Recommend a Squirrel-Proof bird feeder...

…and where I can buy it.

All inputs appreciated.

Walmart has some from time to time.
Look for spring loaded feature that allows small birds access and closes when a heavier load is applied by a squirrel.
Also home and garden centers, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

I asked them at Wild Birds Unlimited for one for my mom on Mother’s Day (my yard doesn’t really have a problem - the squirrels eat my bulbs instead.) The one we got really does work, but it’s seriously heavy duty - one of those big house-shaped ones, with a perch all down the long side, and you can set the weight if you like to only get certain birds, even. If something too heavy sits on it it drops and closes the seed off. I’m concerned one might sit on the “roof” of the thing and stretch its body down, but it hasn’t happened yet. Also they are absolutely hilarious when they fall off.

I have one of these too, exactly as you describe. The squirrels DO sit on the roof and try to stretch their body down, and they still can’t get the seed. They usually end up falling off (only about 4 feet, onto soft grass). They are very persisitent but I have never yet seen one be succesful. I have had the same feeder about 5-6 years now.

The drawbacks are that it is frankly ugly as all get out, and I suspect something about the design of the feeder discourages certain types of birds from using it.

I have two other feeders that sort of qualify as squirrel proof. One is one of those window box feeders, set in a second floor window far from any branches. A flying squirrel could get to it but a regular squirrel can’t.

The second one is a thistle feeder like this one: (mine is smaller).

It is well within reach of the squirrels but they totally ignore it (we have gray and red squirrels, as well as chipmunks). Apparently they don’t care for thistle seed (also sold in the US as niger or nyjer). I have had friends who live nearby tell me that the squirrels in their yard attacked similar feeders though, so YMMV.

This feeder is a goldfinch magnet, and other birds like chickadees and house finches patronize it as well.

Another squirrel proof option is a suet feeder with suet laced with hot pepper. Suppsosedly the birds can’t taste it but the squirrels don’t like it (in my experience the squirrels will still nibble it).

Oh, and as far as where you can buy them…there are a lot of places online including the one linked above, as well as this place. Many hardware stores sell them, at least around here, and also many yard and garden supply stores. Where do you live?

My friend’s husband heavily greased the pole on his regular bird feeder, and then sat at the window and laughed till he cried as the squirrels attempted the climb.

It’s not a perfect solution, but it did add some humor to his life.

Oh, and no actual squirrels were harmed during the experiment, except maybe their little brains were taxed with wonderment.

None of them work. NONE of them. Forget it.

They are a waste of time and money.

If you feed birds, you feed squirrels too.

Get used to it.

Yeah, check out the videos on this page of squirrels navigating long, trickey obstacle courses to get to the bird feeder. They’re pretty wiley…

I’ve got a feeder that’s on a curved pole (Looks like a letter J upside down, top of the J stuck in the ground and feeder on the tip, if you get me.) There’s two squirrel guards on the pole. The first squirrel guard, about 3 feet off the ground, is a foot long cylinder. It’s hollow inside, so the squirrel climbing up the pole winds up inside the cylinder, if you follow me. The second guard is immediately on top of hat, and is a wide funnel-shape, facing downwards, so that the squirrel that manages to get around the cylinder can’t climb up the pole.

The feeder itself hangs from then there’s a rain-guard/squirrel-guard on top of the feeder: think of the cap on a sphere. This all came from Wild Birds Unlimited, the guy was very helpful. So, that stops the critters from climbing up the pole or from jumping down on top of the feeder. The final bit is to be sure the feeder itself is at least ten feet away from any branches, so the squirrels can’t leap over to the feeder itself.

This was working really well. One squirrel figured a way to jump up and over the guards, but it took her many many tries, and then I adjusted the guards up about an inch and that took care of that. Have had no squirrels on the feeder in the last three years.

We did have a grey hawk come and perch on top of the curved pole, waiting for someone to come by. Gave a whole new meaning to the term “bird feeder.” We actually did see the hawk catch a grackle, which was very cool. Well, not so cool for the grackle, of course, but amazing as hell for us to watch.

My grandfather built one that seems to work well. It’s a little trolley suspended from a string by two pulleys.

Pull a little string back and the trolley rolls up to the second-story deck for refill. Let it go and it rolls back out into the center of the string.

For the most part, squirrels don’t even try to get at it. It’s a good 3 meters from any tree, so perhaps they don’t know it’s full of food.

I have seen one persistent little guy try to climb the string multiple times to get to the trolley, and every time he fell off (6 meters into a hillside full of ivy). I have to admit it was pretty funny to watch.

What are you talking about? I have one like Zsofia described, and went from having a TON of squirrels and chipmunks chowing down on my feeder to zero. It works great!

I agree. It is possible to feed only birds, and a variety of solutions have already been given.

This is war, and we can’t give in.

Don’t submit to the rodent enemy!

Me three. Well, my dad does. He’s had it for about 8 years now and while he does have squirrels in his yard and perched atop the feeder, the squirrels are definitely not getting in the feeder.

And honestly, I have no problems feeding a few squirrels a little bit of food - they get plenty from what the birds drop, of course. (And, well, my bulbs.) I just don’t want them eating all the feed and scaring the birds.

We had a squirrel in our backyard we named Fat Bastard. He used to hang upside down by his feet and eat from our feeder, which is how I first made his acquaintance. I wouldn’t mind him having a meal, but he would scrape the food out of the birdfeeder, looking for his favorite tidbits, sunflower seeds. He’d dump an entire feeder-ful on the ground, getting maybe 20 seeds in the process.

So we got him his own feeder which, in retrospect, might not have been all that good for him. Fat Bastard truly lived up to his name, becoming so obese he could no longer fit through the opening. He tried to enlarge the hole to no avail.

I think he may have actually eaten himself to death. I found him behind one of the bushes one day, dead as a doornail. By that time, he was about the size of a housecat. Rest in peace, good buddy.

The new residents of the backyard are more sensible. They stop for lunch and a lounge but eat modestly. I only have to fill the squirrel feeder once a week, and they leave the birdfeeders alone as a result.

My mom got me a Twirl-A-Squirrel but I’ve never seen it in action, much to my dissapointment. (Sounds hilarious.) The squirrels in my yard seem quite satisfied with their own feeder.

If you don’t have squirrels eating your bird feed, it means that a nearby neighbor has an easier bird feeder to defeat. If they wanted it, they would get it.
The Yankee Flipper. My BIL has one in his yard. If the squirrel jumps on the platform the platform spins around and Rocky goes for a little, err, “ride” (no harm, though!). :wink:

The birds, however, are safe.

Ran into this problem a few years ago. Personally I like feeding the squirrels, at least they do not poop on my car. Anyway, my father-in law showed me that it is all about location. If the feeder is placed on a pole in the middle of nowhere a simple cone (like umbrella shaped) shield made of sheet metal and put on the post below the feeder will stop the squirrels right there. Middle of nowhere is the important part, the squirrels learned they could get on the roof of the house and jump onto the feeder from there. Them squirrels is a resourceful lot. We put another cone on top, so the flying squirrels landed on tin and just sort of slid off. It worked. Unfortunately it also kept the birds away. We finally moved it farther away from the house, and took the top shield off. It worked. In a moment of brilliance, I made a hummingbird feeder just outside the window of the den (Hummingbird food is just sugar water, squirrels show no interest), put a pair of binoculars on a tripod and bolted them to a table, and now the wife can see all the birds she wants, and I got rid of the other bird feeder. I still get bird poop on the car occasionally, but I challange anyone to prove they have had thier car covered in Hummingbird poop.
IMHO, hummingbirds are about the coolest things out there, I can watch them for hours. Fortunatly Ms. Seenidog agrees.

I have one of these and it works great. Squirrels can’t get into it at all. It’s seen two years’ continuous duty, and the squirrels have pretty much given up.

Easy. Feed the squirrels to the birds.