The best bird feeder poles were obvious to me after installing and testing 9 in my yard. In fact, 3 of them rose to the top – best overall & squirrel-proof, best heavy duty & squirrel-proof, and best budget bird feeder pole systems. Discover what to look for in a bird feeder pole system along with the 3 top ones.
Recently I decided to add another bird feeder pole to my yard so set out on a journey to find the best one available. There are so many brands and models available today I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. So, I accepted the challenge and set out to personally test the leading brands.
I spent 6 weeks and 25 hours purchasing 9 different bird feeder poles, installing them in my yard, and testing & assessing them. Combine this with my 25+ years of experience in backyard birding, you have solid and reliable advice you can trust.
Let’s get right to it. Based on my testing analysis, the following three bird feeder poles made the cut. They are:
To better understand how I arrived at the recommendations below, l detailed what’s important when buying a bird feeder pole. Feel free to skip to the bird feeder pole buying guide.
Bird Feeder Pole Reviews
1. The Best Overall & Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Pole: Squirrel Stopper Sequoia
The “best” award easily goes to the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia. This is the one I use in my yard.
And, the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia is surprisingly easy to install. When I first pulled the huge auger out of the box and observed the line on the center pole indicating the depth it needed to go into the ground (20″) – I was worried. How am I going to get that thing in the ground?
I inserted an iron twisting rod that came with it, into the holes at the top of the base unit and began twisting into the ground. I was able to twist the full 20″ relatively easily.
The first 16″ went in like butter – the remaining 4″ required me to take a lot of breaks and lean into the twisting, but I succeeded in getting the full 20″ in the ground. That pole is in the ground, solid, and not moving!
From there the Sequoia features just got better. The solid steel center pole and threaded joints of each section (including the auger) make it rock solid and stable so the heaviest of feeders won’t bend it.
The mechanism for the shepherd hooks slid onto the center pole at the top. Then, each hook slid into its own opening that locked tightly in place. There was no movement from these hooks – they stay in place and do not move so the feeders won’t jostle around when the birds start hopping around.
Just a touch of the baffle caused the solid smooth piece to bob around. No squirrel is going to successfully reach the feeders.
The pole is powder coated to help prevent rusting.
Once fully installed it stands 98″ tall. For most people, a grabber/reacher tool or a step stool will be needed to access the feeders.
- Great price for a solid, high-quality bird feeder system.
- Solid steel construction and pole sections are threaded/screwed into each other for ultimate sturdiness.
- Easy to install despite the added step of twisting the auger into the ground.
- Included the iron rod to make installation of auger easier.
- Four shepherd’s hooks to hold more bird feeders. Hooks are a long distance from the center pole (19″) allowing the birds to be spread further apart which is healthier for the birds. Also accommodates larger feeders such as hanging platform feeders.
- Built-in squirrel baffle that’s round, solid, and moves around preventing the squirrel from getting to the feeders. After almost a year in my yard, no squirrel has been able to get to the feeders.
- Excellent customer service.
- Height (98″) can be a challenge for some people and requires the purchase of a grabber/reacher tool (see below) or step stool.
The Squirrel Stopper Sequoia is for you if… You’re an avid backyard birder and need a pole that will last, supports multiple feeder sizes/weights, and/or is tired of feeding the squirrels.
** Update ** Less than a year after installing the Sequoia in my yard, we experienced a winter storm that brought in excess of 50 mph winds. As a result, a section of the center pole bent. I contacted Squirrel Stopper and within one week had a replacement pole free of charge. Now that’s customer service!
Given the height of the Sequoia, unless you’re more than 6′ tall, I recommend purchasing a grabber/reacher tool, such as the one below. It makes reaching the feeders a snap! Alternatively, a step stool will work as well.
2. The Best Heavy-Duty & Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Pole: Squirrel Stopper Deluxe
My recommendation for the best heavy-duty bird feeder pole is also by the Squirrel Stopper brand. It’s the Squirrel Stopper Deluxe model. If you have large and/or heavy bird feeders you need a heavy-duty pole to support them. The Squirrel Stopper Deluxe is perfect for the job.
Similar to the Sequoia model, the Deluxe’s center pole is made from solid steel construction. While the Sequoia’s center poles are an impressive 1.5″ in diameter, the Deluxe is 2″ ! This is the largest diameter in the industry.
Once installed it’s rock-solid so you can put up the largest feeder you can find and fill it without worrying it will break or bend the system.
The center pole segments insert and twist-lock into place for stability and to keep the center square.
The Deluxe is advertised with 8 hooks for hanging feeders and other garden decor (e.g. wind chimes, etc). Because wild birds need more space when feeding (as I discuss in the Guide to Buying a Bird Feeder Pole) I would only use the outer 4 hooks for the bird feeders.
Just like the Sequoia, this model is powder-coated to help prevent rusting.
The Deluxe also comes in 3 different colors and a cardinal finial at the top, for more decor variety. (Most, including the Sequoia, only come in black).
- Solid steel construction and the largest diameter center pole in the industry (2″) for maximum sturdiness.
- Easy to install. Comes with an iron twisting rod to make installation super easy.
- Four hooks to hold more bird feeders. (It advertises 8 hooks but I think the inside ones are too close to the center pole for a bird feeder).
- The outside hooks are a long distance from the center pole (19″) allowing the birds to be spread further apart as they’re feeding which is healthier for the birds. Also accommodates larger feeders such as hanging platform feeders.
- Built-in squirrel baffle that’s round, solid, and moves around preventing the squirrel from getting to the feeders.
- Three different colors/finishes to choose from to match your outdoor vibe.
The Squirrel Stopper Deluxe is for you if… You’re an avid backyard birder and need the strongest, most solid unit available, that will last, supports multiple feeder sizes/weights, has squirrel problems, or would like something other than a black color/finish.
3. The Best Budget-Friendly Bird Feeder Pole: Feed Garden Deluxe
Not everyone can afford or wants to invest in the best. This is especially true when starting out with bird feeding. That’s where the Feed Garden Deluxe comes in.
Compared with the 3 other budget-priced models I purchased, installed, and tested, the Feed Garden Deluxe was the best.
The Feed Garden Deluxe is made of iron, has 4 shepherd’s hooks for feeders, and is supported by a fork-style base. These are all features I’d expect from a budget model. I was happy to see it has 4 forks, rather than 3, for more stability.
The most impressive part of the Feed Garden Deluxe is the top 2 hook ends are 10″ from the center pole which allows you to hang larger, bulkier bird feeders and more space for birds to congregate.
The lower/moveable hooks are only 7.5″ from the center pole and are likely only suitable for tube feeders. However, I liked the ability to arrange these 2 at the level and angle you desire for versatility.
The model was super easy to assemble and install. It literally took me 5 minutes to assemble (inside my house by the way), and a minute to step on the forks and install them into the ground.
The center pole is a standard 13/16″ but only had 3 sections which is a plus for stability. The pole sections are inserted into one another for a tight fit. The stability was acceptable considering the fork style.
I don’t consider aesthetics to be a critical factor when choosing a bird pole but I thought the Feed Garden was sharp! I liked the twisted finial at the top – it added a lovely design element.
The Feed Garden does not come with a squirrel preventer but you could add one on if you need it.
- Budget-friendly price
- The base is comprised of 4 forks for greater stability.
- Two of the four shepherd’s hooks are 10″ away from the center pole allowing for larger feeders and more space for birds to congregate and stay healthy.
- Ability to move lower hooks at different heights and place them around the pole to prevent hanging items from hitting one another.
- The center section is comprised of only 3 poles for greater stability and strength.
- Easy to install.
- No squirrel preventer.
- The lower two hooks are very close to the center pole rendering them more useful for hanging garden ornaments rather than bird feeders.
The Feed Garden Deluxe is for you if…
You’re new to backyard birding and are testing the waters or on a budget/don’t want to invest in a solid model, and don’t have squirrel problems.
4. Wild Birds Unlimited Advanced Pole System
If I were giving an award for the best bird feeder pole from a brick-and-mortar store – it would be Wild Birds Unlimited’s (APS) Advanced Pole System.
My first pole was in fact an APS, which still stands in my yard today, and is in the picture above.
Unlike the others, the APS is modular. The base APS includes the auger style base, 2-piece steel pole, 2 hooks, chickadee finial, and a large “stabilizer” which is essentially a fork that helps to further stabilize the auger base. Once you add another 2 shepherd’s hooks and a baffle, you’ve exceeded the cost of the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia.
An iron twisting rod is not included. Instructions advise using a screwdriver which can be a bit more challenging to install. The iron twisting rod is really the way to go (refer to the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia review above).
The APS is powder-coated to prevent rusting but I was unable to identify the type of metal (iron vs. steel) it’s made of.
The center section connects using snap and twist buttons for stability and won’t twist when the winds pick up.
My only complaints with the APS are:
- It doesn’t include an iron twisting rod, so installation is more challenging.
- Shopping online is hit or miss. You’re required to enter your ZIP code and select a store near you. Depending on the store, the item may or may not be available to purchase online.
- The Wild Birds Unlimited retail stores are not always nearby.
The Wild Birds Unlimited is for you if you prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store, have a WBU nearby, and don’t mind paying more for a modular system.
5. Kettle Moraine Bird Feeder Pole Set – 3 Arm
When the Kettle Moraine Bird Feeder Pole arrived I was immediately impressed with the quality of the packaging (thick cardboard, clearly marked name of contents, styrofoam between the pieces) and durability of the parts.
The center pole is steel construction with a 1″ diameter – a great foundation for strength and stability.
I thought the Kettle Moraine was going to make my top 3 but as I proceeded to install and assess it, it failed a few key areas.
Similar to the Squirrel Stopper systems, the base is installed with a ground auger. It was noticeably narrower than the Squirrel Stoppers.
And, the set did not come with an iron rod for twisting into the ground. I searched through my husband’s hundreds of tools to find something with a thick, long, and strong shaft. I found a screwdriver and went to work twisting the auger into the ground but was only able to get about 8″ in without either breaking the screwdriver or ripping my arms out of their sockets.
At first, I thought the difficulty was because our ground was too hard so I set it aside. I then installed the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia (just a foot away) which easily twisted into the ground.
Without installing the Kettle Moraine fully into the ground I couldn’t recommend it for stability purposes.
It also received lower marks because the hook distance from the center pole was only 12″. I would have celebrated this on a budget model but expected more from a system with a higher price point (higher than the best overall).
I still consider it “good” but for review purposes, the Squirrel Stoppers were better. In addition, customer service was lacking in this brand. Since this pole wasn’t going to work for me I returned it. Sadly, I was charged a 15% restocking fee. This was disappointing.
6. Erva Tool Heavy Duty Bird Feeder Pole Set – 3 Arm
Upon opening the box and inspecting the system I realized the pole system was nearly identical to the Kettle Moraine 3-Arm system so I did not install it.
However, the Erva Tool bird feeder system hooks are different than the Kettle Moraine system. They are much further from the center pole (22″) allowing for larger bird feeders and for more space for the birds to congregate without bothering one another.
The Erva Tool does not have a squirrel preventer so if they are a problem for you, I’d recommend choosing one of the Squirrel Stopper poles.
Following are the additional budget models I tested and the results of my analysis. To be clear, if you’re interested in a budget model I highly recommend the Feed Garden Deluxe above.
7. MIXXIDEA Deluxe Bird feeding Station Kit with 4 Bird Feeders
The MIXXIDEA DBFSK4BF (Deluxe Bird Feeding Station Kit w/4 Bird Feeders) is a decent budget-friendly bird feeder pole system.
It’s very similar to the Feed Garden I recommend for the best budget model with only the following differences:
- The 2 top shepherd’s hooks are closer to the center pole which can cause crowding among the birds (8.5″ vs 10″).
- Comes in bronze color which may or may not be preferable to some people (Feed Garden is black).
8. MIXXIDEA Deluxe Bird Feeding Station Kit with 6 Bird Feeders
The MIXXIDEA DBFSK6BF (Deluxe Bird Feeding Station Kit w/6 Bird Feeders) is another decent budget-friendly option.
It’s very similar to the MIXXIDEA Deluxe Bird Feeding Station Kit above with these differences:
- 2 additional hooks for a total of 6.
- The 2 top hooks for this model are further from the center pole which allows for larger bird feeders and more space for the birds to congregate (10″ vs. 8.5″).
- The 2 lower hooks are further from the section pole which allows more space for feeders and the birds (7.75″ vs 7.5″).
9. Yosager Premium Bird Feeding Station Kit
Appears to be the same as the Ashman Premium Bird Feeding Station Kit
The Yosager Premium Bird Feeding Station Kit has similar attributes to the other budget-friendly systems mentioned with the following differences:
- The 2 top hooks are the furthest from the center pole of all the budget-friendly models at 10.5″ – this allows for larger feeders and more space for birds to congregate.
- The 2 lower hooks are closest to the center pole among all the budget-friendly models at 6″. This constrains the space birds can move around in and limits the size of the feeder you can hang.
What to Look for When Buying The Best Bird Feeder Pole
In this guide, I’ll get into the details of key features, why they’re important, and some tips along the way.
- Strength & Stability
- Capacity & Usability
- Ease of Installation
- Purchase/Return Convenience
1. Strength & Stability
Bird feeder pole systems come with a laundry list of features but which ones are really important? Below are the 7 key elements you should consider when shopping for one:
Strength and stability are the most important factors to consider when purchasing a bird feeder pole.
A bird feeder pole must be strong because multiple bird feeders, each filled with birdseed, can get very heavy. Look for a strong and solid center pole with 3 or fewer sections that when connected, function as one unit and don’t wobble or jiggle.
Also, pay attention to the soldering joints for the shepherd’s hooks and make sure they look clean. Messy soldering can be an indication of carelessness and lower quality. No one wants their bird feeder dropping to the ground from a bad solder joint.
It needs to be stable enough to support uneven weight distribution without leaning. Whether you have one bird feeder hanging or four, it should stand straight and solid. The stability is based on the bottom support as well as the center pole.
Poles with bottom support that go deeper into the ground provide the best stability.
Those with ground augers and a twisting rod make the task of twisting the base pole into the ground easier. Just how deep? To give you an idea – the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia (the best bird feeder pole) goes 20″ deep into the ground.
Many budget models utilize “fork staking” for bottom support. The forks spread out and also go into the ground but only about 8″.
Stability with fork staking is determined by the distance the fork is from the center pole (longer is better), how deep in the ground each fork goes, (deeper is better), and the number of forks (more is better). Look for a model that has at least 4 forks that go into the ground at least 8″ and are at least 4.5″ from the center pole.
Look for one with a center pole comprised of 3 or fewer sections, made of steel, at least 1″ diameter, and the sections lock in place such as threaded connections to screw the sections together or twist and lock button.
2. Capacity & Usability
Consider how many bird feeders you’d like to hang and make sure the one you choose can support this number.
If you’re new to backyard birding and unsure, I recommend looking for one with 4 shepherds’ hooks. After you put out your first feeder and the birds start coming, you’ll be hooked and want to attract even more and different kinds of birds.
Bird feeders should have ample space between each other and from the center pole for usability. That is, to prevent feeders from knocking into the pole or one another.
Space is also preferred by your feathered friends when they visit. Many are territorial – especially during breeding season – and may fight other birds at the feeder. Also, if a sick bird were to visit, more space helps mitigate the spread of illness.
Look for one whose hooks are at least 7″ from the center pole . 10″ or more is truly the ideal distance but 7″ is the minimum.
3. Squirrel Proof
Look for one that is squirrel-proof. They will stop at nothing to get at your feeders and devour the bird food. Not only does this bust the birdseed budget but it also scares the birds away.
Many brands claim they’re “squirrel-proof”. In my experience, the ones that are close to 100% squirrel-proof are built-in (vs add-on baffles), large, smooth, and have some movement so the squirrel can’t gain leverage on it and launch upward to a feeder.
Add-on squirrel baffles are available to help keep squirrels at bay. However, they’re not usually as effective at stopping these giant rodents but usually offer relief for a period of time – until the squirrels in your yard have figured out the nuances of the baffle!
If you don’t have a squirrel problem, you will. And you’ll be glad you have a bird feeder pole that is squirrel-proof.
4. Ease of Installation
Nobody wants to spend hours installing the pole, nor should they need to.
Instructions are provided but let’s be honest, bird feeder poles are not complicated and the general concept doesn’t vary much from one brand to another.
- You have the base that attaches to the ground (via ground auger or forks);
- Center poles that attach to one another somehow (via insert, screw together, insert with buttons);
- Hooks are installed near the top.
Higher quality models will take longer to install because the base entails twisting an auger into the ground – over 1.5′. Look for a model that includes the “twisting rod” because it makes the job significantly easier. Plus, it’s highly unlikely you already have a metal rod that is the perfect diameter, strength, and length to take don’t the task. I know I didn’t!
Budget models are generally all the same and take no time at all to install. The base entails 3-5 forks that are easily inserted into the ground by stepping on them. The center poles are just inserted as well.
5. Purchase/Return Convenience
If you’re pressed for time or just enjoy the convenience of ordering online, there are plenty of online stores to purchase from. We all know Amazon returns are super simple, but what about fees? Make sure you understand the cost of returning if you need to. This is true even for Amazon as some stores that sell through them may charge a restocking fee.
Look for a reputable and reliable vendor to purchase from that also has an easy and fair return policy.
I do not recommend purchasing a bird feeder pole based on looks alone. Assuming it meets all of the other criteria mentioned above, the appearance just isn’t important.
Note: The best thing you can do to improve the appearance under the bird pole.
For most people, the cost cannot be ignored. That said, my research revealed a direct correlation between quality and cost. On the budget end, you can find a bird feeder pole for under $50, and on the higher end around $200.
If you’re new to birding or on a budget go for the best budget model, and upgrade when you can.
If you’re in it for the long haul, have large/heavy feeders, or have squirrel problems, it’s more cost-effective to invest in the best feeder pole. If you buy the budget model it won’t last long and you’ll be back shopping for the best anyways.
There are plenty of options out in the market for bird feeder pole systems. When you’re in the market for one it can be challenging to know which is best. I saved you the hassle and set up 9 different systems in my yard to determine whether or not they’re worthy of investment. I highly recommend 3 of the 9 systems.
- The Squirrel Stopper Sequoia Bird Feeder Pole for an overall excellent system;
- The Squirrel Stopper Deluxe Bird Feeder Pole is for heavy-duty;
- The Feed Garden Deluxe Bird Feeder Station for a budget-friendly model.
Either way, you can’t go wrong installing a pole in your yard. The birds will love flocking to the food and you’ll enjoy observing them. It’s up to you – how many times in your life do you want to be replacing bird feeder poles 😉