Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Squirrel proof bird feeder

Squirrel proof bird feeders may not stop squirrels every time, but they come pretty close. If you have wild bird feeders in your yard, chances are you have battled squirrels.

At first I didn't consider squirrels to be a problem. I thought it was fun to watch as they leaped from trees to my feeders. It was okay until I realized that they were eating up pounds of birdseed and destroying my feeders.

I started putting food out for squirrels in other areas of my yard to try to distract them from my feeders. That only attracted more squirrels. After trying everything else, I discovered a few things that helped stop the squirrels.

  • Squirrels can leap about 7 feet so position your bird feeders at least 8 feet from any jumping surface.
  • Tipping baffles at least 18 inches wide located above your bird feeders if hanging, or below your feeders if located on a pole, work very well. You can actually create your own baffle from common household items like record albums, salad bowls, trashcan lids or stovepipe.
  • If you are hanging your feeders from a horizontal line, place loose fitting pipe over the line. It will spin when squirrels walk across.

When everything else failed I resorted to using squirrel proof bird feeders. Fortunately, the selection of squirrel proof feeders has grown dramatically over the past few years. They are also becoming very sophisticated. There are low-tech caged feeders, baffle-style squirrel proof feeders and the newest high-tech, weight triggered, motorized squirrel proof feeders.

Low-Tech Squirrel Proof Feeders:

Squirrel Proof Feeder

The caged bird feeders use wire to surround the feeder to keep the squirrels from reaching the bird seed. This style of bird feeder effectively stops gray squirrels while allowing backyard birds easy access through the openings. Cleaning and filling can be done easily by removing the cage. Baffle feeder combos are designed to keep squirrels away by using large domes or tubes that squirrels can't jump over or climb around.

Some squirrel proof feeders, like the Arundale Mandarin Sky Cafe Squirrel Feeder, feature a built in baffle over a hopper style bird feeder. This design stops the squirrel from getting to the seed from above. The Droll Yankees Big Top Bird Feeder features an adjustable baffle over a platform style feeder. Lowering the baffle reduces access to the bird food. Baffles can also be purchased separately and used above almost any hanging feeder.

Weight-sensitive squirrel proof bird feeders like the Heritage Farms Double Sided Absolute II, are spring activated. When a squirrel climbs onto the feeder, their weight closes off access to the bird seed. Once the squirrel leaves, the feeding ports open up again. This style of feeder is very successful at stopping squirrels.

High-Tech Squirrel Proof Feeders:

Twirl a Squirrel

The newest style of squirrel stopping bird feeders use battery operated motors to spin the assaulting squirrel off of the feeder. One of the most popular models is the Yankee Flipper Squirrel Proof bird feeder from Droll Yankees.

It uses the squirrel's weight to trigger a battery-powered motor to flip the feeder's perch and send the thieving squirrel flying (very fun to watch). Since no squirrel proof feeder is 100% guaranteed to keep squirrels away, proper bird feeder placement will increase your chances for success. Since squirrels have the ability to jump about seven feet, you should place your feeders at least eight feet from any jumping surface including fences, cars, your house, tree branches, the ground, etc.

We know that watching squirrels devour your bird seed can be very frustrating. We can also tell you from experience that squirrel proof bird feeders will give you the help you need to reclaim your bird feeding station for your backyard birds. 

Adding squirrel proof bird feeders to your bird feeding station will save your seed for the birds and save you money.

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