squirrels proof bird feeders

5 Best Squirrels-Proof Bird Feeders and 12 Tips That Work

Let’s be real: bird feeders that squirrels can’t get into don’t really exist. However, you can reduce how often squirrels bother your feeders by following these suggestions.

Firstly, it’s important to know that the products we recommend are carefully chosen by our team of experts. We might earn a small fee if you buy something we suggest.

Are squirrels causing chaos at your bird feeders? You’re not alone in feeling frustrated. Many people ask us at our platform allbirdspecies.com, “How do I stop squirrels from getting to my bird feeders?” So, we’ve picked up the best advice we could find on feeders that resist squirrels, and we’ve also discovered the top options for bird feeders that squirrels have a hard time with. While you probably won’t ever completely get rid of these little critters, these tips can help make sure more of the birdseed goes to the birds.

Here are some of the best Squirrels bird feeders that are tough for squirrels to get into:

  1. Yankee Flipper Seed Feeder: This one has a motor to flip squirrels off when they try to get to the seed.
  2. Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Feeder: Perfect for smaller birds, this feeder makes it hard for squirrels to steal the seed.
  3. Squirrel-Proof Double Suet Bird Feeder: Great for suet lovers, this feeder keeps squirrels from munching on the suet cakes.
  4. Squirrel Buster Plus Bird Feeder: Doesn’t have a motor, but it’s still tricky for squirrels to figure out.
  5. Sky Cafe Bird Feeder: Comes with a baffle to block squirrels from getting to the seed.

We can’t guarantee they’ll keep all the squirrels away, but these feeders are popular choices for keeping them at bay. Combine them with the tips below for the best chance of outsmarting those crafty squirrels once and for all.

Yankee Flipper® Seed Feeder

Yankee Flipper® Seed Feeder

The Yankee Flipper is a bird feeder that’s smart enough to know who should eat from it. It has a special part that knows how much something weighs. So, when birds come to eat, they can sit and snack with no problem. But if a squirrel, which is heavier, hops on, something funny happens. The feeder has a little engine that gently spins, and the squirrel has to jump off. This way, only the birds get to eat the birdseed. And if you love seeing bright red cardinals, there are some really good feeders and seeds that can make sure they visit your yard more often. You may be interested to read bird bath guide.

Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Feeder

The Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Feeder is a robust and efficient solution for bird enthusiasts looking to attract a variety of birds while deterring squirrels. Its all-metal construction and powder-coated steel body make it durable and resistant to chewing. The feeder’s locking top and metal spring-activated perches are designed to keep squirrels at bay, ensuring that your bird seed remains for the birds. With a generous capacity of up to 12 pounds of seed and an easy-to-fill design, maintenance is minimal. Additionally, the feeder comes fully assembled with a steel hanging rod and pole, making it convenient to set up. While it is not entirely squirrel-proof, as some clever squirrels may still find a way to access the seeds, its weight-triggered mechanism effectively blocks most squirrels and large birds.

Squirrel-Proof Double Suet Feeder


Squirrel-Proof Double Suet Feeder

Classic caged feeders are great for holding suet cakes, which are a type of bird food. They have a design that lets small birds like songbirds and woodpeckers go inside to eat, but keeps out larger animals like squirrels and raccoons, as well as bigger birds that might scare the smaller ones away. If you’re looking for the best way to feed birds during the winter, you should definitely look into getting one of these suet feeders. They’re especially good for keeping your feathered friends happy and well-fed when it’s cold outside.

Squirrel Buster Plus Bird Feeder

Squirrel Buster Plus Bird Feeder

Squirrels can quickly empty bird feeders of seeds and peanuts, and other birds like European starlings and grackles are also drawn to these foods. To prevent these eager eaters from taking over, consider using the Squirrel Buster Plus bird feeder design.

Sky Cafe Bird Feeder


Sky Cafe Bird Feeder

The Sky Cafe feeder is a clever design that serves two purposes. First, it has a special part called a baffle. This baffle makes it impossible for squirrels to reach around and steal the seeds. So, only the birds get to enjoy the tasty treats! Second, the baffle also acts as a shelter. When birds perch under it, they’re protected from rain and snow. It’s like having a cozy umbrella just for them.

Here are 12 tips to help you succeed with a bird feeder that’s squirrel-proof:

Many backyard bird watchers have experienced this frustrating situation: you set up a wonderful bird feeder, fill it with the perfect mix of seeds, and hang it carefully. However, when you return later, instead of seeing your feathered friends enjoying their meal, you find squirrels helping themselves to the food! It can be quite maddening. But before you lose your cool, there are some kind and humane ways to address your squirrel issue.

1. Foil Super Squirrels

To outsmart those clever squirrels, remember they’re quite the acrobats! They can safely drop from heights of 100 feet and dash at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. Gray squirrels are also impressive jumpers, capable of leaping 8 feet straight up from a standstill!

how to keep squirrels out of bird feeders

So, when setting up your bird feeder, keep it at least 10 feet away from places where squirrels could start their jump, like trees or fences. This distance helps stop most squirrels from getting to the bird food. And if you want to be extra sure, just add an extra 6 inches to that space. That way, you’re creating a squirrel-free zone, ensuring that 100% of them can’t reach the feeder and the birds can munch in peace.

2. Baffle the Squirrels

Squirrels are quite the acrobats, especially when it comes to climbing! They can even scale metal poles with ease. To outwit these persistent critters, consider the following strategies:

  • Squirrel Baffle: Attach a squirrel baffle to your bird feeders or poles. This clever device prevents squirrels from climbing up from below. It’s like installing a squirrel roadblock! 🐿️🚫
  • Battery-Operated Feeder: Alternatively, you can invest in a battery-operated feeder. When a squirrel tries to hop on, the feeder will spin them right off. It’s like a squirrel merry-go-round! 🎪🐿️

Choose whichever method suits you best, and let the birds enjoy their meals without any squirrel interference!

3. Use a Slinky to Keep Squirrels Away from the Bird Feeder

Firstly, if you want to add some fun to your bird feeder and keep squirrels away, you can use a Slinky. Here’s how: Slide the Slinky over the pole that your bird feeder is on. Next, hook one end of the Slinky right under the feeder so it hangs down. Now, if the Slinky is too long and reaches the ground, just make it shorter.

Every time a squirrel tries to climb up the pole, the Slinky will send them sliding back down! Lastly, don’t forget the Rule of 5-7-9 when you set up your feeder. This means placing your feeder at least 5 feet off the ground, 7 feet away from anything a squirrel can jump from, and 9 feet below anything they can climb down from. This way, squirrels won’t be able to get around the Slinky and reach the bird feeder.

4. String Soda Bottles on a Wire

Squirrels are like acrobats and are really good at walking on wires, which makes it easy for them to get to bird feeders that hang from wires.

To hang your feeders, stretch a wire between two poles. Make sure it’s at least 5 feet above the ground. Now, to stop squirrels from walking on the wire like tightrope performers, you can use empty plastic soda bottles. Slide the bottles onto the wire on both sides of the feeders. When squirrels try to get to the feeders, they’ll touch the bottles. The bottles will spin, and the squirrels will lose their balance and fall off before they can reach the food. This way, your bird feeders will be just for the birds.

5. Try Caged Bird Feeders

Consider purchasing a caged bird feeder that’s designed to keep squirrels out. These feeders are particularly useful for small birds such as finches or chickadees, and they also discourage larger, more aggressive birds. However, in regions where squirrels are particularly tiny, like the Deep South, these types of feeders might not work as well.

Typically, these feeders have wire mesh around them. This mesh lets birds get inside to access the food but keeps squirrels out. So, by enclosing your bird feeder in this kind of wire mesh, you’ve effectively made it squirrel-proof.

6. Switch Up Your Seed

You might want to tweak your bird seed mix by adding ingredients that squirrels aren’t fond of, like white millet, thistle, and safflower seeds. Birds such as cardinals and titmice are fans of safflower seeds, while finches love thistle seeds. So, switching to these seeds in one or more of your feeders could make a difference.

Additionally, consider planting native plants that produce food for birds in your yard. Sunflowers, fruit-bearing plants, and trees that bear nuts are all great options. These natural food sources can attract birds and provide them with alternatives to your feeders, reducing the squirrel problem.

7. Pick the Proper Pole

Wood and metal poles are simple for squirrels to climb, but PVC or copper piping presents more of a challenge. Consider constructing your own pole or feeder station using these materials. Avoid greasing feeder poles because it can harm birds and other wildlife.

Another option is to hang feeders using thin metal cable or strong fishing line. This can make it harder for squirrels to access the feeder.

8. Keep the Ground Clean Under Feeders

It’s important to prevent leftover seeds from piling up on the ground. Squirrels are drawn to these seeds, and the mess from your feeders might be attracting them. Once they’re around, they’re likely to try to get into the feeders too. Keep the areas beneath your feeders tidy; this also helps keep away other unwanted critters like rats or raccoons. Consider attaching a large tray to the pole beneath the feeders to catch the falling seeds. You could try using the Brome Buster seed catcher for this purpose. Additionally, keeping the ground clean might attract more ground-feeding birds like mourning doves and juncos.

9. Add Chili Peppers to Bird Seed

Squirrels and birds have different tastes. For example, birds can’t taste the spiciness of peppers, but squirrels definitely can. Some folks suggest adding a small amount of capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers, to your birdseed. It gives squirrels a bad taste but doesn’t bother birds. You could try adding about a tablespoon of cayenne pepper to a 10-pound bag of seed. Another option is to buy suet cakes that have hot pepper mixed in. However, some people worry that the pepper might irritate birds’ eyes, so use this method carefully.

10. Hang Irish Spring Soap Nearby

Yes, hanging Irish Spring soap near your bird feeder is a popular method to deter squirrels. The strong scent of the soap is said to be unpleasant to squirrels and can keep them away from the area. To use this method, you can cut the soap into cubes or grate it, and then place it in a fabric pouch or old pantyhose. Hang these near the feeder, and the scent should help to repel squirrels and other rodents. Remember, this is just one of many strategies people use, and its effectiveness can vary. It’s always good to try different methods to see what works best in your situation.

11. Spin Squirrels Around

To deter squirrels, consider hanging your bird feeders from a spinning hook or investing in a specialty squirrel-proof bird feeder like the Yankee Flipper, which is made to spin squirrels off.

12. Manage Your Mindset and Feed the Enemy

It’s easy to feel frustrated when squirrels disrupt bird feeding, but it’s helpful to consider things from a different perspective. John Griffin, director of urban wildlife at the Humane Society of the United States, suggests that framing the situation as a conflict only makes it worse. “Instead, consider how squirrels contribute to the ecosystem,” he says. “They play a vital role by planting trees and assisting plants.”

Sometimes, providing squirrels with their own food sources like nuts and corn can keep them away from bird feeders. You could try using a dried corn cob feeder or making a DIY squirrel feeder to offer them peanuts.

Using traps to relocate squirrels might seem like a solution, but it’s often harmful and ineffective. It’s better to address their behaviors directly in your yard.

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Mya Bambrick

I am a lifelong bird lover and nature enthusiast. I admire birds for their beauty, diversity, and intelligence. Birding is more than a hobby for me; it is a way of life. Therefore, I created this website to provide better and quality information about bird species. You know there are many bird species in the world right now. I started a path to introduce you to birds one by one.

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