Have you ever sat by your window, sipping a coffee or a tea, and just watched the birds?
Even if you’re not an avid bird-watcher who would go out of your way to find a unique bird species, and even if you aren’t really interested in identifying them or learning more about them, having a bird feeder in your yard can be a great way to relax, zone-out, forget your troubles, and just enjoy a bit of nature.
That’s all fine and lovely, until a squirrel comes along and ruins the party…
We’ve searched through many different options to find the best squirrel proof bird feeder for the money, which means we’ve looked at some expensive ones, some cheap ones, compared them, and chosen the ones that will give you the best overall value for your hard-earned cash.
If you’re going to become a bird-enthusiast, you may want to explore some high-end bird feeders, but for most people who are just looking for something solid to get the job done without spending a fortune, these will be your best bets. We’ve also included a recommendation of a fancier one, and also a more basic feeder, just in case you’re looking for a little more or a little less.
At the end of the day, all of these feeders will do their jobs as intended, and will help keep those pesky squirrels from eating all of your bird food and taking over your yard.
What to look for in the best squirrel proof bird feeder…
You’ll want to pay attention to which materials it’s made from. Something like copper may develop a nice patina over time, whereas something like plastic may start to become discolored and might not hold up as well in the long run. Thankfully, even our most budget-friendly selection is made from an attractive copper.
You’ll want to consider the amount of feed that it can hold, too. How often do you want to be refilling it? It can be a bit of a chore, especially if it’s hung up high somewhere and you don’t enjoy ladders.
Best Value: Squirrel Buster Standard
- WATCH THE VIDEO FOR REAL SIZE!
- LIFETIME CARE: you only need to buy one of our products, and we will guarantee to service your...
- TRULY SQUIRREL PROOF: the weight of an adult squirrel automatically closes the shroud denying access...
- NEED FOR CLEARANCE: hang providing an 18-inch/47-cm CLEARANCE on all sides.
- CHEW PROOF: all feeder parts exposed to squirrels are made of chew proof materials.
We’ll also be taking a look at the Plus version of this feeder, but if you’re just looking for something more basic that’s still above average, without costing a fortune, this is it.
The Squirrel Buster looks attractive in your tree, hung from your garage, or whatever else you may think to place it in your yard.
It doesn’t hurt the squirrels at all, it simply denies them from stealing the food from your bird-friends. Now, if you want to feed the squirrels, that’s entirely your prerogative, but you may want to choose a different style of feeder that doesn’t have these same “security features”.
The security feature in this bird feeder that keeps the squirrels away is simply weight. You’ll notice it has several small perches encircling it. The weight of a bird doesn’t trigger the security mechanism, but the weight of an adult squirrel is enough to trigger it, which causes the feeder to close itself off, preventing access to the tasty treats that are inside.
Best Budget Option: Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Bird Feeder
- Tray style feeding port and circular perch lets birds feed from all angles
- Sure-Lock cap locks lid in place to keep squirrels out
- Antique copper finish resists rust
This feeder holds about 2lbs worth of seed which isn’t very much compared to some of the other options out there, and has some basic features to help protect it from squirrels. It’s not perfect, but it’s cheap, it looks nice, and it gets the job done. It’s transparent, so you can see exactly when it’s time to re-fill, and it has a circular ring where your birdie friends can perch themselves when it’s time for a snack.
There’s really not a lot more to say about this one, it’s very simple and without any extra frills. Don’t expect it to last you forever, it’s not the highest quality out there, but what do you really expect from a bird feeder, anyways? If you have harsh winters, it’s not a bad idea to bring it inside to help it last longer, and empty out the seeds in the meantime. Other than that, you’ll definitely see some birds stopping here for a snack, even if it’s not a 5-star gourmet restaurant, so to speak.
Best Premium Option: Squirrel Buster Plus Review
- Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder with Pole and WeatherGuard Baffle
The Squirrel Buster Plus is really cool, and it’s immediately apparent why it’s the higher-end option, it’s like everything just comes together a little bit better. The ring is weight-activated, and obviously a squirrel with the munchies is going to weight a lot more than a few birds, so when a squirrel’s weight touches the outer-ring, it blocks the entrance to the seeds.
If there’s no squirrel nearby, and it’s just a few birds sitting on the ring, it’s not enough weight to cause it to close up shop, making for a perfect snack for our feathered friends.
There are numerous openings, so lots of birds can feast together at the same time, and it’s pretty exciting to watch when there’s a lot of them there!
What’s really amazing is that this is literally the last feeder you’ll ever need to buy, because the company who makes it promises to service and repair it for life.
This feeder has a special seed ventilation system that keeps the seeds fresher for longer, and can help to attract more birds. All of the parts that are exposed to squirrels are made from a special chew-proof material, and you don’t even need any tools to take this thing apart. It’s very well-made, well thought-out, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do without hurting the squirrels.
If you don’t care about the price at all, this would be our top choice to go with, it’s just one of the best options around if you want a simple look that gets the job done, and a super high-quality product with a lifetime guarantee. It can’t be beat!
This style of squirrel proof bird feeders will shock you…
There are other popular bird feeders out there that actually shock the squirrel with electricity. While they claim they don’t hurt the squirrel at all, and most squirrels will leave after a few shocks, it still seems like it must obviously be uncomfortable for the squirrel otherwise the squirrel wouldn’t give up so easily, right? We prefer a simple mechanism that makes it impossible for the squirrel to reach the food, rather than causing them physical pain, even if they are a bit of a pest sometimes – it just feels unfair to wave that food around, and then to shock them for trying to get it.
Hopefully this write-up has helped point you in the right direction towards finding a squirrel proof bird feeder that will meet your needs, and fit your budget! You really can’t go wrong with any of these, they’re all highly rated, and rockstars in their own price categories.
What if you don’t care if squirrels steal your birdseed? Well, you’re going to see a lot less birds, for starters, since you’ll find that your feeder is sitting empty a lot more often. You’ll have to spend a lot more on seeds, and you’ll notice more and more squirrels starting to take over, with such a reliable and hearty food-source.
You don’t have to worry about feeding squirrels, they are meant to scavenge and they can find their own seeds.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that some feeders could attract mice or rats or other little critters, too. If you have a feeder hung from a bush or low on a tree, where it’s easy to climb to, you’re opening up the door for a lot more uninvited dinner guests.
Whichever option you decide to go with, just remember: A bird feeder is a great way to invite nature into your backyard. It’s low-maintenance, and it can feel so nice and relaxing to watch it. You may start to recognize certain birds who come back day after day, and it can be really nice for people who can’t keep pets in their home, for whatever reason.