10 Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders: For 2022

Attract birds to your backyard by providing beneficial seeds to supplement their diets. Finding the best squirrel proof bird feeder will be a must if you want birds to come to your feeder and keep coming back.

It’s also important for your wallet and sanity! 

squirrel on tree grabbing bird feeder

Here’s the short and quick of it, based on my research, the best squirrel proof bird feeder is the Birds Choice 431 Bird Feeder

The reason I like this feeder the best is: 

  • It can hold 10 pounds of seed.
  • Seemed to have the most consistent reviews for being squirrel proof.
  • It is pole mounted and it’s 6 feet long. The pole allows me to add a baffle below for extra protection.
  • Customers were appreciative of the manufacturer’s customer service.  

That’s the one that works the best for my situation, but some factors that may make it not the perfect fit for you.

So please read on to decide which feeder is the perfect one for you.

After moving to our new home last year, I didn’t put up a bird feeder.

This is completely uncharacteristic for me because it’s always one of the first things I do when I move to a new home.

But our yard is a hawk magnet and even though we are surrounded by trees, we don’t have trees near the house, and so I haven’t felt comfortable putting up a feeder just to ultimately feed the hawks.

I know, they need to eat too, but I’d rather it not be because I’m luring birds to my yard.

A year later, I think I’ve worked out a location that allows me to see birds while at my desk working. This location also provides them with a good bit of cover.

My 100% squirrel proof feeder that I made 4 years ago just won’t work in this location because it needs to be free and clear of nearby structures.

Plus, in all honesty, it’s not the prettiest thing I’ve seen and so I’d rather have that set back further away from the house. 

So now I’m on a quest to find the perfect feeder that will keep squirrels from getting to the seed, which is perhaps a bit more attractive looking. 

I’ve owned many types, including a window seed feeder, window suet, cage feeder, tube feeder, and a hanging perch feeder.

Each type has its benefits and since I’ve been doing some research and thought I’d share it with you to save you some time in your search for a bird feeder that is squirrel proof.

squirrel hanging from branch grabbing bird feeder

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What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

  1. I think the first consideration in choosing a bird feeder that is squirrel proof is going to be the location you want to place the feeder.

    Some feeders do a good job, even if the squirrel can reach it from a branch or the ground.
  2. Some will need to be at least 6 feet from an adjacent branch, 9 feet from a branch or roof above and the feeding station itself, must be 6 feet from the ground.
  3. Think about the types of birds you are trying to attract. Some feeders can only hold nyjer seed (thistle). This will attract finches and pine siskins.

    Feeders that can hold sunflower seeds will get a greater variety. For the best variety, a bird feeder that can hold a suet feeder in addition to the two above will be your best bet.

    You can find out more about how to attract birds to your yard in this article.

  4. You should think about the seed capacity. How easy is the feeder to get to, and how often is reasonable for you to fill it?
  5. Other factors to consider are a lifetime warranty, quality and price.

For attracting birds to your backyard, the type of bird food you use will be key. The best seed you can provide to get the biggest bird species variety will be black oil sunflower seeds.

And here’s a tip: if you want to avoid a mess of shells on your grass, you can purchase the shelled version, sometimes called meaties.

This tends to be pricier than other types, but you can find good prices at a tractor supply type of store or even sometimes at Home Depot and Walmart.

Here’s an article I found that has great information on which birds eat which seed and why it’s important not to buy some types of seed and why some types sold, almost no bird will even eat, like safflower seed.

The Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders of 2022

Add-ons to Help Prevent Squirrels from Reaching a Feeder

Other Options For Deterring Squirrels From Bird feeders

If you are turned off by not finding a squirrel proof feeder that universally solves the pesky squirrel problem, then consider this.

Look for a standard bird feeder that is on a pole and is situated 6’ or more from the ground, 9’ from any objects across or above it.

In addition, get a squirrel baffle for below, or use an HVAC pipe and purchase a dome-shaped lid for above, which will also help prevent the seed from getting wet and mildewed.

This will be at least as effective as any of the feeders listed above.

While the majority of people do find success with the feeders mentioned, the reason many don’t have perfect reviews is user error, or just an inability to position the feeder where it can’t be accessed by the squirrels.

Squirrels are incredibly smart and if they can access the actual feeder, eventually they will always find a way.

And again, for a guaranteed squirrel proof feeder (if situated correctly), check out my DIY Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder.

Don’t forget to Pin it for later!

squirrel grabbing feeder while standing on tree branch

The following are the different types of bird feeders.

Pole Mount

To be squirrel proof, pole mount feeders will benefit from the addition of a squirrel baffle below the feeder.

Just be sure the pole is metal because a squirrel can chew through most other materials. 

Window Feeder

The benefit of a window feeder is that you can see the birds up close. If you’re a birder and like identifying birds, then this is a great advantage.

When it comes to being squirrel proof, there aren’t great mechanisms for window feeders. However, in a way, they are innately squirrel proof.

This is because you can easily put them on a window that is high enough off the ground for a squirrel to jump and far enough away from a tree limb.

Caged Feeder

A caged feeder contains the seed within a wire mesh or steel cage. Metal will be resistant to squirrel damage.

Tube Feeder

Is either a tube made of glass or a plastic sleeve that usually has openings spaced at several locations up and down the tube and at the bottom. This allows for several feeding stations. 

A tube feeder is best for finches and small songbirds and smaller birds.

Hanging Feeder

These will have a hook or ring at the top of the feeder that may or may not come with a wire or chain to be attached to a shepherd’s hook or bird feeder pole with arms.

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