Many people enjoy bird feeding for the relaxing activity it is, helping to relieve the stresses of life. Those of you who enjoy bird watching as much as myself, understand there is almost nothing worse than attracting undesirable wildlife, such as squirrels, to your feeders. Although some individuals are perfectly content allowing squirrels to take a portion of the food, others dislike their destructive tendencies. Filling and watching your bird feeders is supposed to be a fun, stress-free experience and, fortunately, there are countless designs available in order to deter squirrels, while also looking attractive as part of your landscape.
The best way to keep unwanted wildlife at bay is to find squirrel resistant bird feeders, and I have put together a list of all types of squirrel proof bird feeders. There are a multitude of styles and designs available, offering simple and easy ways to prevent these critters from having their way with your birdseed.
1. Cage Feeders
Squirrel-Resistant Caged Bird Feeders consist of a tube feeder enclosed by chew-resistant, metal bars. These types of feeders are perfect for smaller birds because they are able to fit between the bars, while also preventing larger, more aggressive birds from getting in. The cage prevents damage to the feeder as well because squirrels are unable to chew through the metal bars. If you have had issues with wildlife, including big birds such as Blue Jays, Blackbirds, Flickers, and Starlings, in addition to squirrels, this style of feeder may be an excellent choice for you.
2. Weight Sensitive
Weight sensitive squirrel proof feeders depend on maintaining a well-balanced weight distribution, operating off of a mechanism that closes all of its ports once it becomes unstable. As soon as a squirrel gets onto the feeder, and the food supply is kept safe, they will lose interest and move on. After a squirrel has left and balance is restored, the ports open back up, allowing lighter birds to fill their bellies.
Considering the weight difference in nearly all birds when compared to squirrels, a weight-sensitive feeder has a lot to offer most bird watchers. Even the largest backyard feeder, like Blue Jays, for example, weighs in at only 3 ounces. Your common Gray Squirrel weighs in at 14 ounces minimum, up to 29 maximum ounces – unparalleled differences. Birds of all sizes will be able to fully enjoy your seed until they are satisfied, all the while keeping the eager squirrels at bay.
Similar to tension style feeders, a small motor is activated by the weight of a squirrel which then causes it to spin. Spinning squirrel proof feeders disorient squirrels by twirling and tilting the base until the squirrel loses their grip and falls off. Other variations spin the entire feeder when a squirrel climbs on top, eventually flinging the rodent back to the ground. The only issue with the majority of spinning feeders is that they utilize a motor and operate off of batteries. While there are a few solar powered spinning options available, their reviews are less than stellar, so it may be best to invest in rechargeable batteries.
4. Pole Mounted
Another effective way of keeping your birdseed safe is to put it out of reach through the use of a pole-mounted feeder. Rather than hanging your feeder from a tree branch, you can prevent squirrels from jumping or reaching over to it by mounting it on a metal pole of 6′ high or more. Keep in mind that a squirrel can reach heights of 10′ or more simply by jumping, so the pole should be installed away from buildings and trees and bushes.
Electric shock feeders are another common way to prevent squirrels, although it may seem violent initially. The output is very mild, and the electric shock doesn’t actually hurt them. Feeders utilizing this method are similar to battery-powered feeders, which are activated by a squirrel’s weight.
Squirrel-proof bird feeders are a must-have for any backyard bird enthusiast and come in a big selection of designs to suit your style. You will be able to prevent rodents from ruining the day and taking all of your birdseed and get back to enjoying a wide variety of birds. Just remember to stay calm when you spot the occasional squirrel near your feeders, as they’re part of nature looking to enjoy a snack, just like the birds.