Top 5 Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders (that don’t harm birds)

IS there such a thing as a bird feeder that is squirrel proof?

Yes, with a couple of important cautions:

First, a truly starving animal can break into just about anything.

Second, “squirrel” is tightly defined (by manufacturers) as “adult gray squirrel” .

Don’t buy a squirrel-proof bird feeder to solve problems with red or black squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks, rats, mice, raccoons, possums, bully birds or bears. It won’t do the trick.

In fact, if you live in the areas shaded in purple on this map you’ll need squirrel-busting measures beyond a squirrel proof bird feeder to keep your bird seed squirrel-free.

Map showing range of red squirrels in North America

Red Squirrel range in North America

How much should a squirrel proof bird feeder cost?

You should expect to spend around $100 or a bit more for an effective squirrel resistant bird feeder. Poles, baffles and other accessories you may require are usually sold separately.

That may sound like a lot of money, but if you’re spending $15-$20 a week for bird food and losing half of it to the squirrels, it won’t take long for that feeder to pay for itself.

If you don’t mind feeding some of the squirrels some of the time, you can get a squirrel-resistant bird feeder for about $40 US.

The Myard MBF 75160-G Double Sided Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder (catchy name or what?) is a nice looking feeder that holds about 7 lbs of food.

It gets positive (but not squirrel-proof) reviews and it will save you money on bird seed – but a few squirrels will still grab an occasional snack.

If you want real squirrel-stopping power, consider one of these feeders instead.

Top 5 Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Product

Our Rating

Details

Price

Brome Squirrel Buster Plus

Squirrel Buster Plus -squirrel proof bird feeder

5 lb capacity

Any seed

Hang or pole mount

Fantastic guarantee

Arundale Sky Cafe

NOT ‘The Mandarin’ which looks similar

5 lb capacity

Any seed

Hang only

4 colors or clear

Easy clean/fill

Nuttery Globe

1.5 lb capacity

Peanut or seed mix versions

Protects birds

Hang anywhere

Easy fill/clean

Woodlink Domed Cage

18 lb/3 Gal capacity

Any seed

Hang only

Easy fill

Some effort to clean

Vari-Craft Heavy Duty Caged Feeder

18 lb/3 Gal capacity

Any seed

Hang only

Easy fill

Some effort to clean

Table of Contents

Why are squirrels so hard to beat?

  • They are incredible acrobats: grey squirrels and fox squirrels can jump a gap 8 feet wide. They can jump 4 to 5 feet straight up and jump 15 feet or so downward.
  • Their paws and claws are ideally suited to hang on to almost any landing place, and grey squirrels can turn their ankles 180 degrees backwards to hang on to things.
  • A squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing, so they can chew on things basically forever.
  • They are also gifted with enough intelligence and adaptability to observe and adapt to your efforts to defeat them!

How do squirrel proof bird feeders work?

These feeders work in one or more of several possible ways:

  • By using the squirrel’s weight to close the feeding ports.
  • By using a large plastic or metal hood to keep squirrels off
  • By using a cage to keep squirrels out
  • By using a small motor to toss them off
  • By using a small electric zap to scare them away.

All of these methods are humane (yes, even the electric one) and all of them are quite effective within certain limitations.

Top 5 Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders: Detailed Reviews

Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Review

Squirrel Buster Plus squirrel proof bird feeder

Squirrels hate this feeder: it absolutely IS a squirrel proof bird feeder under almost all conditions. (The exception: occasionally a freeze after wet weather can result in feeding ports being frozen open.)

You’ll love watching the furry little monsters eat their hearts out trying to get at the food with no success, and you’ll love saving all that money on wasted bird seed.

With six feeding ports, there’s room for a lot of birds to come, and many Squirrel Buster Plus owners report that Cardinals and other birds take to this feeder immediately. (On the other hand, quite a few report that Cardinals won’t go near it.)

See on Amazon

How It Works

Here’s a video from Bob at the Gilligallou Bird store, demonstrating how the squirrel-busting works on 3 different Brome squirrel proof bird feeders:

Placement

You can hang this feeder almost anywhere that has 18” clearance both vertically and horizontally. (So that squirrels can’t reach the food with their front paws while keeping most of their weight off the feeder.)

You can also put this feeder on a metal pole (wood isn’t strong enough).

Brome makes an adapter that will let you put this feeder on any metal pole with an outside diameter of one inch. You’ll have to buy the pole, though. It’s not included with the feeder or with the adapter.

Amazon carries a great 5-piece feeder pole kit made by Erva. At $60 US or so, it’s a bit pricey, but it does get great reviews.

If you’re a handy DIYer, cheap electrical conduit piping will also work if it stays vertical.

Pro Tip: If you decide to go with metal pipe buy the adapter first so you can try it on the pipe to be sure it will fit. (A lot of people have purchased the wrong size pipe by mistake.)

Capacity

The Squirrel Buster Plus’s generous five-pound capacity means you’re also going to love not having to refill your feeder every day (unless you’re feeding a huge flock of birds. )

Filling

You’ll need to take the feeder down to fill it, but the lid opens easily for refilling and is easy to put back in place.

You can use pretty much any kind of seed in this feeder. It doesn’t have compartments so you can only use one kind or mix at a time.

Brome also makes a squirrel proof feeder designed for shelled peanuts, and another one for suet.

Cleaning

You’ll need to take this feeder apart to clean it properly, but it comes apart easily. Brome recommends using vinegar instead of bleach for cleaning, or putting it in the dishwasher.

Related: 60 (Sickening) Reasons NOT to Clean Your Bird Feeder in the Dishwasher!

Pro Tip: Bleach is more effective than vinegar. Grapefruit Seed Extract is non-toxic and 10 to 100 times more effective than bleach.

Other

Brome claims this feeder is “chew proof”, but failed to provide any substantive basis for this claim when asked. A few users have reported significant chewing damage to this feeder.

Typical positive comments from Squirrel Buster Plus users:

“This is a second purchase of the best bird feeder I have ever owned. The first was bought 5 years ago, is still in use, and shows no sign of rust or other deterioration. We have great fun watching the squirrels trying desperately to get at the seeds and failing every time. It is so easy to clean, and it can easily be adjusted for the maximum weight of bird you wish to attract.”

“If you want a squirrel-proof feeder this is the one to get. Don’t waste money on anything else. This one is the badboy. Excellent structure and quality, easy to clean, aesthetically pleasing, and most importantly… squirrel-proof.”

“This thing does what it says! I’ve battled the squirrels long enough from my hanging bird feeder, specifically hanging from a tree where every baffle has been defeated by team squirrels. Yes, it costs more than your typical feeder but the pleasure you will get when you watch a squirrel lose to the Buster, well let’s just say its priceless.”

Typical negative comments from Squirrel Buster Plus users:

“Just 10 days after hanging in the bird feeding garden, the squirrels chewed through a “hidden” plastic piece & the feeder was laying on the ground.”

“One clever squirrel figured this (feeder) out in about 3 weeks then was able to chew through it on one try. Amazingly all the (other) squirrels learned the trick within a day, and they chewed through the “guaranteed 100% chew proof material.”

Quite a number of owners report that Cardinal simply refuse to use this feeder.

“When they tried to feed anyway, every Cardinal we saw had to peck hard down into the portal hole, several times, to come up with one sunflower seed. It was a lot of work, and our Cardinals soon gave up and went back to easier feeders.”

“The (feeding) the ports aren’t large enough for cardinals.”

Pros

  • Suitable for hanging or pole mounting.
  • Easy adjustable weight trigger lets you choose which birds to feed.
  • No tools required for assembly.
  • Holds a lot of seed.
  • Optional Cardinal ring (included) helps larger birds feed.
  • Ventilation helps keep food dry to prevent mold/mildew.
  • Fast and remarkable customer service: Brome will replace any broken parts (or the whole feeder if necessary) for free, for life. They pay the shipping too

Cons

  • Assembly required
  • Installing the Cardinal ring can be a bit tricky (be sure to retighten the wing nut underneath the feeder.)
  • The perches that help keep the Cardinal ring in place tend to unscrew due to birds jumping off them.
  • A freeze after wet weather may allow moisture to freeze the feeding ports either open or shut.
  • Water can get inside the feeder by running down the center post, in which case the ventilation might not dry the seed out enough.
  • Too long and heavy for a multi-arm feeder pole.

The Bottom Line

The Brome Squirrel Buster Plus is a proven, reliable and durable product that is well-accepted by most birds, holds a large amount of seed and stops all but the most determined squirrels.

The vast majority of users are delighted with this product and many say they love it enough to have several of them.

Recommendation: Buy

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Arundale Sky Cafe Review

If you have lots of Cardinals along with your squirrels, the Arundale Sky Café is going to be your new favorite feeder. This one is the only squirrel-resistant feeder we recommend that Cardinals can easily feed from.

The Sky Café’s tall pointed cover effectively foils squirrels – they slide right off. It also shelters birds on the feeding tray from rain, snow and other uglies that fall out of the sky.

The clear Plexiglas version is quite attractive but if you prefer a colored feeder, the pointed cover comes in 4 transparent colors: green, blue, red or orange.
The Sky Café is made in the USA from 100% recycled Plexiglas

See on Amazon

You’ll see the birds easily with this transparent feeder. You’ll also find it very easy to see when the food is running low.

Cardinals are notoriously nervous about small perches, but as you can see in the video below, this feeder gives them a nice platform to hold on to, with lots of room for other birds to join them.

How It Works

The dome on this squirrel proof bird feeder keep squirrels from getting close to the food:

Placement

You can hang this feeder anywhere there’s 18” of horizontal clearance all around the feeder. This will stop squirrels from reaching over and grabbing the feeding tray. You can also mount this feeder on a 1” outside diameter pole (not included), but you’ll need to add a baffle or a Slinky to stop squirrels from climbing the pole.

If your area gets a lot of wind, you might want to get a second S hook and use it to hook the bottom of the chain to the top, so the feeder doesn’t swing as much in blustery weather.

Don’t bother with the nylon cord and lock accessory that holds the lid on the pole-mounted feeder: several people report that squirrels destroyed the cord within a day or so.

Pro Tip: Put a small carabiner clip or a cotter pin through the first link of the chain at the pointy part instead.

Capacity

The Sky Café holds about 5 lb or 1.5 gallons of seed. If you want to offer several different kinds of seed you can get an insert to create 4 separate seed chambers inside the bin.
You can also buy the feeder and insert together.

Filling

Fairly easy. To fill this feeder, you slide the long, wide pointed cover up the chain to fill this feeder, then slip it back down the chain and make sure it’s evenly seated on the bin ( so it doesn’t tip and dump the seed).

Cleaning

Extremely easy to clean.

Bird Safety Note

Arundale makes a similar feeder with feeding ports and perches instead of a tray (the Arundale 150 Mandarin).

DON’T BUY this version – it may be a squirrel proof bird feeder, but several owners report that small birds have been trapped inside the feeder or got their heads stuck in a feeding port and died.

Typical positive comments from Sky Cafe owners:

“This was one of my first (feeders) and I’m so pleased that I’ve already bought a second. This feeder is constantly full of my wild birds – cardinals, sparrows, blue birds, chickadees, goldfinches, and mourning doves on the ground below. I often have 20+ birds on and around it (and it’s winter as I write this – I can’t imagine spring.) It has been very resistant to wind, rain, and ice and the overall design is sturdy. I love that it came with a chain and an “S” hook.

My only very minor complaint is that it can be a little cumbersome to fill while it’s still hanging, and mine is high so I can’t take it down without using a full-sized ladder. As I said, I’ve already bought a second one to hang in the spring, so I’m very happy with this.”

“Exactly what we were looking for ! Easy to fill, and clean.. very attractive; not cheaply made. The material is sturdy. Would recommend this product without reservation.”

“In 30 years I have never had a squirrel defeat the feeder and I have watched them try everything.”

“Great if you have a squirrel problem. They will completely slide off the top. They can jump and catch the bottom if you have it too close to your deck, but it is hard for them to hold to the bottom for long periods. They eventually give up.”

Typical negative comments from Sky Cafe owners:

“Some moisture can get into the feeder via the hole in the dome’s top required to pass the chain. I just tie a piece of plastic wrap around the top of the dome where the chain pulls through and it seems to have done the trick.”

“Great concept except the birds avoid it. I think the area between the tray and the top is too narrow. I gave it to a friend, and he said the birds in his yard avoid it as well. Not being used.”

“Should have bigger holes for larger seeds”

Note: Arundale says the smaller holes encourage natural hunt and peck behavior.

“Not squirrel proof if there is any snow (crusted on it.) They can dig their claws in and hang on (to the snow).”

Pros

  • Holds 5 lb of seed.
  • Keeps seeds dry and protects birds from weather.
  • Cardinals use it readily.
  • Pretty.

Cons

  • Lid must be set evenly on the rim or the feeder may tip and spill the seeds out.
  • Fairly heavy when full, needs a sturdy hook or pole.
  • Can be awkward to fill.

The Bottom Line

The Sky Café is an excellent product with flocks of raving fans. It is a squirrel proof bird feeder when placed properly and kept free of ice and snow.

Very well worth your investment. (Again, don’t buy the 150 Mandarin version – the one that has perches instead of a tray.)

Recommendation: Buy

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The Nuttery NT070 Globe Peanut/Sunflower Seed Feeder

If you’re tired of seeing jays and squirrels gobble up every single peanut in sight, you’re going to love this feeder. They simply can’t get into it. Adult gray squirrels can’t get through the bars and they can’t lift the lid either – the hanger handles are designed to lock the lid down tight.

But you won’t have any trouble opening it – with handles flipped out of the way the lid just lifts off.

You’ll save money on food because swinging or shaking this feeder doesn’t cause spills, and it doesn’t come apart when dropped. (Handy if you’re occasionally clumsy like me or are troubled be raccoons.)

See on Amazon

At about 12” around, the Nuttery Globe is small and light (2.5 lbs empty), but you may have to fill it more often than you’d like because it only holds about 1.5 lbs of peanuts or sunflower seeds.

There’s also a Nuttery Globe Feeder for mixed seed or sunflower chips although if this one gets knocked down, the seeds will spill out.

The Nuttery Globe is made in China, of powder-coated steel.

Placement

You can hang this feeder near a window, on your deck or from a shepherd’s hook. It’s not suitable for mounting on a pole. No clearance required.

Capacity

The peanut feeder holds about 1.5 lb of peanuts or sunflower seeds in the shell.
The seed feeder holds about 1.1 lb of bird seed.

Filling

Very easy to fill

Cleaning

Easy to clean. Small enough that you won’t need to take it apart unless the bottom is really gunked up. It’s easy to take the tube out if necessary.

Typical positive comments from Nuttery Globe owners

“I love this bird feeder. It thwarts the squirrels (who get plenty of food from me) and allows the small birds to get their fair share. Also, it seems indestructible, so far. My raccoons try to destroy feeders to liberate the seeds at night, but they haven’t been able to get this one.”

“Best feeder for small birds. The big black birds can’t reach the food or even get to it.”

“This is a great peanut feeder if you want to keep the bigger birds out like grackles. The squirrels have not been able to break into it either.”

“This bird feeder is the courtyard envy. So attractive and certainly efficient for our feathered friends. I immediately had quite a few birds stop by to check it out. Highly recommend. Love the green color.”

Typical negative comments from Nuttery Globe owners

“The birds really have no where to land to get into the one area around the widest part of the middle, where they can fit, so I bought some dark green plastic clothes pins and attached them on all four sides like decks, and it worked! They land on the clothespin and can sort of walk their way in through the widest nearest holes.”

Pros

  • No chewable parts.
  • Easy to fill and clean.
  • Solid construction.
  • Hang anywhere (no need for clearance).

Cons

  • According to the designer, it’s intended for “small birds like starlings”
  • Cardinals can’t use this feeder.
  • Small seed capacity means you’ll have to refill it more often.
  • As with all caged feeders, red/black squirrels and smaller animals may get into the cage.

The Bottom Line

The Globe is beautiful, easy to care for and tough. A great choice for spaces where there isn’t enough clearance to prevent squirrels from getting to the feeder.

Recommendation: Buy

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Woodlink WLC6S Caged 6-Port Seed Tube Feeder

An ideal feeder when you want to provide mixed seeds for small birds without also feeding gray squirrels and bird predators.

Up to 6 birds can feed at a time, out of the rain and out of reach of predators.

You’ll be able to see your birds clearly thanks to the airy, open cage. The feeder has a hanger but can also mounted on a pole, giving you lots of placement options.

If this is your sole or first feeder, you may have to fill it fairly often as it only holds about 1.25 lbs of seed. But it’s easy to fill. Just slide up the spring clips that hold the lid in place, lift the metal cap and tip it out of the way.

Seed stays dry in the rain and snow so you won’t get clumps of damp, moldy food at the feeding ports. When it’s time to clean, you can take the cylinder out to give it a good scrubbing.

See on Amazon

Placement

Hang or pole mount. You’ll need to buy the pole separately but will not need an adapter.

Capacity

Holds about 1.25 lb of seed.

Filling

Easy.

Cleaning

Easy. The base is designed to pop off when you press two buttons to separate it base from tube.

Typical positive comments from people who own the Woodlink 6-port caged feeder

“These work great especially for thwarting grackles and starlings! Well made and sturdy. I can put premium seed in them (I have two) and the smaller birds like purple finches, chickadees, titmice, wrens, goldfinches and sparrows love them.”

“I bought two Woodlink feeders like this about 4 years ago and they have been great. I see the squirrels on the outside swinging back and forth, but they give up because they can’t reach the seed and they can’t get the top off.”

“Very happy with this item. its sturdy, well designed and attractive. I really wanted something the squirrels could not get into and little birds would be safe from the local hawk and it has been all of that.”

Typical negative comments from people who own the Woodlink 6-port caged feeder

“I found a squirrel inside the metal cage eating away and when I went out to chase him, he just pushed the metal cap of the feeder out of his way and ran away.”

“I would like it to have a different mechanism to hold the top in place and a tray underneath the feeder would be nice.”

“It’s a little bit of work to take it apart to clean it.”

“If the perches and holes were staggered at 33.3-degree intervals (instead of 90 degrees) around the feed cylinder, the birds on the top perches wouldn’t be crapping on the birds on the bottom perches.”

Pros

  • No assembly required.
  • Easy to fill and clean.
  • Hang or pole mount, no pole adapter needed.
  • Hulls fall through the bottom instead of building up inside the cage.

Cons

  • Clips may not hold the lid on securely enough and may be a bit tricky to operate for some.
  • Smallish seed capacity.
  • Grackles may be able to poke their heads in far enough to get at the food.
  • As with all caged feeders, red/black squirrels and smaller animals may get into the cage.

The Bottom Line

A quality product that’s well designed, the Woodlink Caged 6-Port Tube Feeder deters adult squirrels and large birds. The small capacity makes it better as a second or third feeder than as your only bird feeder.

Recommendation: Buy

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Varicraft AV-1MNP Avian Mixed Seed Wire Cage Bird Feeder

When you have a huge number of small birds to feed, this feeder is ideal. It holds so much food (18 lb!) that you might have to call a weightlifter to help you hang it up. (And you will have to hang it somewhere as it can’t be set on a pole.)

You can use any type of wild bird seed with this feeder. A simple lift-off cap makes filling easy; spring clips hold the lid in place when you’re done.

The seed hopper is ventilated to help prevent mould and seed spoilage.

To see close-up photos of the lid and clips, check out the same model without the cage on Amazon.

The cage does a good job of keeping gray squirrels and bigger birds out of the food, although the smaller red or black squirrels and chipmunks will get into the cage if they can reach it.

See on Amazon

Placement

Hang only, not suitable for pole mounting. Needs a very strong branch, bracket or hook to hang from. Very heavy when full, so you may need some help putting it in place.

Capacity

Three gallons or up to 20 lbs, depending on type of seed.

Filling

Easy.

Cleaning

Hard to clean thoroughly unless you it apart (which is fairly easy.)

The cage has a tray-like floor, which means seed hulls, droppings and other debris will collect there.

You’ll need to keep an eye on the feeding ports during rainy spells – a couple of owners report that the seed gets wet and moldy.

Typical positive comments from people who own the Varicraft AV-1MNP

“I love that I can put so much seed in it that I don’t have to go out in freezing cold weather to add seed all the time. Also keeps the big hog birds out and if you have squirrels, they can’t get in. I have told friends about it and they have purchased one and love it also. We call it the big green monster. It has a removable bottom piece so you can dump the old seed out easily and quickly.”

“I love this one – it is much better quality than any feeder I’ve ever owned. Nice to look at and highly recommend.”

“This feeder is indestructible. Raccoons can’t get into it, plus, it holds several weeks worth of seed, so it’s great!”

“I’ve had this feeder for about five years. I’ve got lots of hungry birds and it’s great to have such a large capacity feeder. No rust. Has held up very well despite brutal Ohio winters and being dropped or falling several times.”

Typical negative comments from people who own the Varicraft AV-1MNP

“If you don’t get the clips on just right squirrels can pry the top up.”

“It’s pretty heavy when it’s full of seed, so we’re still trying to figure out where to hang it.”

“If the birds don’t eat what you put in it fast enough and the weather is
hot, sunny and humid, you may get some sprouting seedlings and smelly mold, so clean frequently!!”

(Note: The manufacturer says the hopper is ventilated to eliminate condensation and moldy seed.)

“When it rains the seed gets clogged in the bottom (tray) and makes a mess.”

Pros

  • Comes fully assembled.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Holds a huge amount of seed.
  • Bottom of cage and tube detach for easy cleaning.

Cons

  • Very heavy when full.
  • Seed ports may get wet in rainy weather, leading to mould.
  • Lid and hopper are aluminum, which some squirrels can chew through.
  • Bottom tray collects hulls, debris and droppings, but detaches well for easy cleaning.
  • Wire cage is coated with chewable vinyl.

The Bottom Line

If you want a very large capacity squirrel-resistant feeder, the Varicraft AV-1MNP one is an excellent choice.

You’ll need a really solid place to hang it from, preferably out of the rain, and you need to be able to lift it up there when it’s full.

Recommendation: Buy

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Popular but NOT recommended

Poor Value for Money: Yankee Flipper

Reviewers recommend this feeder so often that you’d think it was the king of squirrel proof bird feeders. I was truly surprised by the large amount of negative feedback I found during my research.

Yankee Flipper owners who bought their product before about 2016 report many years of happiness with a well made, durable and entertaining product.

But since 2017, when Droll Yankees was bought by Classic Brands, Flipper owners report big problems with charging the battery pack and early failure of (expensive) replacement battery packs. For example:

“The enjoyment is dampened by problems with the battery. After owning it for less than a year, the battery would no longer charge.

“We had only charged it a couple times before it ceased functioning. We took it back to the pet store and they replaced it since it was still under warranty. The very next year, the replacement battery failed.

“When I talked to the pet store, they indicated that the Yankee company takes a hard line on the battery replacement since they assume the customer isn’t doing something properly such as charging the battery and therefore, will not assume liability for it.”

Read more reviews on Amazon

It seems that what was originally a very good quality product has taken a big turn for the worse since the company was sold.

You will enjoy it for a few months, but the fun will turn to frustration when the battery pack dies too soon.

Recommendation: DON’T buy

NOT bird-safe: Woodlink Absolute II

The Woodlink Absolute II sounds good in principle:

  • It holds a ton of seed (15 lbs) and is easy to fill and clean.
  • You can either mount it on a pole or use the hanger.
  • Lots of people have been very happy with it.

Not Bird-safe

My biggest complaint with this feeder is a design flaw that injures/kills birds.

Several users report that small birds have died after getting a leg caught in a notch on the side of the feeder at the point where the anti-squirrel shroud is attached to the perch/lever unit.

Read reviews on Amazon

Other not-so-great features

If squirrels can reach this feeder at all, they can hang from the sides and chew through the plastic windows to get at the seeds.

While holding onto the feeder they can push their head into the tray area and eat. Some owners report that squirrels can work their heads under the bar to eat freely.

Other owners report that squirrels have found a way to reach the food by hanging from the top of the hopper (under the roof) or the framing around the windows.

After enough squirrel-battering, the perches can break away from the port-covering mechanism.

Also, the optional hanger slips out of its mounting hole rather easily, causing the feeder to either fall down or tip and dump out most of the seeds (and that’s a lot of seeds!)

Granted, most of these issues can be solved with a pole mount and the right placement.

But the dead birds make this one a no-go for us.

(There is also a very similar feeder sold under the Audubon brand name which is also quite dangerous for birds.)

Recommendation: DON’T buy

NOT bird-safe: Wild Bills™ Squirrel-free Bird Feeder

These very attractive extra-large-capacity bird feeders deter squirrels by delivering a humane zap of static-like electricity when a squirrel touches the bottom tray and lower perches at the same time.

The electric zap is not painful or harmful and is a very effective deterrent of both squirrels and raccoons.

Good points: Wild Bills electronic feeders are easy to fill and clean and can be either hanger or pole-mounted. When operating properly they run for 3 months on a regular 9 volt battery.

Not bird-safe

A major design flaw with these feeders is that the top of the transparent seed hopper has a scalloped edge, not the straight edge you’d expect.

The feeding ports are rather large too.

This means that small birds can easily get in through the vents in the top and via the feeding ports. Once inside they’re trapped and will die.

Read reviews on Amazon

Other not-so-great features

You have to be quite handy to work with this feeder: assembly is required, and it must be done just right, with wires attached firmly and correctly.

If you don’t place some sort of electrical insulation between the hanger and any other metal (such as a hook), squirrels won’t get zapped and the battery will run down within a week.

Once the battery dies, squirrels can easily chew through the plastic to get at the seeds.

Owners also report that the wiring in these feeders isn’t shielded from wet weather and shorts out easily.

As one owner remarked, the Wild Bills feeders are a great idea but not executed as well as it could be. You could work around the various design flaws if you’re really handy, but why buy an expensive squirrel proof bird feeder with known problems?

Recommendation: DON’T buy

Image Credit: Image at top by NanaLisa1 (CC BY 4.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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