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Squirrel-Resistant Feeders: Overview

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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"Energetic," "tenacious," and "adept problem-solver" are usually used to describe positive characteristics. But when they apply to squirrels, it can mean trouble at your bird feeder. Conventional bird feeders provide an easy meal for hungry squirrels. As a result, a variety of new bird feeders are being developed to thwart the efforts of squirrels. Squirrel-resistant bird feeders employ creative ways to limit squirrels from accessing food or damaging feeders.

In general, squirrel-resistant feeders can be grouped into one of three basic categories: baffle feeders, barrier feeders, and weight sensitive feeders. Each takes a different approach to outsmarting squirrels with unique advantages and features that set them apart from each other.


Triple Tube Wild Bird FeederBaffle Feeders - A physical deterrent, usually a large dome, is incorporated to obstruct the route to the feeder. The smooth, curved surface of a dome baffle makes it difficult for squirrels to approach the feeder and the wide brim keeps the feeder safely out of reach. The Triple Tube Bird Feeder is an excellent example of a baffle feeder with an impressive dome baffle. Baffle feeders are very popular and are available in a variety of sizes and decorative styles. However, they may not offer the degree of protection metal feeders offer against squirrel damage. Feeder accessories such as retrofit baffles convert conventional bird feeding stations into squirrel-resistant ones. Available for both hanging and pole-mounted feeders, these easy-to-install accessories fortify your defenses against squirrels with minimal effort. Dome baffles provide a greater physical challenge for squirrels. The wide diameter and wobbly motion make it difficult for squirrels to navigate.

Barrier Feeders - To restrict squirrel access to bird food, these feeders are encased in a protective metal cage. The cage is an impenetrable barrier for squirrels, but allows birds easy access to the seeds. The wire spacing of the Belle Fleur Sweet Treat Café Caged Feeder excludes squirrels and larger birds to selectively cater to desirable songbirds. While very effective against squirrel damage, some barrier feeders may sacrifice aesthetic form for function.

Squirrel Be-Gone FeederWeight-sensitive Feeders - Perhaps the most elaborate among squirrel-resistant feeders, weight-sensitive feeders rely on a counterbalance system. The weight of the squirrel activates a mechanism to lower a guard that shuts the feeding port. Other models have retractable perches that collapse under the weight of the squirrel. The Squirrel Be-Gone Feeder is a very ornate example of a weight-sensitive feeder. When a squirrel climbs on, a protective cage with decorative metal leaves is lowered to block the feeding ports. Weight-sensitive feeders are a great choice to restrict squirrel access. Some models may be pricey, but weight-sensitive feeders provide years of reliable use to offset the cost of replacing damaged feeders.

Squirrel Feeders - To maximize the effectiveness of squirrel-resistant feeders, consider installing a squirrel feeder. A squirrel feeder such as the Squirrel-In-A-Jar Feeder placed 15 feet away from your bird feeder will keep squirrels occupied and away from your bird feeders.


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