When I was approached by a Brome Birdcare, to see if I would be interested in trialling the 'Squirrel Buster' feeder, I was very interested. I had seen this feeder at various shows and thought its design looked as if it would, in fact, foil my squirrels!
The feeder was dispatched from Jacobi Jayne in the UK and arrived for me to set in the garden. I was impressed staraight away with the sturdy structure and quality of this feeder. I was also impressed by the bold statement that this feeder was 100% squirrel proof!.... a very brave statement!
The feeder consists of an external metal section and an internal seed hopper. A spring runs through the centre of the seed hopper which causes it to hang within the external housing.
This feeder works on the principle that the squirrel is a lot heavier than the birds that you want visiting! When the feeder is set up, the perches allow access to the seed. As soon as any weight more than that of a small bird, is applied to the perch, the external housing slides downwards, closing the ports over and denying access to the seed.
Seed tray accessible
When sufficient weight is applied, the external housing slides down, meaning the seed ports are no longer accessible
This feeder works on the principle that the squirrel is a lot heavier than the birds that you want visiting! When the feeder is set up, the perches allow access to the seed. As soon as any weight more than that of a small bird, is applied to the perch, the external housing slides downwards, closing the ports over and denying access to the seed. You can also change the senstitivity of the perches by adjusting the spring mechanism. This means that I was able to make the feeder close down if a wood pigeon landed on it, but ensure that the smaller species were fine. The information with the feeder gives weights of common birds and factory setting allow birds up to 150g to land without closing it down. This seemed fine for my needs as apparantly a wood pigeon weighs about 55g and a grey squirrel 400-600g. There is a negative grip tube that fits over the hanging mechansism and this also helps to discourage squirrels.
The feeder comes apart easily for cleaning purposes which is important to me. I have placed the middle seed section in the dishwasher and it looked like new! The rest of the feeder is well made and wipes clean.
Clear instructions are provided as to how to fill the feeder and it is important to realise that you need to place the feeder on the floor as you unhook the top section, or else the middle seed section will fall out!
The important question though..... does it work???!!
Well in my garden, YES, it does! I have numerous squirrels and they very quickly gave up on this feeder! Initially I had hung it at my hub feeders. The squirrel could reach the ports without depressing the perch and he quickly realised that if he did not put his weight on the perch, he could access the seed. As soon as I re-hung the feeder with good clearance all around, the feeder worked a treat. In fact, it worked so well, I have not managed to get a picture of the squirrels attempting to access this feeder. They very quickly gave up on it.
I have tried a variety of seed in this and it copes well with all free flowing mixes. At present, I have a mix of black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts and suet pellets in here. The design means the food does not get wet, so suet pellets flow freely. I will probably increase the proportion of these as winter prgresses as they are very popular and high in energy. The birds responded well to this feeder and were visiting within minutes of me putting it out. The perches are well designed and all the curve gives birds the option of feeding face-on rather than sideways with the traditional pole perch.
I can happily say that this is the BEST and most efficient squirrel-proof feeder I have tried so far!
The birds have given it a big 'thumbs up' as well!