The 8 Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders of 2023

The Brome Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder is our favorite

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The 8 Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders of 2022

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

A squirrel-proof bird feeder provides nourishment for your feathered friends and prevents squirrels from stealing the bounty. According to Chad Witko, an outreach biologist for Audubon’s Migratory Bird Initiative, when searching for a feeder, look for one with features designed for the types of bird species you want to attract to your yard. "Bird feeders that deter squirrels through something like a cage are much more small-bird friendly. While many larger species, such as our jays or larger woodpeckers, won't be able to enter the feeder, the feeders are readily usable for our smaller species, such as chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and several species of finch. The excellent news is birdseed will inevitably spill, and many larger birds can usually gain some access to what has spilled on the ground below."

When researching the best squirrel-proof bird feeders, we evaluated products based on their durability, mounting options, seed capacity, and target species. Our top pick, the Droll Yankees Yankee Flipper Motorized Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder, attracts a variety of birds and has a weight-activated perch ring that tosses squirrels off. 

Here are the best squirrel-proof bird feeders on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Droll Yankees Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

4.5
Droll Yankees YF-M Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Amazon

What We Like
  • Large seed capacity

  • Durable, powder-coated base

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Motorized perch ring to deter squirrels

What We Don't Like
  • Battery must be recharged with AC adapter

  • Not suitable for pole mounting

Droll Yankees' Yankee Flipper Bird Feeder is one of the pricier options on the market, but it offers solid construction and an innovative, squirrel-proof design to justify the higher cost. When squirrels attempt to access the birdseed, the ring starts to spin and gently throws the squirrels off. Larger birds will not activate the motorized perch ring, however, and can comfortably feed at any of the four ports. Some users say the small perching ring deters larger birds, however. 

The tube feeder is made of UV-stabilized polycarbonate, which prevents it from fading or warping in the sun. For added durability, it has a powdered-coated metal base that resists rust and corrosion and provides an appealing perch for birds. A metal cap at the top keeps the birdseed dry. It can hold up to 5 pounds of birdseed, and the large capacity attracts a variety of bird species. 

This motorized bird feeder runs on rechargeable batteries and includes an AC adapter for charging—it will need to be charged regularly in order to keep squirrels at bay. To protect your investment, this product is backed by a lifetime warranty against squirrel damage.

Price at time of publish: $128

Feeder Type: Tube | Material: Powder coated metal and UV-stabilized polycarbonate | Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 28.5 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Capacity: 5 pounds | Number of Ports: 4

Best Budget

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

5
Brome Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder w/4 Metal Perches

Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Weather- and rust-proof

What We Don't Like
  • Small size requires frequent refilling

  • Not suitable for pole mounting

This bird feeder from Squirrel Buster has a number of handy features to prevent squirrels from stealing birdseed. When a squirrel climbs onto the feeder, its weight will cause the ports to close and block access to the food. Smaller birds won’t trigger the closing mechanism, so they comfortably feed on the perch without interruption. One disadvantage to this feeder is its small seed capacity (1.3 pounds), which requires more frequent refills. 

Thanks to a versatile design, you can attract a nice variety of birds, including cardinals, nuthatches, finches, and grosbeaks. The wire shroud is ideal for clinging birds, and the feeding ports attract birds that prefer to perch while feeding. This bird feeder is made of metal and RoxResin, an incredibly durable material that’s chew-proof, waterproof, and rust-proof. What’s more, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty. For added convenience, it can go in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. 

We read a few reports of determined squirrels managing to make their way to the food. This seems to be inevitable with almost any bird feeder. For best results, position the feeder so that it has at least 18 inches of clearance on all sides, eliminating any footholds for squirrels.

Price at time of publish: $50

Feeder Type: Tube | Material: Resin and plastic | Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 13.25 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Capacity: 1.3 pounds | Number of Ports: 4

Best for Winter

More Birds Squirrel-X Squirrel Proof Double Suet Feeder

More Birds Squirrel-X Squirrel Proof Double Suet Feeder

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Large, two-cake capacity

  • Durable construction

  • Deters squirrels and bull birds

  • Allows multiple birds to feed at once

What We Don't Like
  • Not entirely squirrel-proof

  • Not suitable for pole mounting

Thanks to a double cage design, the Squirrel X Double Suet Feeder provides extra protection from pesky squirrels. It's specifically designed for suet, a high-energy food that’s particularly beneficial to birds in winter because it contains a mix of fat and seed. This unit has a two-cake capacity, which allows multiple birds to feed at once. The opening mechanism makes this unit easy to fill and clean.  

The small openings on the cages help to deter squirrels, and the metal roof keeps the suet cakes dry. Smaller birds can easily access food through the openings, while larger bully birds and squirrels are typically kept at bay. But like most bird feeders on the market, it is squirrel-resistant—but not entirely squirrel-proof—as some users attest. 

Price at time of publish: $21

Feeder Type: Suet feeder | Material: Powder-coated metal | Dimensions:  10 x 10 x 9.4 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Capacity: 2 suet or seed cakes | Number of Ports: 4

Best Hanging

Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Domed Cage Bird Feeder

 Droll Yankees SDC

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Weatherproof

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Easy to fill and clean

  • Can be hung or pole-mounted

What We Don't Like
  • Larger birds cannot feed

This hanging bird feeder has four feeding ports surrounded by a cage to prevent squirrels from stealing food. While smaller birds have no trouble getting in through 1.5-inch square openings, squirrels and larger bully birds are kept out. For optimal durability in the elements, this feeder is made of powder-coated metal with a UV-resistant resin feeder tube. 

This feeder only holds up to a pound of birdseed, and its small size will likely require more frequent refills. On the plus side, the bird feeder cap slides off easily for quick filling. Note that this protective cage is best suited for small songbirds. If you enjoy feeding larger birds like blue jays, mockingbirds, or cardinals, you should go with another option.

Price at time of publish: $84

Feeder Type: Tube | Material: Powder-coated metal and UV-stabilized polycarbonate | Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 15 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Capacity: 1 pound | Number of Ports: 4

Best Pole-Mounted

Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder Model 7536

Woodlink Absolute II Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder Model 7536

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Double-sided feeding stations

  •  Large 12-pound seed capacity

  • Durable, chew-proof construction

  • Can be hung or pole-mounted

What We Don't Like
  • Construction gaps may harm small birds

This bird feeder can be hung on a zinc-plated steel hanger, or be mounted on a 5-foot sectional black powder-coated metal pole. You can adjust the perches to accommodate different types of birds and keep unwanted animals out. The feeder holds 12 pounds of seed and features double-sided feeding stations to attract lots of birds. The sloped floor helps direct seed to the baffle—a shield that protects the feeder from squirrels and helps keep seeds in the feeder—reducing waste and preventing spills. Thanks to a quick-release latch on the lid and a wide opening at the top, this feeder is easy to fill and clean. 

To keep squirrels at bay, this unit features an automatic closing mechanism that is adjustable by weight. When a squirrel lands on the feeder, the feeding ports close, preventing squirrels from accessing the birdseed. Squirrels won’t be able to chew through the durable steel either. 

It’s important to note that this feeder has a potentially harmful design flaw. We found a few reports of small birds getting their legs caught in small gaps near the perch. To ensure safe operation, you can use silicone caulking to fill in any gaps.  

Price at time of publish: $89

Feeder Type: Hopper | Material: Powder-coated metal and plastic | Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 11.3 inches with 5-foot pole | Weight: 1 pound | Capacity: 12 pounds | Number of Ports: 14

Best Weight-Activated

Brome Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder

4.6
Broome Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder

Lowe's

What We Like
  • Lifetime warranty

  • Durable

  • Decorative

  • Won’t fade

What We Don't Like
  • Not suitable for pole mounting

  • Heavier birds cause seeds to drop

This Brome feeder has an innovative, weight-activated design to deter squirrels and is as practical as it is stylish. When a squirrel climbs onto any of the perches, a shroud drops to block access to the feeding ports. After using it in their own yard, our tester noted, "We can confirm that the SquirrelSolution battled valiantly and won. The very active, early spring squirrels were sometimes able to climb out onto the feeder, but as designed, their body weight pulled the metal frame down, blocking the holes and preventing feeding."

This unit holds up to 3.4 pounds of seed, and its multiple feeding options will attract an assortment of birds. Perching birds can feed at any of the six ports while clinging birds can access their food through the wire shroud. 

The feeder is made of resin and coated metal, both of which are UV-resistant and chew-proof. The manufacturer offers lifetime service for any repairs, which is a nice perk. All of the components are detachable for ease of cleaning. A patented seed-ventilation system allows hot air and humidity to escape and keeps the birdseed fresh. It’s easy to refill the feeder with the handy seed funnel, which is included. While highly effective, this bird feeder isn’t completely squirrel-proof—some determined squirrels have found a way to spill the seed onto the ground.

Price at time of publish: $69

Feeder Type: Tube | Material: Powder-coated metal and plastic | Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 20 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Capacity: 3.4 pounds | Number of Ports: 6

Brome SquirrelSolution 200 Bird Feeder in a tree

The Spruce / Justin Park

Best Decorative

Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House with Weathervane

Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Attractive, rustic design

  • Durable construction

  • Large capacity

  • Removable roof for easy filling

  • Can be hung or pole-mounted

What We Don't Like
  • Not entirely squirrel-proof

  • May be too heavy for a hook when full

Featuring a chimney, gabled roof, and front porch, this birdhouse-style feeder has plenty of rustic charm. It has a weight-sensitive perch that closes when squirrels climb onto it, preventing them from getting to the birdseed. This feeder holds up to eight pounds of seed, and the hopper design provides fresh seed as needed to any array of bird species. The roof is removable and has a large opening for easy filling, and the windows allow you to monitor seed levels. Although the lid locks for added protection, a few pesky squirrels have managed to unlock it. 

The all-metal construction is resistant to weather and invasive squirrels. For optimal durability, the metal is powder-coated in either a bright green or red finish. It can be pole-mounted or hung on a hook for versatile placement. However, the feeder is very heavy when full, and even the sturdiest hooks may bow under its weight. For that reason, it might be best to pole-mount it.

Price at time of publish: $38

Feeder Type: Hopper | Material: Powder-coated metal | Dimensions:  11.65 x 14.46 x 10.69 inches | Weight: 4.45 pounds | Capacity: 8 pounds | Number of Ports: 1

Best Suet Feeder

Solution4Patio Solution4Patio Cedar Tail Prop Suet Bird Feeder

Solution4Patio USA Cedar Tail Prop Suet Bird Feeder with One Perch

Amazon

What We Like
  • Attractive, rustic design

  • Cage protects suet from squirrels

  • Tail prop keeps birds balanced

  • Rust- and rot-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Parts may break over time

  • Hanging hook is not included

This bird feeder features a protective cage that holds one standard-size suet cake and keeps it safe from pilfering squirrels. The perch provides a comfortable feeding position for birds, encouraging them to stay longer. A special tail prop landing helps birds stay upright as they’re eating. The design is perfect for attracting larger species of birds, such as pileated woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and jays. The animal fat in suet helps to keep birds warm, making it an ideal treat in winter. 

The feeder is made of cedar, which is naturally resistant to rust and rot, and offers a rustic appeal. It has a peaked roof to protect the suet from getting wet in rain or snow. The cage is made of rust-free wire mesh, and it has a squirrel-proof clasp that keeps it securely fastened. We found some reports of pieces breaking over time; however, this product is backed by a three-year warranty to cover any defects. No hanging hook is included, though, which is an inconvenience.

Price at time of publish: $21

Feeder Type: Suet feeder/cage | Material: Cedar and wire mesh | Dimensions:  14.96 x 8.78 x 4.57 inches | Weight: .88 pounds (14.1 ounces) | Capacity: 1 suet cake | Number of Ports: Not applicable

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick, the Droll Yankees Yankee Flipper Motorized Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder, brings in a variety of birds and has a motorized mechanism to "flip" squirrels off the feeder. For an effective, more budget-friendly option, consider the Brome Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder. It attracts perching and clinging birds, and the feeding ports close automatically when squirrels climb onto it.

What to Look for in a Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Durability 

If squirrels are a problem in your yard, never select a bird feeder or a mounting pole made from wood—even treated wood. Squirrels can gnaw through the wood in just a few days. The most durable feeder materials are powder-coated metals that prevent rust, and resins that are UV-resistant to prevent fading and yellowing.

Mounting Options

Look at the location you’d like to place the feeder. Do you prefer a hanging or pole-mounted feeder? If you choose a hanging feeder, a freestanding pole and hook are more squirrel-proof than the branch of a tree. 

Seed Capacity

Smaller feeders require frequent refills. Consider how easy the feeder is to access and fill. Do you need a step ladder? 

Bird Species

Feeders with protective cages are best for small songbirds, because they can slip through the cages that keep the squirrel out to reach the seed or suet. Look at the size of the openings to determine whether larger cardinals and tanagers can access the seed.

If you enjoy feeding larger birds, like blue jays, mockingbirds, or woodpeckers, then a feeder with an open-air weighted perch seed tray design is a better choice.

FAQ
  • How do squirrel-proof feeders work?

    Squirrel-proof bird feeders work in various ways. Two of the most common and often least expensive types are caged bird feeders and pole-mount bird feeders. Caged feeders are excellent options because they're chew-resistant. Pole-mounted feeders can be great as long as they're kept away from jumping-off places that squirrels can easily access. “Other feeders use a mechanical reaction to deter the squirrel,” Chad Witko, an outreach biologist for Audubon’s Migratory Bird Initiative, notes. “Motorized and powered by batteries, these feeders have components that will twist, turn, flip, and give way, taking the squirrel on a ride with the intention that it won't get any seed and will not want to keep trying.”

  • How do I clean a squirrel-proof feeder?

    You can wash most squirrel-proof feeders with warm water and dish soap. Take apart your feeder first, and empty any leftover seeds. Use a toothbrush or toothpick to get seeds out of any hard-to-reach areas. You can then use a brush to scrub down the parts with warm water and dish soap. After rinsing all the parts, leave them out to air-dry completely before refilling the feeder. Another way to clean a bird feeder is to “use a diluted bleach solution, which some resources recommend as being no more than one part bleach to nine parts water,” says Witko.

  • Can raccoons or other animals get into squirrel-proof feeders?

    According to Witko, “Like squirrels, other mammals, such as raccoons and bears, can and will find their way into squirrel-proof bird feeders. I truly believe nothing is mammal-proof.” Depending on which kinds of animals live around your area, you may need to take extra precautions. Some mammals, including squirrels, are sensitive to spices, but birds are not. You may consider adding cayenne pepper or other spices to your seeds to help keep them away. If you have bears in your area, place your feeder on a sturdy metal pole at least 10 to 12 feet high to keep them away.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Sage McHugh is a freelance writer who specializes in the home and garden sector. She makes sure to recommend products that are stylish, functional, and well-reviewed by consumers. For this roundup, Sage considered dozens of squirrel-proof bird feeders, carefully evaluating each product’s durability, mounting options, seed capacity, and target species. For expert insight on squirrel-proof bird feeders, Sage interviewed Chad Witko, an outreach biologist for Audubon’s Migratory Bird Initiative.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Feed Wild Birds, EC 1554. Oregon State University Extension Service.

  2. Squirrels, Project Feeder Watch.org.