The Best Squirrel-Resistant Bird Feeders: Effective Yet Humane

Author: Tammy Poppie
Updated:

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3 of the best squirrel resistant bird feeders in a collage

This is my review of the best squirrel-resistant bird feeders.

Squirrels and wild birds share a common appetite for seeds, nuts, and suet. However, squirrels tend to consume and waste more, making them less welcome at feeders – especially with the rising cost of birdseed straining budgets. This reality sends us on a mission in search of the best squirrel-proof feeder. 

I’ve been backyard birding for almost 30 years and tried every feeder out there. I tested four feeders that claim to be squirrel-proof and confirmed that the Brome Squirrel Buster Plus is the best overall squirrel-resistant feeder.

Since we all have different budgets and bird feeding preferences, I also have recommendations for the best budget, best for suet, and best bird feeder pole to keep the squirrels away.

Let’s go!

The Best Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeders

Best Overall

squirrel proof feeder hanging from pine tree with red bellied woodpecker feeding on it

Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Feeder

View on JCS Wildlife

Best Budget-Friendly

Black capped chickadee eating from a Perky-Pet Country House Squirrel Resistent Feeder

Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone Country House

View on JCS Wildlife

Best for Suet

Downy woodpecker eating suet from Squirrel Stopper Round Squirrel Proof Suet Feeder

Squirrel Stopper Suet Feeder

View on JCS Wildlife

The 5 Best Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeders Reviewed

I purchased, installed, and tested several feeders in my yard to verify their squirrel-resistant effectiveness. I also observed how the feeder functions to ensure it is safe for the birds and other wildlife.

I ensured the materials and craftsmanship resulted in a durable device to last for years. The ability of the feeder to keep food dry was examined as well as its ease of cleanability.

Finally, I researched the warranty offered by the brand to ensure your investment was safe for the pricier feeders.

I assigned a value between 0-5 for each test marker mentioned above and calculated an average to arrive at the overall ranking of the feeder.

*Note: If a particular element was not applicable it was not included in the average. For example, suet does not need to be dry so the suet feeder was not assessed for its ability to keep food dry.

This is what I learned…


Brome Squirrel Buster Plus

Best Overall Squirrel-Proof Feeder

squirrel proof feeder hanging from pine tree with red bellied woodpecker feeding on it
A red-bellied woodpecker snacking from the Brome Squirrel-Buster Plus in my yard.

Specifications

Dimensions: 6.5″ x 6.5″ x 23.75″
Weight: 3.7 lbs.
Material: Metal & Plastic
Seed Capacity: 5.1 lbs/3 Quarts


What I Like

Supports a wide range of bird sizes.
Easy setup.
Adjustable to prevent large birds as well as squirrels.

What I Don’t Like

Pricey.

Test Score: 5

Humane
Reputable Brand
Key FactorScore
Safe5
Effective5
Durable5
Easy to Clean5
Keeps Food Dry5
Warranty5
Rating5.00

My Observations

When I first took the bird feeder out of the box, I felt a little nervous. It looked complex with all its parts, but luckily, I didn’t have to put anything together. This feeder is special because it stops squirrels from eating the bird food and lets you change the size of the feeding holes so that big birds can’t get the food either.

Brome gave me easy instructions with pictures, so I set up the feeder without any trouble.

In no time, I hung the feeder outside and watched a variety of species come to eat. I saw cardinals, Blue Jays, grackles, red-winged blackbirds, and even a red-bellied woodpecker! There’s also a special ring you can add so cardinals can sit and eat comfortably, making sure all sizes of birds can visit.

The video below shows a downy woodpecker snacking on a fresh peanut from the Bird Buster Plus in my yard.

YouTube video

The feeder uses a weight mechanism to close off the feeder ports. Birds are light so the ports remain open while heavier wildlife like squirrels and raccoons close the ports and block the food. This method is effective and humane!

The video below shows a hungry raccoon trying to breach my Squirrel-Buster Plus. Notice when he hangs from the feeder the feeding ring pulls down closing off the food. No food for you, Rocky!

YouTube video

While I have yet to capture a squirrel trying to steal food from my squirrel-Buster Plus, I’m confident it would have a similar experience.

Taking the feeder apart was just as simple, which made it easy for me to clean. The instructions were clear about how to break it down for cleaning.

Speaking of cleaning, the Squirrel-Buster Plus is so durable, that Brome says you can pop it in the dishwasher to clean it.

The feeder is made of several durable materials that ensure the feeder will be around for years and years.

  • The mechanism that opens/closes the ports based on the weight is made of metal.
  • The protective piece above helps keep rain and snow out of the feeder. It’s plastic.
  • The clear piece that contains the bird food is strong polycarbonate.

Brome offers an impressive warranty they call Lifetime Care that covers any squirrel damage and/or manufacturing defects. They don’t give these feeders away so it’s good to know your investment is protected.

About Brome Bird Care

Brome Bird Care is the company behind this feeder and has been in the business of wild bird feeders for years. They have a huge line of Squirrel-Buster feeders all designed to keep squirrels at bay and reserve the food for the birds. There’s much to love about this company, here’s just a few reasons they are high on my list:

  • Their products are built to last which is why they offer replacement parts for all the feeders.
  • You can actually speak to a customer service person at Brome proving they care about their customers and their reputation.

Best Overall

squirrel proof feeder hanging from pine tree with red bellied woodpecker feeding on it

Brome Squirrel Buster Plus

View on JCS Wildlife

Perky-Pet® Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House

Best Budget Squirrel-Proof Feeder 

Black capped chickadee eating from a Perky-Pet Country House Squirrel Resistent Feeder
Black-capped chickadee snacking from the Perky-Pet® Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House Wild Bird Feeder in my yard.

Specifications

Dimensions: 14″ x 11″ x 13.75″
Weight: 4.45 lbs.
Material: Metal
Seed Capacity: 8 lbs.


What I Like

Inexpensive.
Attractive design.
No setup is required.
Adjustable to prevent large birds as well as squirrels.

What I Don’t Like

The metal hanger can be tricky to maneuver so the roof can be removed for refilling & cleaning.

Test Score: 5

Humane
Reputable Brand
Key FactorScore
Safe5
Effective5
Durable5
Easy to Clean5
Keeps Food Dry5
Warranty5
Rating5.00

The video below shows the Perky-Pet® Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House in my yard with a squirrel attempting to breach it. It failed, along with all his other furry-tailed friends that tried.

YouTube video

I observed a variety of wild birds safely dining from this feeder including black-capped chickadees, eastern bluebirds, grackles, and red-winged blackbirds.

This feeder also offers an adjustable perch so you can host small and medium-sized songbirds but prevent the larger birds from feeding.

The video below shows a black-capped chickadee snagging a snack from the feeder in my yard.

YouTube video

Similar to the Brome Squirrel-Buster, the country feeder’s perch has a weight mechanism that closes off the food when a squirrel or heavier bird climbs on. This method is effective and humane!

When I unboxed the Perky-Pet® Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House I knew the feeder was made for people like me – mechanically challenged!

The feeder is made of three pieces – the feeder & perching mechanism, the roof, and the hanger.

The hanger serves two purposes. 1) It allows you to hang the feeder from a shepherd’s hook or pole. 2) It holds the roof in place to keep the food dry.

I was a little challenged trying to finagle the hanger. One side has several 90-degree bends and the right side serves as a “key” that must be inserted just right for the hanger to swing above the roof. It’s hard to explain but just check out the picture below.

I eventually figured it out but it took a while.

Cleaning was easy. Just remove the hanger and roof then lower into a bin of soapy water followed up with a bleach water soak.

The feeder is 100% metal so it’s extremely durable.

I love the bright red color. It appears to be powder-coated so should remain bright, shiny, and rust-free for years and years.

Perkey-Pet has a limited lifetime warranty guaranteeing that its products are free of manufacturing defects for the lifetime of the product (for the original owner). I think this is a pretty amazing warranty, especially for a budget feeder.

About Perky-Pet®

Perky-Pet is one of many brands owned by Woodstream, Inc.. Woodstream also owns Droll Yankees and More Birds, two other highly reputable brands in the wild bird industry.

The brand, Perky-Pet joined the Woodstream organization around 2006 but has been around since 1958. Since that time the brand has maintained its reputation of high-quality wild bird feeders and bird feeding accessories.

I highly recommend the Perky-Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House bird feeder for budget-minded birders.

Best Budget-Friendly

Black capped chickadee eating from a Perky-Pet Country House Squirrel Resistent Feeder

Perky Pet Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House

View on JCS Wildlife

Squirrel Stopper Round Squirrel Proof Suet Feeder

Best Squirrel Proof Feeder for Suet

Downy woodpecker eating suet from Squirrel Stopper Round Squirrel Proof Suet Feeder
Downy woodpecker snacking on suet inside the Squirrel Stopper Round Squirrel Proof Suet Feeder in my yard

Specifications

Dimensions: 11.5″ x 9.75″ (Diameter)
Weight: 3.7 lbs.
Material: Hammered metal roof and PVC-coated wire cage
Capacity: 2 Standard-Size Suet Cakes


What I Like

Easy to add suet while the feeder is still hanging.
No setup required.

What I Don’t Like

Takes a while for birds to figure out how to get at the suet.

Test Score: 5

Humane
Reputable Brand
Key FactorScore
Safe5
Effective5
Durable5
Easy to Clean5
Keeps Food DryN/A (Wet suet is not an issue)
Warranty5
Rating5.00

My Observations

I opened the box the feeder was shipped in, pulled it out and it was ready to hang. No setup or assembly. It was so simple.

It’s a straightforward design that holds two suet cakes that are surrounded by a round cage. The bar spacing of the cage is large enough to allow smaller birds inside but too small for squirrels and large birds. In my yard, I’ve seen downy woodpeckers and black-capped chickadees fit through the bars.

When the birds first approached the feeder, they stuck their heads through the cage and stretched forward to peck at the suet. It took a day or two but they eventually realized they could climb through the cage to comfortably eat.

The video below shows the Squirrel Stopper Round Squirrel-Proof Suet Feeder in my yard with a black-capped chickadee snacking away.

YouTube video

I really like that I can easily refill the suet cakes without taking the feeder down. The cage door easily unlatched and swung open with enough space to insert the cakes.

The large, thick, strong stainless steel ring on the top enables you to hang the feeder from a thick tree branch, shepherd’s hook, or hook hanging from a tree.

The cover is made of thick metal. The cage bars have a smooth, plastic coating so birds are not poked or scratched while climbing through the bars. Squirrels and large birds are also unharmed when trying to breach the cage.

The feeder material (metal and plastic) is durable and can be easily cleaned with soapy water and subsequent bleach water soak without deteriorating.

About Squirrel Stopper

Squirrel Stopper is a company that designs their own brand of high-quality bird feeder poles and bird feeders. The company is dedicated to keeping squirrels off of bird feeders.

Squirrel Stopper is also the sister company of JCs Wildlife, the best online place to buy backyard birding equipment and supplies. JCs’ mission is to offer the best quality products at the best price, with the fastest shipping available, and to include the best customer service. 

The company has been in the backyard birding business for more than 20 years. Today they have 2 U.S. locations and employ more than 30 people. They’re small enough to pick up the phone when you call but large enough to ship your order so you receive it in a couple of days.

I have more than 25 feeders, poles, and birdbaths (food too) that I purchased from JCs Wildlife and can attest to the fact that their mission is not just words. I’ve personally experienced excellent quality products, the arrival of orders within 1-2 days, and real people on the other end of the phone.

Best Suet

Downy woodpecker eating suet from Squirrel Stopper Round Squirrel Proof Suet Feeder

Squirrel Stopper Suet Feeder

View on JCS Wildlife
View on Amazon

Squirrel Stopper Sequoia

Best Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Pole System

bird feeder pole with 4 feeders hanging from it
Squirrel Stopper Sequoia bird feeder pole in my yard

Specifications

Dimensions: 1.25″ Diameter x 8’2″ Height (above ground).
Weight: 15 lbs.
Material: Alloy Steel (16 Gauge Tubular Steel)
Capacity: 4 Bird Feeders


What I Like

Any style or type of bird feeder can be used.
Stops squirrel before it reaches the feeder.
Sturdy and strong.

What I Don’t Like

Most people need a step stool or small ladder to reach the feeders.
Pricey.

Test Score: 5/5

Humane
Reputable Brand

Key FactorScore
Safe5
Effective5
Durable5
Easy to CleanN/A
Keeps Food DryN/A
Warranty5
Rating5.00

If you have several different feeders to protect against squirrel invasion you may want to consider a squirrel-resistant pole system instead of individual squirrel-proof feeders. This allows you to attract any birds, any type of bird food, and ensure no squirrels take over and steal all the food.

bird feeder pole with 4 feeders hanging from it
Squirrel Stopper Sequoia bird feeder pole in my yard

For example, I love platform feeders but on their own, they have no way of avoiding squirrel invasions. I hang my platform feeders from the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia in my yard and no squirrel has touched it. Ever.

I purchased my Squirrel Stopper Sequoia almost 3 years ago and it has never had a squirrel breach. How do I know? I have bird feeder cameras all over my yard including on my bird feeder pole so I would know if one had made it to the feeders.

The system relies on a baffle that twists, bounces, and “boings” all around the pole preventing the squirrel from climbing it. Squirrels can jump as much as 10′ so just be sure the install it at least 10 from the nearest tree.

I tested several bird feeder poles and found the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia to be the best. You can check out the article here: Best Bird Feeder Poles.

This pole system is also made by Squirrel Stopper. It’s the same company as the squirrel-resistant suet feeder above.

Best Pole System

bird feeder pole with 4 feeders hanging from it

Squirrel Stopper Sequoia Pole System

View on JCS Wildlife
View on Amazon


Buying Guide

There are so many different squirrel-proof bird feeders on the market it’s hard to know which is the best. 

Some of them work really well and stop squirrels from getting to the food. Others don’t work at all, and squirrels can still get the food. 

Then there’s the type of feeder that is flat-out inhumane to squirrels causing them harm or distress. These should be avoided!

Follow my minimum requirements rule and you’ll immediately reduce the overwhelming list of choices.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Must be humane
  2. Reputable brand

Must be Humane

I was shocked to discover a popular squirrel-proof feeder that works by spinning the squirrel in circles and ultimately flinging it off.

We may not want to feed the squirrels but there’s no reason to be unkind. This approach certainly distresses the squirrel and could cause real harm. 

The bottom line, you don’t have to resort to wildlife abuse because there are better options.

Reputable brand

Quite a few brands have really set the bar high in the wild bird market, sticking around for decades because they’ve mastered the mix: high-quality products, fresh innovations, and the kind of customer service that makes you feel like old friends. Without that combo of quality, ingenuity, and support, these companies wouldn’t have enjoyed such staying power — they’d have vanished like a feather on the breeze!

Here are just a few examples of reputable brands (in alphabetical order):

  • Bird’s Choice
  • Brome
  • Droll Yankees
  • More Birds
  • Nature’s Way
  • Perky-Pet
  • Squirrel Stopper
  • Woodlink.

By narrowing the pool of products to the ones made by a reputable brand, you mitigate the risk of the feeder ending up on a garbage heap. 

In other words, skip the generic and white-label products. 

Key Factors

Now that you’ve eliminated the feeders deemed inhumane and the fly-by-night generic brands, let’s take a look at the key factors that make a squirrel-proof feeder worthy of your money.

  1. Safe
  2. Effective
  3. Durable
  4. Easy to Clean
  5. Warranty

Safe

We already determined the feeder is safe for the squirrels from the minimum requirements above (must be humane). Now you need to make sure it’s safe for the birds. The mechanism that enables it to deter squirrels must safely allow birds to feed. Look for product reviews from people who have actually used the feeder. If the feeder has harmed a bird, you’ll find it in the reviews.

Effective

The feeder must also be effective at feeding the birds. In other words, the squirrel prevention mechanism shouldn’t hinder the birds’ ability to eat. 

Look for people you know who have used the feeder and can vouge for its effectiveness.

Durable

Unless you want to buy a new feeder each year, the feeder must be made from strong, long-lasting material that squirrels cannot chew through. Great choices are metal (bonus points if powder-coated to avoid rusting), recycled poly lumber, and polycarbonate.

The craftsmanship is equally important to ensure the thing doesn’t fall apart in your yard. Look for stainless steel parts & pieces like screws and hangers. Plastic pieces should fit together tight and snug to keep moisture out.

Easy to Clean

Feeders that are easy to clean get cleaned more often. I don’t have scientific proof of this but it just makes sense.

Look for a device that comes apart easily so the parts and pieces can be scrubbed, soaked, and rinsed in a reasonable-sized container. You need to be able to get at tight crevices to eliminate the chances of mold.

Feeders made with the durable materials mentioned above (metal, poly lumber, polycarbonate) are very easy to clean. They withstand scrubbing, rinse easily, and dry fast! Avoid wood as it takes days to dry.

Keeps Food Dry

Dry food is more appealing to birds. If it’s wet or even moist the birds will avoid it and the food could even mold. If birds ingest moldy moldy food they can become very sick.

Any feeder you buy, including a squirrel-resistant one, should seal tightly so the food inside remains dry and as fresh as the day you filled it.

Warranty

Some squirrel-proof feeders are pricey ($100 +). You want to protect your investment with a strong and lengthy warranty. Look for a minimum of 1-year warranty for any feeder you will be spending more than $100 on.

Wrapping Up

Don’t let the pesky squirrels keep you from your passion for backyard bird feeding. I wouldn’t let it keep me down which is why I purchased, installed, and tested several squirrel-resistant feeders and poles.

I also created a buying guide so you could easily spot a worthy squirrel-proof feeder. Just remember:

  • The feeder must use a humane approach to squirrel deterrence.
  • The company should be reputable for quality and service.
  • The feeder must be safe for the birds.
  • The feeder must be effective at keeping the squirrels away from the food.
  • The feeder must be durable so it lasts for many seasons.
  • The feeder must be easy to clean because responsible birders are serious about preventing the spread of disease.
  • The feeder must have at least 1-year warranty to protect your investment (especially if it’s a pricey option).

For an overall terrific squirrel-resistant feeder, I recommend the Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Feeder.

For the best squirrel-proof suet feeder, I recommend the Squirrel Stopper Round Suet Feeder.

For the best budget squirrel prevention method, I recommend the Perky-Pet® Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House.

If you want to keep squirrels off your feeders even if they’re not ‘squirrel-resistant’ feeders, you will not be disappointed with the Squirrel Stopper Sequoia Bird Feeder Pole System. put out any feeder the best

I tested each of these feeders in my yard and stand behind each recommendation!


Do you have a squirrel-resistant feeder you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.