A squirrel proof bird feeder is an absolute necessity if you want to enjoy watching birds in your back yard. In this review I will compare the Pesky Pet bird feeder with a bird feeder cage. This is the first time ever that I’ve really attempted any bird watching and I was surprised at how difficult and messy squirrels could make of this seemingly enjoyable and simple hobby. One of my main concerns with squirrels is not just that they will eat the bird feed and make a mess, but I am also afraid that my cat, Noche, will get a hold of one of these pesky, large rodents. These squirrels are almost half her size and could carry rabies and any other number of diseases so I am unsure who might get the worst of the battle if she succeeds in catching one. She keeps trying and the squirrels don’t seem to see her as much of a deterrent to their quest for the bird seed. They are not afraid to challenge her to a game of chase, so I would just as soon limit their reasons for tempting their fate. Unlike the Wasp Traps, a squirrel proof bird feeder should not only keep squirrels out, but prevent them from even trying. I will go ahead and tell you about my experience with two different bird feeders and which one has been the most successful at keeping out the squirrels.
A Bird Feeder Cage
More Expensive Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Option
The first and most expensive option of the two squirrel proof bird feeders that I tried is the bird feeder cage, pictured left. One of the advantages of a bird cage is that little birds can go inside and feel protected from predators. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to keep the squirrels out. One day I walked outside just in time to see a big fat squirrel had turned himself into Houdini, contorted his pudgy body into the shape of a pancake and slithered inside of the cage. I scared him out of there in nothing flat, but he made one heckuva mess. He also managed to get quite a few bird seeds to fall on the ground which incited a feast for all of his friends and family and put Noche on high-alert. I have tried installing the bird feeder cage into other areas of the yard where squirrels are less likely to be able to reach it. I tried attaching the bird feeder up high in the yard on a metal pole, thinking there was no way for them to be able to climb its slippery surface. This ended up making the biggest mess of them all. Though I never saw the squirrels actually get to the bird feeder, evidently these little geniuses figured out they could get to the seed by shaking on the pole and making it fall to the ground. What’s worse is that the next day the bottom of the cage completely fell out. It is fastened together two spring loaded, circular tabs which give way if you put enough force on them. This could just be a poorly designed model, but if you do want a bird cage feeder, I highly recommend testing the robustness of the mechanism which holds it together. By all means, try and position the bird feeder cage where squirrels are not able to jimmy their way inside.
Perky Pet Bird Feeder
Less Expensive Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Option
The Perky Pet Bird Feeder is a clever, little feat of engineering ingenuity. Realizing that squirrels need something to hang-on to, the inventor has designed it so the feed ports on the bird feeder have little doors that close down over the seed with the weight of the squirrel. In other words, even if the squirrel gets to the bird feeder, he cannot get to the seeds. The squirrel will eventually become discouraged and give up. Unfortunately, just as was the case with the more expensive option, the squirrel might be able to shake some seed out of the feeder by hanging and swinging on it. In my case, the Perky Pet bird feeder was the most successful of the two options. It’s smaller, lighter size gives the squirrels less surface to hang-on to. As you can see from the photo, the squirrel proof bird feeder is positioned in the same place as the bird cage feeder above. Squirrels could reach it, but they would have to hang on which would close the doors and keep them from getting to the seed. Even though they can reach the feeder from my deck stairs, they seem to have given up altogether trying to get a hold of it and shake off the seeds. They do, however, continue to find seeds that have fallen to the ground, keeping Noche occupied and determined to play chase with them.
Conclusion: Which Bird Feeder is the most Squirrel-Proof?
I think the position of the bird feeder is probably the most important thing for keeping squirrels from making a mess of your bird watching hobby. In my case, placing the Perky Pet bird feeder by the deck stair way was just enough to keep them out. The bird feeder cage when placed in the same location allowed a squirrel to Houdini his way inside and probably the stress of his weight is what resulted in the damage to the cage fasteners. I give the Perky Pet bird feeder a slight edge for its small, convenient size and clever design. The squirrel proof bird feeder that works best for you might vary according to your needs.