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Anyone who truly loves birds wants nothing more than to watch them thrive; especially if it means that they could help make a difference in sustaining the population. If you didn’t know, birds are able to molt more easily, grow longer feathers, and consume more antioxidants as a direct result of living within the vicinity of a bird feeder!
However, you can’t just buy the first feeder you see in the store. You need one that’s going to attract the kind of bird species that you’re looking for, and it has to be squirrel proof.
Since thousands of birds are constantly losing their homes and food sources to the growing human population, you can help tackle the problem by becoming part of the solution.
There’s not much a single person can do about the urbanization of their town, but the best bird feeders will always have some sort of squirrel proof mechanism.
Since they’re scavengers, squirrels often prey on food sources that birds flock to, which can result in wasted seed and a decline in the amount of birds that inhabit your backyard.
1. Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder
Since squirrels notoriously chew apart bird feeders on a regular basis, the Squirrel Solution Wild Bird Feeder has created an effective solution. This feeder is protected by RoxResinTM, which is extremely resistant against water, chewing, heat from the sun, and it won’t rust.
You’ll never have to stress about unscrewing pieces for cleaning, as the Squirrel Solution comes apart easily, so you can fill it up anytime you want.
If you live in a particularly humid climate, moisture and mold can be a bit of a problem; moldy seeds can make your birds ill enough to eventually die if eaten. Thankfully, this feeder comes with a ventilating system to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria that comes with stagnant water.
It also distributes seed through the wire mesh based on how many birds happen to be sitting on the feeder. The heavier the weight of the birds become, the more seed comes through the feeder.
The Squirrel Solution has even been found to survive bear encounters, surprisingly enough! If you do buy this feeder, you can expect to see Cardinals, Nuthatches, and Finches.
The only issue that you may run into is that too much weight may cause too much seed to fall to the ground and become accessible to squirrels. Otherwise, this is a highly rated item amongst customer reviews.
2. Woodlink Absolute Squirrel Resistant Bird Feeder
The best bird feeders should always have some type of squirrel defense, which is why the Woodlink Absolute Squirrel Resistant seed dispenser is your next best option. The body is made from a powder coated steel and holds up to 12 pounds of seed!
Unlike the Brome Squirrel Buster feeder, squirrels aren’t able to overpower the Woodlink through weight manipulation.
You can change the weight to attract the specific type of bird you’re looking for; there is a blocker located where seed is dispensed that is triggered by too much weight. There has been an issue with this feeder in the past, however.
Several cases of birds getting their legs caught in the dispenser have been reported. Unfortunately the birds often panic, end up severely injuring or breaking a leg, and die as a result. Additionally, there have been some complaints in the previous years about squirrels simply climbing on top to avoid unsettling the weight distribution.
More recent reviews suggest that the design has been improved, and squirrels aren’t able to get to the seed with such ease.
3. Squirrel Buster Peanut Plus Wild Bird Feeder
While the above feeders are helpful in taking care of smaller birds, this one is just for the big guys. The Peanut Plus is great for luring in Woodpeckers and Chickadees, who might normally have more difficulty balancing than other birds.
This feeder offers a specialized surface that acts as a support system at the bottom for large species to rest their tails on.
Since it includes a lifetime warranty, you can get a new one if anything happens to your Peanut Plus. Some customers have also suggested sticking a twig or two in between the wire mesh, it creates a more comfortable, and natural perch for Woodpeckers and other large birds.
4. Wild Bill’s 8 Station Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Although there have been some minor complaints about this feeder being a tad heavy, it is designed to be able to feed several birds at once. With a built-in electronic zapper, the Wild Bill gives off just enough of a shock to keep squirrels away, but not enough to harm them or cause any permanent damage to their body.
However, it has been said to disorient them a little, so keep this in mind if you’re opposed to these kinds of preventive measures.
On the other hand, squirrels are pretty smart, and they have been known to reach in and pull wires out in order to disarm the device. Try packing tape around the edges to reinforce the area where the hardware is located.
While electronic feeders might seem more convenient and less of a hassle, they have more opportunities to malfunction and stop working altogether. Try mechanical options such as the Woodlink Absolute Squirrel Resistant bird feeder or the Squirrel Solutions feeder before you start spending extra money on electronic perks.
They might seem like a good idea in theory, but they don’t necessarily make for the best bird feeders.
5. Woodlink Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle
This one isn’t necessarily a feeder on it’s own. It is more of a squirrel defense system you can use with your current feeder. It’s a slick cone that wraps around the pole of a feeder, and it is made with powder coated steel, much like the Woodlink Absolute Squirrel Resistant Feeder.
Most people who have purchased the Audubon have also mentioned that if you don’t place your feeder far enough away from objects, squirrels use them as jump off points. They gain entry to the feeder from the top of the cone and use the pole for grip.
You can use coconut oil or olive oil as an environmentally safe way to make it harder for squirrels to grab and climb.
Bird Feeder Buying Guide
Avoid Flat Tray Feeders
You definitely run less of a risk of animals accidently getting injured from squirrel proof contraptions with flat trays. However, you’ll also have a lot of problems with squirrels and bigger birds if you decide to go with the flat variety of feeders.
You can set up a squirrel proof feeder that keeps the more predatory creatures out and use the flat tray as a sly way to distract them. Just keep in mind that you really can’t please everyone, and you’ll go through more seed if you try. Just stick to a feeder that works for the birds you want.
Since you’re about to spend a decent amount of money to make the wild birds in your area happy, be sure to get protection. Outdoor tools like these are definitely going to see some wear and tear from time to time.
What else can you expect when you’re attracting everything from chipmunks to bears! Similar to a couple of the items on this list, check to see if the item you’re purchasing comes with a warranty. In order to qualify for them, you sometimes have to register your purchase online.
Look Out for Things That Prevent Birds from Using the Feeder
If you just bought the best bird feeder possible and still don’t see any birds, there could be some things getting in the way. Cat owners who let their pets roam should put a bell on them and keep their cat from accessing the area where the feeder will be kept.
Consider adding a water fountain to complete your bird feeder setup. The birds will be happy to have a drink and take a bath while they’re waiting for their turn to eat.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Feeder
It may have cool features, but the best bird feeders still need to be cleaned. Try to remove seed and use a gentle antibacterial soap and water to prevent mold from building up.
The same should be done for both flat tray feeders, and water fountains especially. If your birds start getting sick, you won’t have very many coming to visit after a while!
Make Sure You Have the Best Seed, Too
Once you’ve found the feeder that works best, you can also pick a mixture of seeds that will boost the chances of bringing around the right birds. Finches, Chickadees, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Woodpeckers all love the taste of sunflower seeds.
If you do choose to use these in your feeder, make sure you’re using one with an adjustable weight. The bigger, meaner birds also enjoy sunflower seeds and will pick on the others if there isn’t a way to keep them out.
Other delicious seeds include Safflower, Peanuts, golden and red Millet, Thistle and Milo.
Also Read: 5 Best Bird Cages