Squirrel proof bird feeders allow your birds to co-exist happily with the squirrels by stopping the squirrels from stealing the bird seed from your bird feeders.
Before investing in squirrel proof bird feeders you can try a few techniques to encourage the squirrels to leave your feeders alone. Position your bird feeders in areas well away from trees to stop the animals jumping on to your feeders and ensure your feeder is at least 5 foot off the ground (although squirrels have been known to jump up to 8 feet off the ground!).
If these tips don't discourage squirrels, there are two options either purchase an attachment to make your existing bird feeders squirrel proof or buy a specially design squirrel proof bird feeder. You will usually have more success if you buy a squirrel proof feeder rather than trying to retro fit a device to your existing bird feeders.
There are now a wide variety of good quality and effective squirrel proof bird feeders available on the market and they come in a range of styles and shapes. There is a squirrel proof version for almost every type of bird feeder.
Some of the simple designs feature a dome shaped device over the top of the feeder. This is used in bird feeders that are designed to hang from trees and ensures that squirrels are not able to grip on the bird feeder and simply slide off before they can reach the food. They tend to be quite large and can put off certain birds from using your feeder. Clear Perspex baffles are the most effective as birds as still able to see the food inside the feeder when flying overhead.
Metal cages are becoming more popular lately and can be retro fitted to some bird feeders as well. Essentially they consist of a tubular feeder which has an extra cage around it. This allows the birds to use their beaks to reach the seed however the holes between the wires are not large enough for squirrels to bite through.
The most advanced, expensive and entertaining options are the motorized or weighted devices. The weighted devices either close the feeding hole or tip the perch over when something heavier than a bird perches on them. Most bird feeders are used by small birds, however if you have large birds using your bird feeders just check their weight won't cause the feeder to close or tip over. Some of the motorized devices even start to spin around when a squirrel tries to use them, this doesn't harm the creatures but soon stops them coming back and trying again!
Another option is to buy a purpose built squirrel house and squirrel feeder and encourage your squirrels to use this rather than your bird feeders. Of course this may encourage more squirrels to use your garden but many bird lovers find this is an effective option and allows both species to co-exist peacefully together.
You'll find lots of different types of feeders especially designed to deter the squirrels in your back garden in any local garden center, birding supplies store, or from an internet retailer. Try to find someone to speak to who can provide some specific advice or do some research on the internet about the styles and types of feeders available before you visit. If possible talk to another bird lover to see what methods and bird feeders they use to deter squirrels.
When choosing squirrel proof bird feeders look for materials that are guaranteed against squirrel damage and are built from quality, durable materials. Don't necessarily choose the most expensive feeder, you want the most effective. This is why reputation is very important. Some of the feeders are guaranteed to be squirrel proof so if you find a squirrel eating from your feeder you can get your money back!