In this article, we want to share the best squirrel proof bird feeder we’ve ever used. There are many bird feeders that claim to be squirrel proof, but we can only recommend the one that has actually worked well for us. We hope that this backyard bird feeder review helps you make an informed decision about the right model for your needs.
Although squirrels can be cute and otherwise harmless in your yard, they can scare off birds that are trying to visit your bird feeder. They also waste bird food by spilling seed around the feeder, and can even chew through many types of bird feeder materials. If you have had enough of squirrels deterring a variety of wild birds from visiting your backyard bird feeder, this article is for you.
A gorgeous red-bellied woodpecker visits our squirrel proof bird feeder.
The Roamwild Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder has been the best squirrel proof bird feeder we have ever purchased and continues to provide us with sensational views of a variety of bird species in our backyard a year after purchasing it. If you don’t believe us, have a look at some of the pictures we have taken of the wild birds visiting this feeder in our backyard in this post.
There are now countless squirrel proof bird feeders available, and it will be up to you to choose the right one for your backyard. Aside from the bird feeder we mention in this article, we have read great reviews of the Brome SquirrelBuster Plus that was voted the “best squirrel proof bird feeder” by Popular Science.
Like all wild bird feeders, make sure that you choose a model that can easily be cleaned regularly. It is your responsibility to keep your wild bird feeder clean to provide a healthy environment for birds to visit. The best backyard bird feeders will last a lifetime if cared for properly.
Our Bird Feeder History
Over the years, we have owned roughly a dozen bird feeders if you include hummingbird feeders and suet cage feeders. We are certainly guilty of purchasing cheap bird feeders that did not last an entire season and promptly ended up the garbage.
Our last house was near the core of our city, with a cramped backyard space. However, we were able to attract an impressive number of backyard birds to our feeders considering the situation. The problem, however, was that all of the bird feeders we used were not “squirrel-proof”.
Our spotting scope set up in the backyard to observe wild birds.
Squirrels are great, but not if you want to regularly attract and feed wild birds. They are very destructive too, they will quickly destroy certain types of bird feeders in an effort to steal as much birdseed as possible. We knew that we would eventually need to purchase a bird feeder that was designed to deter squirrels from gaining access to the bird food.
Our most successful experience was using a disposable finch sock that we could hang from a shepherds hook in the yard. We found that this type of feeder attracts vibrant yellow American goldfinches exclusively, as they can’t get enough of the tiny Nyjer seeds inside.
Squirrels were not interested in Nyjer seed, nor could they easily get through the tiny holes in the sock. This was a great temporary solution to our squirrel problem. But, as beautiful as American goldfinches are, they were rather seasonal in their visits (late summer was great). Also, we wanted to attract more species of birds, particularly woodpeckers.
In 2019, we moved into a new house, and it included a beautiful backyard that backs onto a semi-treed area and an open schoolyard field. We knew that this would be our best chance at observing a variety of backyard birds yet, and we wanted to invest in a quality bird feeder to hang in our mature Walnut tree.
After a lot of reading many reviews and researching online, we felt comfortable choosing the Roamwild Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder for our backyard. Since purchasing the Roamwild Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder from Amazon in early 2019, we’ve had some of the most exciting species of birds visit our feeder in years.
We’ll share some of the amazing pictures we’ve been able to take of the wild birds visiting this feeder in multiple seasons.
This feeder holds up well in our cold Canadian winters!
How it Works
The simple and effective design of this wild bird feeder is the individually loaded spring-loaded feeding perches, that close the feeding window when a heavy animal (like a squirrel) tries to eat the birdseed. It doesn’t just close when a squirrel or chipmunk tries to steal the bird food either, heavier birds like Grackles (who often make a real mess at the feeder) are forced to move on.
To put new bird food into the feeder, you simply lift the weather guard from the top and pour the birdseed into the tube. The metal lid on the top of the feeder is strong and forms a tight seal when you place it back on top of the tube. Then, you can hang the feeder on a strong tree branch or shepherds hook with the handy metal loop on top.
The design of the Pest Off Squirrel Proof bird feeder.
The base of this bird feeder is completely flat, which makes it easy to fill the tube up with fresh birdseed. The feeder openings are large enough to fill this bird feeder with hearty mixes that include peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, and striped sunflower seeds.
The tube will hold just under 3 lbs of birdseed, which is enough to last for a couple of days with a lot of activity at the feeder.
We have found the sensitivity of the spring-loaded perch on each side of the feeder to be just right for all of the birds we want visiting our feeder. This means that beautiful species of birds from Black-capped chickadees to Red-bellied woodpeckers are able to access the food.
Hanging or Mounting the Bird Feeder
We hang our bird feeder on a large Walnut tree in our backyard. We chose a suitable branch that is more than strong enough to withstand the weight of several birds (and the squirrels that try to get into the feeder). The location is high enough in the tree so that the birds feel safe from predators. I climb a small ladder to hang the bird feeder every time a refill it with birdseed.
If you don’t have a suitable tree branch to hang your bird feeder in the backyard, you may want to look into a bird feeder pole. There are many options available at the hardware store, nature specialty shops, and online. If squirrels are an issue for you, make sure you find a bird feeder pole that includes a baffle designed to stop squirrels from getting to the feeder.
Here is an entertaining video showing how a squirrel baffle works. Essentially, the design of the baffle prevents squirrels from climbing up the bird feeder pole because it has a smooth, slippery surface that they can not climb up.
A quality bird feeder pole will be solid and strong, with a robust auger at the bottom of the pole to secure into the ground. The base of the pole should be driven 18-24 inches into the ground for total support. A full bird feeder can be heavy, so you don’t want a flimsy bird feeder pole drooping over to one side.
Check your local hardware store in the wild birds section (specifically, the “squirrel guards and accessories” category, and you should see a number of great options. Home Depot sells a variety of items for this purpose, but the two main designs you’ll find are the steel wrap-around version, and the coupler tube style variety (see below).
Is it Really Squirrel Proof?
If you are wondering, yes, we have actually witnessed many squirrels trying to eat the bird food from the feeder. We feel a little guilty for giggling at the squirrel’s hopeless efforts to eat from the bird feeder, because we love squirrels too, just not at the bird feeder.
The squirrels start by trying to scale down from the tree branch on to the top of the bird feeder, which is quite the task with the built-in weather guard on the feeder (the umbrella-shaped metal piece at the top). Then, they try to slide their feet down the vertical feeding tube, only to have the door shut in their face as they finally get their little feet on the perch.
The bird feeder is durable and suitable for all seasons.
The challenging design of this bird feeder also leads to them falling off of the unit onto the ground in shame. It’s so sad, but sometimes it’s also hard not to laugh. Sometimes we feel so guilty about the poor experience the little guys have that we throw peanuts out to them to make up for it. What can we say, we’re softies when it comes to wildlife.
The best bird we’ve had visiting this feeder so far is a stunning Red-bellied woodpecker. We had no idea that this Roamwild tube style feeder would be such an effective woodpecker feeder. Adorable Downey woodpeckers regularly visit the feeder as well.
A Red-bellied woodpecker enjoying a striped sunflower seed from the feeder.
There are many squirrel proof bird feeders available, and it’s important to read the actual reviews from customers before making your purchase. Not all backyard bird feeders are created equal, so look for pictures submitted by users of the types of birds that visit the feeder. If you notice a number of comments stating that the bird feeder is not actually squirrel proof, then that’s a huge red flag.
Because we have had such trouble with squirrels in the past, it was hard for us to believe that the one we purchased was genuinely squirrel proof. We are happy to report that it certainly is.
The Bird Seed We Use for Backyard Birds
If you are wondering which birdseed we use in the Squirrel Proof bird feeder, it’s President’s Choice (PC) Wild Bird Food that includes a mixture of seeds, nuts, and grains. This mix is available at the local grocery store here in Canada, but I am sure you could find a similar mix no matter where you live.
This wild bird food mix claims that it is a premium mixture of seeds, nuts, and grains that are attractive to Blue jays, Cardinals, Goldfinches, and Evening Grosbeaks. Although we have seen many of these species visiting our squirrel proof bird feeder in the backyard, we have found that this mix is especially effective at attracting House finches, and Dark-eyed Juncos.
The type birdseed we use in our backyard bird feeder.
In the future, we’ll try out another bird food mix to see how it compares to this blend. If this particular brand of bird food is available in your area, we highly recommend giving it a try. If you are new to backyard bird feeders, check out this list of the top 10 best types of birdseed from Bird Watching HQ.
List of Birds That Have Visited Our Backyard Feeder
We keep a pair of birding binoculars by the back door so we can observe all of the birds that visit our feeder in the backyard. It is very enjoyable to watch a variety of wild bird species visit our backyard for an up-close view. We can enjoy the natural behavior of these animals from a distance so that we do not disturb them.
We keep our Pentax K1 Mark II DSLR camera and 150-450mm lens close by to take photographs of any exciting birds that visit the feeder. This is the camera and lens combination used for all of the images shared in this post. Here is a complete list of wild birds that have visited our squirrel proof bird feeder in the backyard.
(We have included the birds that forage on the ground underneath the bird feeder)
- House sparrow
- Common grackle
- Mourning dove
- White-throated sparrow
- White-crowned sparrow
- House finch
- American goldfinch
- Black-capped Chickadee
- White-breasted nuthatch
- Carolina wren
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Northern Cardinal
- Downey woodpecker
- Hairy woodpecker
- Red-bellied woodpecker
Hanging a wild bird feeder in your backyard is a fantastic way to photograph wild birds from home. The key is to hang the bird feeder in an area with natural perches close by so that you can photograph them in a more natural setting. As long as they are tree branches nearby, you should be able to take an impressive shot of the species without the bird feeder in the picture.
Some photographers like to create specialized areas for photo opportunities. This could include a particularly attractive branch with moss on it, or even a decorative rock. If your backyard bird feeder is close to fresh water and safe places for birds to rest without worry of predators, they are more likely to visit your backyard.
Ideally, you will be able to photograph the birds using a telephoto lens to get an up-close view without disturbing their natural behavior. It is best to photograph the birds outside, but we have found photos through a window or sliding glass door can also turn out surprisingly well.
The best time to photograph birds in your backyard will usually be early in the morning. This is because the birds are often most active at this time, and the golden light from the sun can make your photos more dramatic. That was the case when we took this photo of a female Northern Cardinal patiently waiting for her turn at the bird feeder.
We photographed this female Cardinal patiently waiting to visit the feeder.
We hope that you found our squirrel proof bird feeder review helpful and that you can soon enjoy a wide variety of wild birds in your backyard as we have!
A male Northern Cardinal waits for his turn at the bird feeder in the falling snow.