Are you looking for a squirrel proof bird feeder?
Many of us enjoy watching the wildlife around our property and are especially enamored with the numerous species of beautiful birds attracted to our yards by bird feeders. Unfortunately, bird feeders can also attract unwanted guests like squirrels.
And although squirrels also have their own cute and entertaining quality, some people (and probably some birds) don’t appreciate when these furry little critters steal food that wasn’t meant for them.
Worst, squirrels can destroy bird feeders, scare birds away, and make a mess of our yards and gardens in the process.
So, how do you keep squirrels from getting to your bird feeders, and is there really such a thing as the best squirrel proof bird feeder? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Today we are going to discuss how to make your own squirrel proof bird feeder, where to find the best squirrel proof bird feeder products and accessories, and learn other ways you can help keep squirrels on their own side of the lawn.
Why Are Squirrels Attracted To Bird Feeders?
Squirrels love to dine on seeds, sunflowers and nuts.
When looking for the best squirrel proof bird feeder, it helps to understand what squirrels are attracted to about your current bird feeder.
Squirrels are omnivores and make meals out of an abundant source of food from plants to fruits, to vegetables, to other organic materials. However, a squirrel’s most favorite meal usually consists of seeds, nuts, fruits and fungi.
A bird feeder, which is typically full of tasty seeds squirrels love, is highly attractive to these bushy-tailed rodents because they often mean quick access to easy meals. And since squirrels are ravenously hungry, eating the equivalent of their body weight in less than a week, an unprotected bird feeder is great for them and bad for you and your birds.
Of course, squirrels don’t realize they are stealing food from your birds, so try not to get frustrated with them when you catch them making a mess of your bird feeders.
Instead, try investing in the best squirrel proof bird feeder or accessories you can find to help keep squirrels away. But what is the best squirrel proof bird feeder and how does it work?
Let’s find out below.
What Is The Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder And How Does It Work?
A squirrel proof bird feeder helps prevent squirrels from getting access to bird seed.
The best squirrel proof bird feeder products and accessories don’t have to be complicated and in fact are often very simple.
That said, squirrels are crafty creatures who can climb, jump, and even fall from incredible heights without injury.
Some people like to take advantage of this and create ingenious squirrel-proof bird feeders that also serve as in-home entertainment, as shown in the below video.
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But while some creative people like to go all out and turn squirrel-proof bird feeders into maze-like obstacle courses, there are more simple products you can buy and even tools you can make yourself to keep squirrels from eating up all those seeds.
So, what is a squirrel proof bird feeder and how does it work? Most of the best squirrel proof bird feeders work using weight-intelligent mechanisms that shut off access to the bird seed based on the weight of the squirrel, which is much more significant than the weight of birds (not surprising, considering how much squirrels eat).
Other squirrel proof bird feeders are enclosed in cages that only allow smaller birds entry, and some feeders are made with simple barricades to help keep squirrels from getting to the feeder at all.
Are you wondering what the best squirrel proof bird feeder would be for you? Or would you perhaps prefer to make your own squirrel proof bird feeder? Either way we have you covered.
To start, let’s take a look at some of the best squirrel proof bird feeder products you can buy or order online and then move on to how you can make your own squirrel proof bird feeder and squirrel repellents at home.
Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Products Available To Buy
Squirrels are natural problem solvers who will continue to try and get into your bird feeder, even if it is protected.
As we mentioned above, squirrel proof bird feeders don’t have to be complicated. In fact, some are made so simply it might surprise you! Some of the best squirrel proof bird feeders we could find not only protect your feeders from pesky squirrels and other scavenging animals, but also protect against some nuisance birds.
Let’s take a look at some of the best squirrel proof bird feeder products on the market.
Squirrel Buster Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
First on our list of best squirrel proof bird feeder products is the squirrel buster bird feeder by Brome. This product comes in three different sizes and is designed to be completely squirrel proof. It uses a weight controlled system to close off seeds to squirrels when they climb up. The design also repels squirrels by making it difficult for them to get to the feeder at all.
You can also order these feeders to control the types of birds you want to feed, which can help reduce nuisance birds from flying around your bird feeder as well.
Squirrel Solution Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Another one of the best squirrel proof bird feeder products made by Brome is the Squirrel Solution bird feeder.
It allows different vantage points for birds to feed on seed but closes automatically at the weight of squirrels. This feeder is also chew proof and weather-proof and does not require any tools or assembly.
That said, this is a hanging bird feeder that will need a tree branch, pole, or hook in order to hang. This bird feeder is also non-adjustable.
More Birds Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
If you are looking for the best squirrel proof bird feeder that will also allow feeding for multiple birds at once, you may want to look at the above bird feeder by More Birds. This product is designed to hold up to 4.2 pounds of bird seed and has four different ledges for birds to feed on.
It is designed to be squirrel proof by not allowing easy access to squirrels but also closing off access to seeds automatically at the weight of a squirrel’s body on the perch.
Stokes Select Squirrel-X Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
The above bird feeder by Stokes Select is on our list of best squirrel proof bird feeders because it is a cage bird feeder that is resistant to squirrels and larger nuisance birds but will still allow for smaller birds to enter.
The feeder provides birds with a suet cake which is attractive to a number of beautiful birds like smaller woodpeckers. Birds can feed from all sides of the feeder and the top is made of weather resistant steel, making it durable and long-lasting.
Woodlink Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder
We like this squirrel proof bird feeder because it is double sided, weather proof, attractive and most importantly, squirrel resistant.
Like most of the best squirrel proof bird feeders on this list, the feeder works by closing off access to seeds once the squirrel’s weight is applied to the perch. We also like that this bird feeder is double sided, which attracts more birds while keeping squirrels away.
Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Last on our list of best squirrel proof bird feeder products is this pole bird feeder by Droll Yankees. This product is meant to be anchored into your yard and is a free standing bird feeder.
It allows easy perch access to smaller birds but is resistant to squirrels by not allowing them a good grip at the top of the feeder as well as keeping them from being able to get to the feeder in general due to a uniquely designed perch they cannot climb past.
As a bonus, this product includes a weather resistant pole and UV resistant polycarbonate that won’t deteriorate or yellow as it ages.
Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Accessories – Keeping Squirrels Off The Bird Feeder You Already Have
Dome shaped baffles, pictured above this bird feeder, can help deter squirrels.
Because squirrels are so crafty, it’s easy for them to reach bird feeders that aren’t protected. However, if you like your bird feeder and don’t want to replace it with the best squirrel proof bird feeder on the market, you can always opt to purchase accessories to protect the bird feeder you already have.
We have listed some of the best squirrel proof bird feeder accessories below.
Woodinlink Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle
We think this is one of the best squirrel proof bird feeder accessories for those of you with bird feeders attached to or hanging by poles.
Squirrels are often able to climb different poles and surfaces and can get onto bird feeders that aren’t protected, but this bird feeder baffle helps keep squirrels away from your bird seed by stopping them before they get to the feeder in the first place.
This baffle wraps around the pole and doesn’t allow for the squirrel to pass by it. While it is effective, the one problem we found with this baffle is that it only fits on certain sized poles, so make sure you do your measurements before purchasing it.
Squirrel Buster Pole Adapter
Another product we are including in our list of best squirrel proof bird feeder accessories is the Squirrel Buster. This is a pole adapter that stops squirrels from being able to reach your bird feeder from the ground.
This product is ideal for free-standing bird feeders and allows you to mount your bird feeder around your yard as opposed to hanging it in trees. This product does not include the bird feeder so make sure you do your research before purchasing a feeder to ensure the bird feeder you already have or the bird feeder you intend to purchase will work with it.
How To Make Your Own Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder At Home
Use an old record to make your own squirrel baffle.
If you are looking for the best squirrel proof bird feeder option but don’t want to go out and buy a whole new bird feeder, there are plenty of DIY methods you can use that help repel squirrels and keep them from stealing all your bird seed.
With that being said, we should also note that even the best squirrel proof bird feeder isn’t completely squirrel proof. These rodents are incredibly intelligent and natural problem solvers. They learn quickly and are often able to outsmart even the craftiest of human inventions.
With that in mind, you may have to use some of these below DIY remedies regardless of if you purchase a squirrel proof bird feeder or not.
Let’s take a look at some of the best methods you can use to make your own squirrel proof bird feeder at home.
Make Your Own Baffle Out Of An Old Music Record
A baffle is simply a shield that protects your bird feeder from either the top or the bottom. You can use many different types of materials to create baffles to keep your bird feeders protected from squirrels, however many people have found success with using old records.
Records are large enough that squirrels can’t simply reach over them and slippery enough that squirrels can’t get a good enough grip to climb past them.
To make your own baffle out of a record, you will need to cut along one side of the record and fit it to the bird feeder pole using glue or tape.
Hang Your Bird Feeder On A Wire Between Trees
This is perhaps one of the simplest methods you can use to deter squirrels. Though they are athletic and agile, squirrels will not be able to climb across wire or strong fishing line to get to a bird feeder.
If you are looking for one of the best squirrel proof bird feeder DIY home remedies, this is it!
Attach A Slinky To The Bird Feeder Pole
Another way you can keep squirrels from getting into your bird feeder is to attach a slinky to the pole so they cannot climb up. Simply attach a slinky toy to the top of the feeder so it hangs down.
This will not only confuse the squirrels, but also make it nearly impossible for them to get a good grip on the pole and climb up. That said, this method should also be used alongside a baffle in case you have a particularly clever squirrel or in case the slinky falls off.
Cover The Bird Feeder Pole In PVC Pipe
Finally, you can cover the bird feeder pole with PVC pipe. This pipe is slippery and doesn’t allow for squirrels to get a good grip on the pole in order to climb up and get to the bird seed. Of course, this option works for bird feeders that are pole mounted and not free hanging.
But don’t worry. There are other ways you can keep squirrels from your bird feeders below.
Other Ways To Keep Squirrels Away From Your Bird Feeders
Cayenne pepper mixed with bird seed will deter squirrels without harming the birds.
As we mentioned above, sometimes even the best squirrel proof bird feeder won’t work 100% of the time, and not everyone has a pole-mounted bird feeder they can protect with PVC pipe or slinkies.
Luckily, there are other tried and tested methods you can use to further keep squirrels off of your bird feeders.
Use The 5-7-9 Rule And Hang Your Bird Feeder In A Squirrel-Proof Location
Have you ever heard of the 5-7-9 rule when it comes to squirrel-proofing your bird feeder?
The rule goes like this: In general, squirrels cannot jump higher than 5 feet. They cannot jump longer than 7 feet horizontally, and they will typically not drop onto anything below them that is farther down than 9 feet.
With this rule in mind, try hanging your bird feeder in thought-out locations. Hang it away from areas heavily frequented by squirrels and reduce squirrel activity by cutting unnecessary branches that allow squirrels easy access to your feeders.
For those of you with pole mounted bird feeders, don’t place them directly underneath low hanging trees or other materials squirrels can use to gain access to your bird feeders.
Add Crushed Red Pepper To The Bird Seed
Remember, even if you purchase the best squirrel proof bird feeder, create all the obstacles, and add baffles galore, you still may not be able to keep squirrels away forever. This is where cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes come in handy.
Squirrels are mammals and have sensitive taste buds. For this reason, crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper will be very spicy to them and will repel them. However, crushed red pepper and cayenne have absolutely no effect on birds and will not deter or harm birds in any way.
In fact, cayenne is so effective when it comes to keeping squirrels away from bird seed that you can even buy bird seed with cayenne pepper already mixed in. Who knew?
Fill Bird Feeders With Squirrel-Deterrent Foods
Along with mixing your bird seed with crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper, you can also reduce squirrel thievery from your bird feeder by filling the feeder with foods squirrels don’t like.
Some of the best squirrel repellent foods that squirrels hate but birds love include safflower seeds, white proso millet, and nyjer seed. You can also buy bird seed that is premixed with capsaicin, which is found in hot peppers and is irritating to squirrels.
Offer Squirrels Their Own Place To Eat
Along with purchasing or making the best squirrel proof bird feeder, we also recommend giving squirrels their own designated feeding station. This is especially beneficial for you if you have a yard active with squirrels, as keeping them out of your feeder entirely may be close to impossible.
Once squirrels have their own feeding stations that are easy for them to access and that are filled with their favorite foods, they are much less likely to invade your bird feeders.
Are you wondering how to find some good squirrel feeding stations? We have listed two adorable options for you below.
Squirrel Picnic Table
One creative way to keep squirrels away from your bird feeder is to provide them with their own area where they can enjoy a meal. Since many people enjoy having a squirrel or two around in their yards, we have included this adorable squirrel feeder that is designed to allow squirrels to eat comfortably on their own tiny picnic table.
You can mount this feeder to your fence, a tree, or anywhere else you find suitable and supply it with peanuts, corn, or other foods squirrels will love.
Kayte Corn Cob Squirrel Feeder
Another way to keep squirrels busy and away from your bird feeder is to provide them with a corn cob feeder. This product requires squirrels to use balance and skill to hang on and eat. It is entertaining for humans to watch and makes the squirrel take his time, which further keeps him away from your bird feeder.
In order to ensure squirrels aren’t still attracted to the bird feeders in your yard, we recommend placing this corn cob feeder away from bird feeders on your property.
Squirrel Facts – What You Need To Know To Better Keep Squirrels Away From Your Bird Feeders
Squirrels can fall up to 30 meters without hurting themselves.
Investing in the best squirrel proof bird feeder can help keep squirrels away for a while, but you’ll be even more successful in outsmarting your squirrel foe if you know a thing or two about them!
Let’s learn a bit more about our clever squirrel counterparts.
Squirrels Are Basically Professional Acrobats
In fact, a squirrel’s back legs are double jointed, which makes it possible for them to scurry up and down trees, fences, and poles quickly. This also helps them make sudden directional changes at the last minute.
Along with their incredible ability to climb, squirrels also have long claws that help them grip different types of surfaces. Plus, squirrels can jump between five and six feet, scale thin lines to get to their desired locations, and fall from up to 30 meters without hurting themselves.
Squirrels Use Their Tails For Balance And As Parachutes
Since squirrels live much of their lives in trees, it makes sense they should have a built-in parachute for when they fall. Along with using their tail for balance and to help slow a potential fall, squirrels can also flatten themselves out and use their fatty skin almost like wings to help them glide to the ground safely.
Squirrels Have Excellent Noses
A male squirrel can sniff out a female squirrel in heat from up to a mile away. Furthermore, squirrels can find buried seeds beneath a foot of snow. This is also one of the reasons you may suddenly notice more squirrels on your property after putting up a bird feeder, even if you didn’t have much squirrel activity before.
Once the squirrels sniff out a meal on your property, they’ll come running.
Squirrels Are Intelligent And Natural Problem Solvers
Even if you invest in the world’s best squirrel proof bird feeder, you may not be able to stop squirrels completely. These animals are highly intelligent and they learn quickly. While a squirrel proof bird feeder may stop them at first, they will continue to come back and learn how it works until they have sorted out the best way to get to their meal.
This is one of the reasons experts recommend using other tactics along with implementing the best squirrel proof bird feeder such as mixing bird seed with cayenne pepper, using baffles, and putting out a designated squirrel feeder away from your bird feeder to help reduce squirrels from stealing.
So, what do you think? Would you install a squirrel picnic table on your property to help protect your bird feeders? Or would you prefer to use one of the other tactics listed above?
Tell us what your favorite methods of protecting your bird feeders are in the comment section below.