SquirrelStop Bird Feeders: Review of Spinning, Squirrel-Proof Products

A Device That Works Well, Offers Family Fun

SquirrelStop (image) is a squirrel-proof birdfeeder. The spinning dome at the top is the key.
SquirrelStop is a popular spinning-type squirrel-proof bird feeder. David Beaulieu

The bottom line on the SquirrelStop bird feeder is this: These spinning, squirrel-proof bird feeders work. In fact, they work so well, their reputation may precede them. When the reviewer hung out his bird feeder with the SquirrelStop unit attached to it, in order to conduct a test, he desperately wanted a thieving pest to come along and try to beat the system. But the squirrels did not even attempt to outsmart it for the longest time.

Perhaps they knew better. When one brave squirrel finally did try to breach security, he was unceremoniously ejected.

A Pro, a Con, and Brief Description of the Product:

  1. Pro: These spinning, bird-only feeders are effective at keeping out squirrels. Do you need to know more?
  2. Con: Unlike squirrel-proof feeders that use guards (baffles), spinning bird feeders need batteries.

Here is a brief description of the product:

  • Using the eye-hook atop SquirrelStop, suspend it from a tree, garden arbor or similar structure.
  • Switch allows you to turn off these squirrel-proof bird feeders when not in use to save batteries.
  • When squirrels activate the spinning mechanism, it is fun for children (of all ages) to watch. The ejected pests fall harmlessly to the ground. Everyone wins: You save money on bird food, your kids are afforded entertainment, and the critter lives to raid somebody else's bird food.

Spinning Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders: Review of SquirrelStop

Many squirrel-proof bird feeders use guards (baffles) for keeping squirrels out, blocking them from climbing bird feeder poles.

But for bird feeders that are suspended rather than mounted, a different strategy is widely used: a weight-based strategy. A mechanism is used that is sensitive to weight. If something as heavy as a squirrel climbs on the bird feeder, the mechanism is activated, frustrating the squirrel. Since most birds are much lighter than squirrels, they are granted admission.

In the case of some squirrel-proof bird feeders, activation of the mechanism results in a closing off of the food area. Not so with the SquirrelStop. Instead, activation of the mechanism results in a spinning motion that causes the pest to abandon ship.The dome-shaped object (see photo) is the SquirrelStop product, itself. You supply your own feeder. The feeder must be made in such a way that you can hang it from the hook found at the bottom of SquirrelStop. When filled with food, the feeder must weigh less than 10 pounds. Here is what to do once you have bought the product:

  1. Insert batteries.
  2. Hang a filled feeder from SquirrelStop.
  3. Hang up SquirrelStop.
  4. Turn it on (there's an on/off switch, so you can save on batteries when it is not in use).
  5. When the pests climb onto SquirrelStop's dome, the dome will spin. The disoriented squirrels jump off, instead of continuing on down to your feeder. Think of it as a ride at an amusement park for squirrels, except that the pests won't be half as "amused" by it as your children will be.

Background Information on Gray Squirrels

The specific squirrels that most people have in mind when they seek products of this sort are the eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), which, belying their common name, sometimes bear black fur (even albino kinds exist).

They are voracious consumers of seeds and nuts but will often also nibble on fruit, vegetation, etc. Nor are they strict vegetarians. They nest and take shelter in trees. Unlike their cousins, the chipmunks, these rodents do not hibernate, meaning that you have to defend your bird feeders against them even in winter. According to About-Squirrels.com, the average adult weighs 1-1.5 pounds.

Other rodent pests for which control measures are often required in the yard include:

Voles

Rats

Woodchucks