Our guide will help you find the best squirrel proof bird feeder to keep your feathered friends happy, and those pesky squirrels at bay!
Bird Feeders: A Brief Primer
The first written of account of a person feeding birds dates back to sixth-century Scotland, where – according to records – a monk tamed a pigeon with food. Centuries later, newspapers published a plea that food be put out for birds to help them survive the harsh winter. Bird feeding has since become immensely popular, spurred by production of the first commercially made bird feeder, in 1926.
A bird feeder is a container designed to hold, and make accessible to birds, food – typically derived from millet, sunflower, safflower, canola and Niger seeds. Such a ready supply of food attracts a diversity of birds, some of which take up residence nearby.
The Problem with (Most) Bird Feeders
Colourful, chirping birds are not the only animals that herald spring’s arrival. Squirrels – hungry and thin after many cold months of subsisting on buried morsels – make their presence known, leaping from branch to branch, squawking from treetops – and stealing food from birds!
Many bird feeders hold food in open trays, boxes or troughs, allowing not only birds, but squirrels, easy access. Caged feeders are a bit better, but only if well-designed, or constructed with narrowly-spaced bars.
The solution is a squirrel proof bird feeder, a feeder designed to thwart squirrels. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes and capacities, squirrel proof bird feeders dissuade food-snatching squirrels, and keep birds coming back.
The Best Rated Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders That Actually Work
Squirrel-proof bird feeders typically employ weight-sensitive feeding ports, or an outer caged section through which only small birds can fit. Both are time-tested designs, and featured on our top three recommended feeders. Here are our top picks to keep those beautiful birds feed, and those sneaky squirrels looking for somewhere else to feed.
1. PestOff Mixed Seed Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Roamwild’s PestOff Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder is a tall, cylindrical, attractively designed bird feeder that prevents not only squirrels, but large birds, rats and other pests from feeding. Unique to the PestOff squirrel proof bird feeder are its individually spring loaded-feeding ports, which require little in the way of regular recalibration.
With its 1.5 litre capacity – able to accommodate a large quantity of mixed seeds – the Roamwild bird feeder is suitable for high-volume feeding of a diverse range of birds, including woodpeckers. Designed for the UK’s varied and often rainy climate, this bird feeder’s integrated, above-port rain guards don’t just keep birds happy and dry.
Water ingress is prevented, ensuring bird food stays clean, dry, and free-flowing, saving you time and money. And the easy-fill design makes refilling the PestOff Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder a snap.
Squirrels don’t stand a chance against Roamwild’s PestOff bird feeder – and neither do pigeons, magpies, jackdaws, parakeets, rats or crows. The weight of a squirrel or large bird causes the feeder’s port to close, reopening only when the unwanted visitor has left. The feeder’s design is effective, elegant – and robust: 304-grade stainless steel is chew-proof, deterring even the most determined rodent.
And the see-through food cylinder (an excellent feature that lets you easily monitor how much food remains) is UV-stabilized, resisting splitting and discolouration.
With its large capacity, robust construction, guaranteed performance, and functional, attractive design, the PestOff Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder is highly recommended.
2. The Squirrel Buster
Similarly shaped, though smaller in size and lower in price than the PestOff bird feeder, The Squirrel Buster safely, effectively and humanely denies squirrels access to food. A clear cylinder containing a long, coiled spring sits in the centre of a three-layer outer wall, consisting of two caged sections, between which is sandwiched another layer of clear, durable plastic.
The weight of a squirrel forces all four feeder ports to close. When the squirrel (or a large bird, such as a pigeon) dismounts, the feeder’s centrally-positioned spring releases, allowing the ports to open. It’s a simple, virtually fail-proof design. And like the PestOff, The Squirrel Buster is constructed of chew-proof and highly weather-resistant materials: Strong, clear plastic and tough steel, coated in attractive, racing green paint.
The Squirrel Buster holds a generous quantity of mixed seeds that are kept fresh, cool and dry, thanks to this bird feeder’s patented Seed Tube Ventilation System – an innovative design feature that lets fresh air enter the seed tube, and hot, moist air escape. Birds will sing songs of praise – not only for the well-preserved food, but for the range of perching options, the generous 750 ml capacity (perfect for bird food blends and mixed seeds), and of course, the squirrel-proof design. You’ll love the cost savings, and the pleasant sights and sounds of a backyard filled with birds.
3. Gardman Heavy Duty Squirrel Proof Seed Bird Feeder
The most economically-priced of our top three recommended feeders, the 500 ml Gardman Heavy Duty Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder features a clear, four-port feeding cylinder, surrounded by an unusually large outer cage. At the bottom of each port, a downward-angled, four-pronged perch provides plenty of positions for small birds to comfortably perch and feed.
Gardman’s model, unlike The Squirrel Buster and PestOff’s bird feeder, utilizes a simpler design, with spring-free, untensioned feeding ports. Squirrels and large birds, including jackdaws and pigeons, are denied access by virtue of the Gardman’s oversized cage, with closely-spaced bars that keep squirrels and big birds out.
The large diameter of the cage gives smaller birds lots of room to move around on the feeder, and confounds squirrels by forcing them to reach frustratingly far for food.
Like our other recommended bird feeders, Gardman’s squirrel proof bird feeder is built to last, with strong, clear plastic, weather-resistant metal hardware, and a FeedSafe antibacterial coating that protects birds against microbes and germs.
The smaller capacity and simpler design reflect in the price, but user reviews suggest the size is perfectly adequate for most environments, and simplicity of design isn’t necessarily a bad thing – fewer moving parts mean less can go wrong.
End of the Day…
Get a squirrel proof bird feeder for your garden! The PestOff, Squirrel Buster and Gardman models are durable, effective, and widely regarded as among the best squirrel proof bird feeders available. Consider adding one to your yard, and enjoy the delightful sight, flight and song of birds, those skyborn harbingers of sunshine and spring.