detest spicy seeds, but birds don’t mind the peppery flavors. Spicy seeds will not be a welcomed surprise for squirrels and trust that they won’t want to come back for a second helping.
  • #5: When you have a squirrel problem invading your bird feeders over and over, it might be time to chuck the old ones that have been destroyed and invest in better feeders.

Feeder Parts / Accessories

We’ve already shown you a few accessories you can have for squirrel-proofing your bird feeder, but here are a few more quality products that you can choose from.

1) Stokes Select 15-Ince Wrap Around Steel Squirrel Baffle

You’ll love this convenient baffle that doesn’t require you to move the pole or feeder, and it’s weather resistant so that you won’t worry about it when the rain comes. Your birds will appreciate that the squirrels aren’t eating their seed, and you’ll like that it’s within your budget.

Check it out:

2) Audubon Torpedo Steel Squirrel Baffle

This baffle is a unique design and will add a little touch of elegance to your bird feeders. It’s easy to assemble and does the job perfectly.

Check it out:

3) Super Tall Decorative Trio Hanger

One great way to deter squirrels is to put the bird feeder in an open place that they can’t jump on as they can near trees. This is a lovely and tall hanger for bird feeders, and baffles will fit on snuggly to keep the critters away.

Whether you build your own, or you decide to buy a squirrel proof bird feeder, if you want to enhance bird watching, then it’s important that you protect the food. You can always provide squirrels with their own food sources if you want to watch both sets of wildlife in your landscape.

Check it out:

How to squirrel-proof bird feeders

Bird lovers are always asking “How can I keep squirrels off of my bird feeder?” When you create a bird-friendly yard you are likely to also attract other (more furry) visitors like squirrels, so plan for that from the beginning. Squirrels can chase off your beloved birds and make a mess of your bird feeder and yard, so we’ve gathered some tips to help you keep your bird feeders intact and squirrel-free.

If you want to keep squirrels off of your bird feeder, you can start by making it difficult for them to get to the food. There are a few tried and true tricks for discouraging squirrels, and hanging your bird feeder somewhere they have difficulty reaching is something bird watchers everywhere recommend.

Location, location, location is key. Squirrels are great acrobats and can jump eight to ten feet, so put your feeder as high off the ground as possible (without placing it next to a tree where spry squirrels can climb or jump over to it). This feeder hanging a foot from the house is a squirrel’s paradise!

Some bird feeders are so easy to feed at that no squirrel can possibly pass up this free meal. A huge platform… hung low near the ground… This wooden bird feeder looks like an open dinner invitation to a hungry squirrel. Choose a feeder and location that don’t encourage squirrels to come back!

How do you keep squirrels from climbing to get into your bird feeder? There are wild and creative do-it-yourself solutions as well as store-bought options. Both focus on creating obstacles that keep squirrels from reaching the food.

Let’s start with the DIY options first:

  • Trim or cut down branches that are close to your feeder and provide squirrels with easy access to the bird food.
  • Hang a slinky on the pole so the squirrel can’t get a grip while climbing. Birds don’t mind it (in fact sometimes they even use it as a perch). It’s an inelegant but effective way to keep squirrels off your feeder pole.
  • Add a tube, cone or other unstable obstacles to the pole or rope so when the squirrel comes across, it will move around and make the squirrel unable to hold on and continue climbing. Most squirrels will quit trying after a few attempts, leaving your birds in peace.

You can also buy squirrel baffles, which are manufactured half circles that hang above and / or below bird feeders to discourage squirrels from climbing to reach the bird feeder. These should be 12-18″ across so the squirrels can’t get around them. Most swivel or move when a squirrel tries to climb over the baffle, often sending the squirrel flying back down to the ground.

Squirrel-proof feeders are rarely 100% squirrel-proof, but many are engineered in such a way that it is very difficult for squirrels to reach the bird food. Popular bird feeders like the one below have a weight-sensitive design that closes up the feeding holes when something heavier than a bird is on it. Typically the feeding ports will close when the squirrel jumps on, eliminating its chance at a free meal. After a few attempts, many squirrels just move on to another feeder.

Another successful way to keep squirrels off of your bird feeders is to buy a feeder covered in wire with openings too small for squirrels to fit through. Your song birds will have no trouble reaching the food but squirrels (and larger birds like pigeons) will be frustrated by the bird feeder and hopefully move on to an easier target.

Squirrels can be very destructive creatures. They can tear up plastic or wooden bird feeders in an attempt to get to the bird food. Their damage may be very visible (in the case of a hole chewed in the bottom of a feeder which caused all of the bird seed to run out), or less easy to notice. In some cases, the squirrels can chew or claw the feeder, creating small, sharp edges that can injure birds and people alike. Invest in a durable metal bird feeder or find a way to make your feeders unappealing to squirrels.

To keep squirrels from eating at your bird feeders, you can also make changes that will make the food less attractive.

  • Cayenne pepper is also very effective at deterring squirrels. Add a little cayenne pepper to your bird seed each time you refill your bird feeder and see if you notice a difference in your squirrel activity. Squirrels are sensitive to the taste, in fact they just do not like the taste of cayenne pepper on their food, while birds appear unaffected by the seasoning. People, on the other hand, should use caution when working with the pepper and use gloves to avoid direct exposure.
  • You can also buy bird food with pepper already included. That is an easier way to make sure you have enough hot pepper to discourage hungry squirrels, without getting covered in pepper yourself. Whether you are looking for seeds or suet, there is pre-mixed bird food that will help your birds enjoy squirrel-free dining!
  • Squirrels love sunflower seeds but are much less interested in safflower seeds. By changing your bird seed to safflower instead of sunflower seeds, you’ll make the food less appealing to squirrels. We’ve also found that nyjer, which is a favorite of goldfinches, is not a favorite of squirrels so may be another good choice for your bird feeder.

The last option is to just give squirrels what they want… a place to eat. If you create a squirrel haven away from your bird feeder, you may be able to draw them off of your feeder. Your birds can enjoy their food while the squirrels feast at their own table.

Squirrels like nuts, fruits and seeds, so an inexpensive treat like peanuts might keep them happy. A fun side effect is that some birds (like cardinals, jays, juncos and woodpeckers) also like peanuts so you might attract some extra birds too!

If you want to keep squirrels away from your bird feeders, try saving a few scraps from your meals for them. Squirrels, like birds, will eat many fruits including apples, oranges and apricots. They also like mushrooms, walnuts, and a favorite is dried corn-on-the-cob. When you eat these foods, save the scraps for the squirrels. It’s hard to know if they will appreciate the diverse menu, but we like to think of it as a kind of recycling.

Squirrels can be a lot of fun to watch run around your yard and up on your trees and fences; however, you may enjoy them a bit less when they are chomping through your birdseed at an astonishing rate. Squirrels can easily empty an entire birdfeeder in a day, spreading food everywhere and chasing off the birds you’ve worked hard to attract. Create an environment that keeps squirrels away from your bird feeders and the birds will appreciate it!

Photo Credit: photographer Judy_NMMI.

Squirrels and bird feeders

Building a better bird feeder

New exclusion designs are appearing all the time. Some more complex (and more expensive) designs use counterbalanced baffles that close the feeder’s openings when any animal as heavy as a squirrel comes to feed. The expense may be worth it—we’ve had feeders like this in use for 10 years and they are still going strong.

Other models feature an external cage with openings so small that squirrels and larger birds can’t get at the food, but smaller birds can. The birds always manage to drop some seeds, so as an added bonus the squirrels get something, too.

Modifying the menu

A second basic approach is to fill your feeder with foods that squirrels won’t want: Safflower seed (which attracts species such as cardinals, chickadees and titmice), nyjer thistle (which nourishes goldfinches and others of their kind) or a birdseed mixture that includes a large amount of white proso millet seed (which satisfies the hunger of mourning doves and house finches).

Avoid harm

Some “solutions” to keeping pesky squirrels out of bird food, such as trapping and killing, are simply unacceptable. There are some other squirrel-repelling products and methods that we don’t recommend. These include:

  • Sticky stuff: These products cause the most concern. They are made of a thick, sticky, gel-like material, used to cover surfaces on which squirrels might walk or climb. The material will repel squirrels but if it gets on a bird, it can kill them.
  • Hot stuff: The active ingredient in hot peppers, capsaicin, can be found as an additive in some birdseed. Birds don’t react to capsaicin the way mammals do so it does them no harm. But when squirrels eat the treated seed, it irritates their mouths making them less likely to eat more. But why use this method when there are other ways that cause less pain and harm?
  • Shocking stuff: Some feeders deliver an electrical current that will surprise and—literally—shock any problem squirrel. These cause unnecessary pain.

There are many more strategies, devices, plans and schemes you can try. Your local bird store will have many other devices, as well as advice about what’s being tried locally.

An alternative approach

Consider a specialty feeder for squirrels themselves—more people are opting for the “if you can’t lick ’em, join ’em” strategy. When you kick back and enjoy squirrels along with their feathered friends, they double the pleasures of watching your wild neighbors.

More squirrel problems and solution

I’m a huge fan of bird watching. I know, I’m terribly cutting edge. I don’t know what it is but there’s something so relaxing about feeding birds and watching them in my yard. When we moved to Georgia last year I bought a Georgia Bird book and installed hummingbird feeders (my recipe for hummingbird food here) on my porch and a bird feeder on a pole outside of my office window. I loved watching the cardinals and chickadees visiting my feeder as I was working at my desk. Then one day I heard a noise and looked up to see this.

No sir. I was NOT happy about that. (Incidentally, I feed the squirrels too in a totally separate area of the yard, so this one was just being greedy!)

As soon as I saw him up there I knew he was also the reason I had mysteriously found my feeder knocked to the ground a few times recently. I knew that I needed to stop this little guy as quickly as possible before he scared my birds away.

Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeders & Baffles

If you are looking for a new birdfeeder there are a variety that are created to be squirrel-resistant. Feeders like this one rely on the weight of the squirrel to make the seed unreachable, the weight of the squirrel closes the openings to prevent the squirrel from accessing the seed. This is a great option for new feeders.

If you already have a feeder, there are a few options to try. You could buy a squirrel baffle like this one which prevents the squirrel from climbing the pole the feeder hangs from. Be sure it is at least 15-18 inches wide to prevent the squirrel from reaching around it.

The Secret Way to Keep Birds Off Squirrel Feeders (Which You Probably Already Have at Home!)

I tried a less expensive option first- petroleum jelly! I coated the pole my feeder hung from with a thin but thorough coat of Vaseline to make it slippery and prevent the squirrel from climbing up. It worked!! It’s been three months and the squirrels have not been able to get up my feeder. I’ve only had to reapply once in that time despite our heavy summer rains here in Georgia.

Other Ways to Keep Squirrels Off Bird Feeders

If your feeder is not hanging from a pole you can experiment with other options. One is to hang the feeder from a horizontal line. Add thin PVC pipe pieces to the line on either side of the feeder so that squirrels trying to climb the line spin off and can’t hold on.

If you can’t prevent the squirrel from accessing the feeder another option is to use cayenne pepper or a squirrel deterring bird food like this one to deter squirrels. Mammals can taste the heat of peppers but birds cannot so spicing up the bird food is an effective way to discourage squirrels from eating at your feeders if you are unable to keep them off.

Do you have squirrels trying to get in your bird feeders? Have you been successfully keeping them away with a method I didn’t cover here? Please share in the comments!

Sharing is caring!

Foolproof Tips On How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Birdfeeders

For a bird lover, one of the most frustrating things that you can experience is to see the bushy tail of a greedy squirrel hanging off the side of your birdfeeders. Squirrels will devour an entire feeder full of food in almost no time at all and will messily waste half that food by tossing it on the ground. So what is a bird lover to do? Read on to find out.

Tips on Keeping Squirrels Out of Birdfeeders

Many bird lovers ask, “How do I keep squirrels out of my birdfeeders?” Here are a few tips you can use to keep squirrels from your birdfeeders.

  1. Use a squirrel proof feeder – This is probably the most effective way to keep a squirrel out of your feeders. Many of the best squirrel proof feeders are weight-sensitive, so that if a squirrel tries to sit on them, the feeder closes and the squirrel cannot get at the food. Other squirrel proof birdfeeder designs include feeders that are surrounded by a metal cage. These allow smaller animals, like birds to get through, but not larger ones. The metal cages are not quite as effective as the weight sensitive due to the fact that squirrels can and will wiggle their way into anything.
  2. Use a squirrel collar – Putting a cone-like collar on the post that the birdfeeder sits on or on the chain that the birdfeeder hangs from can help to deter squirrels from your bird food. But squirrels can find a way around this if they have a location nearby where they can jump from onto the birdfeeder.
  3. Feed the squirrels – This may seem counterproductive, but providing the squirrels with their own feeder can help to keep them out of the birdfeeder. As they have an easy food source, they will not be as likely to look at other ones (like your birdfeeder). An added bonus is that squirrels can be very funny to watch. Many squirrel feeders are designed to make the most of a squirrel’s natural antics.
  4. Use a slippery post – If your bird feeders are sitting on wood posts, consider changing them to a metal or PVC pole. These materials make it hard for the squirrel to climb and, therefore, the squirrel will have a more difficult time getting to the food. For added protection, grease the pole with vegetable oil to make it extra slippery.
  5. Use food squirrels don’t like – Squirrels will eat most kinds of bird seed, but there are a few they don’t like. Try using safflower seed. Many desirable birds like it while squirrels and many undesirable birds do not. Or mix in some cayenne pepper into the food. The capsicum, the stuff that makes it hot, does not affect birds but will affect squirrels.

Following these few tips should help you keep the squirrels out of your feeder, which means that the bird you love will be eating the food.

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