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Squirrel-Resistant Feeders: Buyer's Guide

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Squirrels: Put a Stop to Their Thieving Ways!

Many of today's wild bird feeders are designed to be more savvy against the thieving ways of squirrels. To choose a squirrel-resistant feeder that works best for your property, it helps to understand the different types and how each type works.

Below, we've defined three main kinds of squirrel-resistant feeders:

  • Baffles
  • Tension or weight
  • Barrier

Keep in mind, however, that some feeders combine more than one of these squirrel deterrents.

Hanging Dome BaffleBaffles & Baffle-style Feeders A baffle is a very effective way to keep squirrels from accessing your bird feeders. The baffle is usually shaped like a large dome or cylinder, and the idea behind it is this: a squirrel will try to climb to the feeder from the hanging wire (from above) or from the mounting pole (from below). When the squirrel encounters the baffle, he is hindered from accessing the feeder because he cannot crawl around it or stay on top of it long enough to get at the seed. You can buy a standard baffle to use with an existing feeder, or choose a baffle-style feeder that has a baffle built in. Some squirrels, however, find ways to get to the seed in spite of a baffle. They simply find a launch point from which to jump on top of the baffle. On some feeders, the motion created by the jump, even though the squirrel is bounced off immediately, is enough to spill out seeds onto the ground, which squirrels then devour. This technique does not work when the baffle is below the feeder, provided the feeder is located far enough away from tree branches or other launch points. The following feeders are examples of baffle-style feeders, along with their noteworthy features:

Two-Way Squirrel Baffle: This versatile baffle hangs above or mounts below feeder to frustrate thieving squirrels.

Jagunda Feeder with Auger System: This deluxe model is baffled on the top and the bottom and has a steel auger-end pole for ground installation.

Dome Baffles: Turn any feeder into a squirrel-proof feeder AND protect it from the elements.

Squirrel Baffles: For almost any pole feeder, wobbly and slippery to discourage squirrels.

Triple Tube Feeder: Includes a lifetime warranty. You can offer three types of seed. Slick copper top deters squirrels. Simple to fill, saves seed.

Squirrel Buster Classic: Weight-sensitive perches close when squirrels and larger birds try to feed. Patented ventilation system prevents mold and seed spoilage. Protective wire mesh cage.

Original Absolute FeederTension or Weight Balancing Feeders A more sophisticated approach to squirrel deterrence is achieved through tension or weight balancing feeders. These are usually a little more expensive, and they are designed to prevent access using counterbalanced baffles or spring mechanisms that cause the seed ports to close when any animal as heavy as a squirrel comes to feed. Simply put, when a squirrel steps onto the feeder, the seed ports close, and they get no meal. On some of these feeders, you can adjust the tension of the mechanism to the weight that fits your needs. Some owners want only the smallest of birds to feed, so they set the tension very light. The following feeders are examples of tension or weight balancing feeders, along with their noteworthy features:

Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country Feeder: Four-position, adjustable spring allows for custom settings of the weight-activated perch

Squirrel Be-Gone III Triple Tube Feeder: Three separate seed tubes. Adorned with brushed copper oak and maple leaves. Nine, sturdy, staggered feeding ports.

Original Absolute Feeder: Weight-activated baffle and locking lid keep squirrels out. Spring tension perch allows you to adjust the amount of tension needed to close the baffle.

Barrier Feeders Barrier feeders work a couple of different ways to deter squirrels. They either help prevent a squirrel from accessing the seed, or they have special features that protect the feeder from damage when a squirrel uses his typical rough antics to try to get at the seed. The best barrier feeders include both these features. For instance, some barrier feeders feature an external metal cage around the feeder unit. The cage has bar spacing that is too small to allow squirrels to pass through, yet not too small for the likes of backyard songbirds to get at the inner seed ports. Barrier feeders can also include features like locking roofs, thick PVC walls, and steel ports, which squirrels cannot chew through. The following feeders are examples of barrier feeders, along with their noteworthy features:

Squirrel Be-Gone: Protective mesh barrier plus spring that causes weight of squirrel on any portion of feeder to close off food access.

No/No Series Feeders: Squirrels can't damage or chew through their all-metal construction. Built to last for years. Easy to clean, just use dishwasher. No assembly required and multiple styles to choose from.

Squirrel Buster Classic: Protective wire mesh cage. Weight-sensitive perches close when squirrels and larger birds try to feed. Patented ventilation system prevents mold and seed spoilage.

Squirrel-Proof Tube Feeder: Metal cage keeps squirrels and larger birds out, while letting smaller birds feed in peace. Locking lid and base keeps seed safe from thieving critters.

Grande Squirrelproof Feeder: Deters gray squirrels and larger birds with a 1-1/2" grid steel cage.

Barrier Guard Suet Feeder Kit: Beautiful, shining copper-finished top and base attracts birds to feed while vinyl covered wire barrier protects food from larger birds or mammals.


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