The 10 Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders of 2021

Feed the birds without the squirrels stealing all the food with these sturdy feeders.

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The Rundown
You can feel good about this purchase because the maker, Brome, has made a commitment to the planet with all of its products.
It has four food openings and two large perching spots, so there’s plenty of room for multiple species.
It takes a classic tube feeder and surrounds it with a wire cage, allowing birds to get in while keeping squirrels out.
Made from recycled poly-lumber construction, the company guarantees its products won’t fade, crack, or split.
Birds will have plenty of room to feed with openings on both sides.
Baffles are a great addition to use with any feeder, even one that claims to be squirrel-resistant, to ensure even better results.
This unit has a built-in baffle, and will stand about 90 inches high once you get it installed.
This cage design will keep squirrels out but will still give smaller birds regular access.
This clear feeder is made from 100% recycled Plexiglas, allowing you to easily see the birds from a distance.
It easily holds seed or peanuts for squirrels, giving you a designated place to let them eat.

When you put feeders out for the birds and see your first few squirrels stopping by for seeds, it’s kind of cute at first. This quickly wears off as the bird traffic fades away and your food supply is obliterated. It’s not like you dislike the squirrels. You just want the birds back. Plus, you may not want to keep buying so much bird food at this rate because it can get expensive. No, you don’t have to stop feeding the birds altogether. You just need a squirrel-proof bird feeder. 

Squirrel-proof bird feeders are great. They’re often more sturdy and resilient than traditional feeders because they have to hold up to squirrels’ somewhat destructive tendencies. Seriously, those little rodents are pretty clever when they have their eyes on a prize. They can jump high and far (about 5 feet) to reach their target (aka your bird feeder). While it’s hard to find a feeder that is 100 percent effective for keeping squirrels out, there are some excellent contenders on the market. These have been designed to make your life easier and save a lot more food for the birds.

Take a look at some of the best squirrel-proof bird feeders to put to work in your own yard.

Best Overall: Brome Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder with 4 Metal Perches

Brome Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder w/4 Metal Perches

When a squirrel puts its weight on this feeder, the seed openings will automatically shut to lock them out of the food. The sturdy, chew-proof design includes a ventilation system to keep seeds from getting stale or moldy. We like the model that holds around 1.3 pounds of seed, but other sizes are available.

The maker, Brome, has made a commitment to the planet with all of its products. The company vows to keep them in circulation as long as possible—therefore, all feeders come with a lifetime guarantee. If you find something broken or missing, just let Brome know, and it will send a replacement part for free, because as the company states on its website, “disposable products are no longer an option for our mother earth.”

Best Budget: Perky-Pet 333-1SR Squirrel-Be-Gone Max Bird Feeder with Flexports

Perky-Pet 333-1SR Squirrel-Be-Gone Max Bird Feeder with Flexports

Waste less with this squirrel-be-gone feeder. This company has a Flexports system at the feed openings, which keeps seeds in better yet still allows birds to get at them easily. Like similar feeders, the weight of a squirrel will close off feeding ports.

This model holds up to 3 pounds of seed. It has four food openings and two large perching spots, so there’s plenty of room for multiple species. You can use it for sunflower seeds, safflower, or a seed mix. It’s a great, affordable option.

Best Splurge: Droll Yankees Domed Cage Sunflower Seed Bird Feeder

Droll Yankees Domed Cage Sunflower Seed Bird Feeder

If you’ve tried squirrel-proof feeders before without much success and now really need to get down to business, then this is the perfect option. In general, Droll Yankees is an excellent and respected brand in the bird feeding world, and this design isn’t fooling around. It takes a classic tube feeder and surrounds it with a wire cage, allowing birds to get in while keeping squirrels out.

Keep in mind that this will keep larger birds out as well, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want to attract smaller, colorful songbirds. This is another company that offers a lifetime warranty, so you can feel good knowing you’re purchasing something that will be around for a long time.

Best Pole Mounted: Nature Products Green Classic Pole Mount Wild Bird Feeder

Nature Products 431 Bird Feeder

This all-in-one system includes a feeder, a squirrel baffle, and a pole kit, giving you everything you need to set up a squirrel-resistant area in your own backyard. Made from recycled poly-lumber construction, the company guarantees its products won’t fade, crack, or split.

You can hold about 5 pounds of seeds with this unit, and because the pole is included, you can pretty much put it anywhere you want, but be sure not to place it near trees, so squirrels don’t jump on top. The baffle will go on the bottom to keep squirrels from climbing up the pole.

Best Large Capacity: Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder Model 7536

Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder Model 7536

This classic style bird feeder has gotten a mechanics upgrade because a squirrel’s weight on the perch will trigger the seed opening to close. It’s one of the largest capacity squirrel-resistant feeders you can buy, holding around 12 pounds of seed.

Birds will have plenty of room to feed with openings on both sides. Plus, the roof has a nice overhang, keeping seeds dry even in the rain. You can hang it or mount it on a pole, whichever approach works best for you. Overall, it’s one of the best options when you want to feed a lot of birds.

Best Baffle: PREDATORGUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle

PREDATORGUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle

We can’t talk about squirrel-proof bird feeders without talking about baffles. The way they work is that you mount them either above or below your feeder (sometimes both). When a critter lands on it, they wobble, and their slick design keeps the animal from hanging on and stealing food.

Baffles are a great addition to use with any feeder, even one that claims to be squirrel-resistant, to ensure even better results. They are well worth the investment, especially for those struggling with a serious squirrel problem. (By the way, they’re good for raccoon problems, too.)

Best Feeding Station: Squirrel Stopper Sequoia

Squirrel Stopper Sequoia

This feeding station doesn’t come with the feeders, but it’s still worth being on the list. In fact, it’s a great way to keep using the feeders you have without going out and replacing them all (which we think is pretty eco-friendly). This unit has a built-in baffle and will stand about 90 inches high once you get it installed.

It might seem a little excessive, but it’s not! Squirrels are tricky ones, often jumping up, down, and sideways to reach your seed. So, a tall unit like this is a good solution. Each hanger arm can hold 15 pounds, so you could mix in a hummingbird feeder, hanging basket, or anything else you’d like.

Best Suet Feeder: More Birds Squirrel-X Squirrel Proof Double Suet Feeder

More Birds Squirrel-X Squirrel Proof Double Suet Feeder

Suet is quite popular with backyard birds like nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, and chickadees. But squirrels are notorious for wiping out suet cakes, sometimes in a single visit or two. If you’re finding it hard to keep stocked, then it’s time to upgrade. This cage design will keep squirrels out but will still give smaller birds regular access. It holds two suet cakes in total.

Best Recycled: Arundale 360 Sky Cafe Wild Bird Feeder

Arundale 360 Sky Cafe Wild Bird Feeder

This clear feeder is made from 100 percent recycled Plexiglass, allowing you to easily see the birds from a distance. The dome top was strategically designed to keep out rain, snow, and squirrels. The slick design definitely won’t make it easy for any adventurous squirrel to hold on for long. Mount this feeder on a pole or hang it up. Either way, it holds about 7 pounds of seed at a time.

Best for Squirrels: The Tree Rat Symposium Mini Arcade Squirrel Feeder

Mini Arcade Squirrel Feeder

When it comes to squirrels, many birders have adopted the mantra that “if you can’t beat ‘em, then you might as well join ‘em.”

Actually, some people really like squirrels, and they just want to feed them. Then others have found that when they give their squirrels their own spot, they tend to leave the main bird feeders alone. If either of these strategies appeal to you, then consider this crafty, adorable feeder designed to mimic an arcade game. It easily holds seed or peanuts for squirrels, giving you a designated place to let them eat. It’s too fun and unique not to share, even if you don’t plan on attracting squirrels in your own yard.

Final Verdict

Treehugger’s top pick for a squirrel-proof feeder is the Brome Squirrel Buster Standard (view on Walmart) because of its sturdy construction and lifetime guarantee. We also like the Arundale Sky Cafe Bird Feeder (view on Walmart) because it’s made from recycled materials. 

What to Look For in a Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Easy to Clean

One of the main things to look for in any bird feeder is how easy it is to clean. All feeders need to be cleaned from time to time, so you want to look for one that easily comes apart. It should say right on the label whether it comes apart. 

Multiple Ports and Perches

A high number of ports or perches doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better feeder. It’s just good to be aware of this as you choose a feeder for your yard. 

Seed Capacity

Don’t choose a feeder just based on looks. Be sure to check the amount of seed it can hold—it should say in either weight or overall capacity. A larger capacity means you won’t have to fill it as much, but you might need to spend a little more time cleaning it. 

FAQs

Do squirrel-proof feeders really work? 

Think of most feeders marketed in this way as squirrel-resistant. They can have an excellent design, but that’s only part of the battle. In order for them to truly work, they need your help. For this, try to practice the 5-7-9 rule. You want your feeder 5 feet off the ground, 7 feet clear on all sides, and 9 feet clear from any overhang. This is because squirrels can jump or drop from many places. 

Can raccoons get into squirrel-proof feeders?

Many squirrel-proof feeders will naturally be raccoon resistant as well. However, if you’re still having trouble with raccoons, definitely consider adding baffles, both on the top and bottom of your feeder. This will help a lot. 

Where is the best place for a hanging squirrel-proof bird feeder?

Practice the 5-7-9 rule, keeping it away from any place that a squirrel can get to by jumping. If you’re not able to do this, definitely add baffles to keep them from climbing up or down to get at the food.

Is it okay to feed the squirrels? 

Sure, you can feed the squirrels, and they’ll often eat in perfect harmony with the birds. However, many people don’t like feeding them because they eat too many seeds or they take over feeders and even destroy them. Some find that when they give squirrels their own area for eating that they’ll mostly leave the bird feeders alone, so that’s an option as well. 

What if nothing is working? 

Take a break from feeding for a bit, and then try again. Sometimes just breaking things up will get squirrels moving on to other yards or habits. Your regular bird visitors will be okay if you take your feeders down for a bit, so just give it a break for a few days (or even a few weeks). You might have a much better experience when you start back up again. 

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger wants to help you bring nature and wildlife into your own outdoor space with quality products like bird feeders. The author, Stacy Tornio, has been using squirrel-proof bird feeders for many years. She’s tried many different models over the years, especially during her 10 years working at Birds & Blooms magazine.