Squirrel proof bird feeder?

I am losing the battle. The squirrel baffle doesn’t work and they are eating a full feeder of seed every single day. Can anyone recommend a squirrel proof feeder that works? 

I have a squirrel proof bird feeder.  It was very expensive, but I got it as a gift.  The squirrels spent a lot of time trying to defeat it and it was like watching Wily Coyote.  I kept expecting Acme products to show up on my lawn.  Now they just hang out underneath and pick up what the birds drop. 

It's called the Squirrel Stopper:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000F5UOEC?tag=amz-mkt-chr-us-20&ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-a0049-def00-other-nomod-us000-pcomp-feature-scomp-wm-5&ref=aa_scomp_sosp1

that's pretty pricey

You need a cone on the pole to keep them from crawling up, and the feeder needs to be far enough away from bushes & trees so the squirrels can’t leap from the tree/bush to the feeder. 

We have one similar to this  - https://www.kinsmangarden.com/product/Absolute-Squirrel-Proof-Feeder  or https://www.duncraft.com/Original-Absolute-Squirrel-Proof  (Ours is hanging.  I believe that this style is available from a number of suppliers.)

Also some of the ones with "cages" around them, like this - https://www.duncraft.com/Duncraft-Accent-Selective-Feeder   (We have one that also has a large extra seed storage on top so that we don't have to fill it as often, but I didn't find one of those on a quick browse.)

Duncraft is certainly not the only source, but it's where we go first when looking for bird-feeding supplies.

I smear vegetable shortening on the pole to dissuade them and the chipmunks from making it to the top of the pole. Frequent application necessary.

I'm going to try a cheap experiment and see if something simple, if not elegant can work. Will post later.

bikefixed said:

I'm going to try a cheap experiment and see if something simple, if not elegant can work. Will post later.

 be careful. I went down a rabbit hole one summer trying to do that. spent the whole summer working on it.

The squirrels won.

Mark Rober's engineering of a squirrel proof bird feeder --- well, kinda...


drummerboy said:

 be careful. I went down a rabbit hole one summer trying to do that. spent the whole summer working on it.

The squirrels won.

 Oh I hear ya. I hear you loud and clear. But I like silly projects that cost next to nothing but time. I took an old plastic bucket I was going to throw away and drilled a half-inch hole in the center of its bottom. I cut a slit up the side and to the center so it could slip onto the pole. I placed it above a half-inch thingamabob (with a scrap of PVC wood to make up the extra space so it would be tight enough to hold when I screwed the clamp together) attached to the pole. Then I taped it back together. 

We'll see if it holds 'em off. Can squirrels eventually grab the sides of a smooth 13" diameter plastic surface? That side with the tape is vulnerable but the thing is so wobbly I'm thinking it will hold. For a couple days at least. Heh.

Total cost:
Old bucket   nuthin'
Thingamabob   $1.78 + tax

Thank you sprout!! that was the best 22 minutes I've spent in the last 5 months LOL!!!

When I was done I put up another feeder and filled them both with things that drive the little varmints crazy and posted the prior pics. The Slinky, by the way, worked great for more than a year. It was pretty funny to watch but it stretched out and this one squirrel figured out how to defeat it. I left it up just because, you know, Slinky. I'm a 70's kid, what's it to ya? Alas.

That just meant I had another puzzle before me. The bucket is just one of those 5-gallon things like the HD or Lowe's buckets. I took a saw and cut off the cuff up by the handle so the bucket is now like a cylinder with nothing the squirrel can grab. The video won't load so I can't show you the forlorn squirrel picking up the dregs from the ground. So far anyway.

Hey, so there's some good news. While one squirrel defeated it, I realized it was because that green and white one was not positioned at the top of the hangar. Once I moved it up it has been unmolested by mammals. Or maybe it was because I put this motion-activated thingie in the backyard. I dunno. Hard to say.

I have seen two solutions to the problem.  

The first was designed by DEFCON, and basically boils down to hanging the feeder where the squirrels can't get to it.  

The 2nd was designed by the husband of an orchid grower up near Rochester.  The diagram shows my recollection of his device.  I will see if I can get him to confirm the construction.

I have this one, no issues (so far) with squirrels. They congregate on the ground beneath it and collect whatever seeds the birds drop (as do other birds).


My recollection of the 'Rochester solution' was wrong (got it confused with a commercial feeder, that has a sliding exterior cage).  Jack's solution is a hollow metal tube (stove pipe or duct tubing), at least the diameter of the feeder, hanging above the feeder.  The squirrels can't get around it to drop onto the feeder.

You can't mount that close to a tree like in the photo though. The squirrels can easily jump from the tree to the feeder. Or hell, maybe even from the ground.

As long as you have enough elevation, they can't jump from the ground.

According to Jack, he has had countless hours of fun watching the squirrels (& raccoons) trying.  None have made it yet.

Okay, so another rendition of the really cheap adventures in squirrel deterrent. I went over to HD and got a 1/2" metal pole or something in the electrical section. It isn't a conduit though, it's a solid metal pole about 8 ft tall that I just pounded into the ground. I actually would have gotten some 3/4" conduit but they were out of it. Then I got some of those 2 ft long 3/4" inch PVC pipes and a T-joint fitting for them. I made a T and used the vertical part to just slide over the top of the pole and snugged it up by wrapping the pole with duct tape to keep it from spinning around. Then I used some scrap PVC plank and cut 3/4" holes in it for some stops and wrapped them in duct tape to hold them in place to hang the feeders on. The PVC tubing and T joint is just strong enough to hold the full feeders + bird(s). For now anyway.

The pole puts them up a couple feet higher and the squirrels cannot jump up high enough to catch the bucket baffle. The Slinky still works so that's fun to watch. Since that thing has prevented the squirrels from raiding the feeders I have noticed that the feeders have a lot more traffic and birds are more comfortable hanging out on them.

That feeder pole on the left has an old baffle I forgot I had. It does work mostly. The one squirrel that can just get over it has lost interest because I now only keep a thistle feeder and safflower for the other feeder.

Pret-ty dang funny to watch a squirrel try to climb out from under that white bucket this morning. The Slinky kept him from getting a good footing on the pole as be reached out. Another squirrel was there on the ground looking up at him, just waiting for him to fail. Couldn't tell if he was taking a video of it with his little squirrel smartphone though.

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