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Do pigeons bully all the other birds at your bird feeder and eat all the seeds and nuts themselves? You need a pigeon-proof feeder, one that’s specially designed to outsmart the pigeons and make it difficult for them to get at the food. In our review, we look at the best bird feeders for keeping unwanted guests out. Most of the models we look at are designed to keep squirrels from taking over the feeder; but what works to deter squirrels works equally well for pigeons and other large birds.
We present the pros and cons of each feeder, along with its useful features and then give our recommendation. Our Buyer’s Guide looks at the different ways these bird feeders keep out pests.
For more bird feeders that are pest-proof, also read our The Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders – Which actually do work! review.
Pigeon-proof Bird Feeders Reviews
1. Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder
The Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder is just one of a series of similar models of bird feeders. This model deters both squirrels and pigeons as well as other garden pests by using weight-sensitive perches.
This bird feeder is a long cylinder made of green metal mesh with small grid openings. The seed capacity of this feeder is just 0.5kg and you refill the feeder by unscrewing the lid and pouring the seed in. This is a feeder designed for birdseed, either a single variety or a mix. Assembly of the feeder is super easy and you don’t need any tools.
At the top of the domed lid is a metal pipe through which the hanging mechanism goes. Neither large birds nor squirrels have much to nibble on and destroy there.
This model of Squirrel Buster bird feeder has four perches around the base set outside the four feed portals. As the perches are spring-loaded, anything that sits on them that is heavier than a small bird sets them off and causes the doors over the feed portals to close. The pigeon (or whatever bird) is left there, unable to access the seed.
Some online reviewers report that it’s tricky to get the feeder apart to clean it. Seed tends to clog up in the portals if it gets wet and the domed lid doesn’t offer much in the way of rain protection.
Similar models from the same manufacturer are all highly reviewed. The Squirrel Buster Nut Feeder, Two Meshes has two chambers with different meshes for different seeds, nuts and fruit, the Squirrel Buster Classic Bird Feeder has a longer feeding chamber, six perches and holds 1.1kg of seeds, etc and for those with hungry bird visitors, the Squirrel Buster Legacy Bird Feeder is a larger version of our reviewed model that holds 1.2kg of bird feed.
- Green cylindrical mesh bird feeder with a dome roof and four perches.
- Hanging loop is attached through a green pipe to the feeder.
- Weight of a squirrel/large bird automatically closes the feeder.
- Easy assembly that doesn’t need tools.
- Holds 0.5kg of seed.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Dimensions: 47cm (diameter); 55cm (to top of lid); and 47cm (hanging part)
- Difficult to get apart to clean and to refill.
All the range of Squirrel Buster Squirrel-proof bird feeders are highly reviewed online. We like the selection of feeder sizes, from 0.5kg of seed upwards and the selection of different models for different kinds of bird feed. The hollow yet rigid handing pipe means that the feeder doesn’t blow around too much in a wind, letting the birds stay in place on the feeder.
2. Gardman A01820 Heavy Duty Squirrel-Proof Seed Bird Feeder
The Gardman A01820 Heavy Duty Squirrel Proof Seed Bird Feeder has a clear plastic feed tube in the centre of a cylindrical polished aluminium grid structure. The aluminium is weatherproof and won’t rust. Birds access the feed by hopping through the gaps in the outer structure and sitting on the perches outside the feed portals in the feeder tube.
Large birds (and squirrels) are kept away from the food as they can’t get through the relatively small gaps in the grid. And if they hang from the outside of the grid, the feed tube is too far away for them to reach.
As its name says, this bird feeder is intended for seeds for birds. You fill the tube up by removing the lid on the top of the unit and then just pouring the seeds into the tube. With four perches and the same number of portals, a group of birds can enjoy their meal at the same time. Birds waiting for their turn can sit inside the outer grid on the metal rods that make up the floor.
For those who are also plagued with squirrels raiding their bird feed, note that some online reviewers report that their local squirrels have learned to undo the lid of this bird feeder and get at the seed in the tube. The lid twists off easily to refill the seed and that plays into the squirrel’s capabilities. A quick hack to solve this is to wire the lid shut.
There is also a version of this bird feeder that is designed to hold peanut pieces instead of seed and one that holds suet balls. You can put out the type of food that each species of bird prefers.
- Cylindrical mesh feeder made from cast polished aluminium.
- Grid and feeder tube are suitable for putting seeds out for food.
- Birds perch on the wires making up the mesh.
- Holds 0.5kg of seed.
- Hanging handle on the top of the feeder.
- One-year guarantee.
- Dimensions: 24cm (diameter); 20cm (height); and 31cm (to top of handle).
- Seed spills from the bottom of the feeder onto the ground.
- Design of lid is not very secure.
We like the Gardman A01820 Heavy Duty Squirrel Proof Seed Bird Feeder for its simplicity and openness so you can see the birds that come for their meal. The open bottom does let any dropped seed spill to the ground and that may be a problem if the pigeons access it there. Squirrels being able to undo the lid seems to be a common problem with many bird feeders.
Read next: Best bird box cameras
3. Roamwild Pestoff Squirrel-Proof Wild Bird Feeder
The Roamwild Pestoff Squirrel-Proof Wild Bird Feeder, 1.5L of birdseed, is a sleek clear plastic tube with a green plastic top and base. It keeps pigeons and squirrels away by using weight-sensitive perches to close the gates to the feed openings when something heavy sits on them. The gate opens when the pigeon flies away in disgust.
Each of the four perches are individually spring-loaded and they never need adjusting. You just unpack the bird feeder from the box and it’s ready to go. Taking it apart to refill and to clean is also easy, as it just clicks open. This technology is patented to be pest-proof in general.
This is quite a large bird feeder, holding 1.5L of birdseed. You won’t have to refill it often, even if a flock of hungry birds are regular visitors. And large birds can’t peck through the feeder tube even to get to the seed they see inside as the tube is made of the same UV stable tough plastic used to make riot shields.
A feature that is very useful is the shape of the roof of this feeder. It’s carefully designed to act as a rain guard and stop water from getting into the feed portals. Wet seed tends to all clog together and is difficult for the birds to eat and for you to clean out. Keeping it dry is a big time-saver for everyone.
- Long cylindrical bird feeder with clear UV-stable plastic tube and two feeding stations at the bottom.
- Lid and base are constructed from shiny green plastic.
- Entire bird feeder is pest-proof as well as squirrelproof.
- Holds 1.5L of bird feed.
- Two perches are spring loaded to let only small birds feed.
- Rain guard above the seed ports stops water from creating clogging seed clumps.
- Easy to fill and take apart to clean.
- Arched hanger handle at the top ensures stability when hung up.
- Comes with Roamwild PestOff Warranty.
- Dimensions: 15cm (diameter); 45cm (height to top of roof).
- Seed falls to the ground easily.
We like the Roamwild Pestoff Squirrel-Proof Wild Bird Feeder for its simplicity, its large capacity and its rain guard roof. There’s also a rain guard over the perches so birds can remain somewhat dry if they come for a feast in the rain. This is an easy bird feeder to keep clean and to refill.
4. The Nuttery HELD04 Helix Seed Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
The Nuttery HELD04 Helix Seed Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder is a traditional feeder with a contemporary look. The spherical, celadon green, powder-metal outer structure of this feeder has gaps that are large enough to let small birds through.
Once inside, the birds can access the food through one of four portals into the inner feed tube. The feed tube is made of clear plastic so you can tell when it needs to be refilled. A perch sits beneath each portal for the birds to sit on in comfort while they consume their meal. Large birds that can’t get in can hang on the outer structure and watch. However, the feed tube portals are too far away for them to reach the seed.
A useful feature of this Nuttery feeder is that it has a solid floor. Any seed spilled by the birds will fall on this and not on the ground outside where it would attract the larger birds.
You refill the seed tube by unlocking the lid on the top of the feeder. The manufacturer states that this locking lid is complex enough to perplex any squirrels in the vicinity.
This Nuttery Helix model also comes in aubergine (purple), plus both models come with an awesome ten-year guarantee.
- Spherical, powder-coated steel bird feeder with grid holes large enough to let small birds through.
- Modern design and is powder coated in a celadon green colour.
- Inner feed tube has four perches and four seed ports.
- Solid floor of feeder collects any dropped seeds.
- Lockable lid is stated to be squirrelproof.
- Lid has a hanging handle for siting it.
- Ten-year guarantee.
- Dimensions: 26.8cm (diameter) and 24.6cm (height).
- Small squirrels can fit through gaps in grid structure.
- Seed capacity is not available.
The Nuttery Helix bird feeder keeps out pigeons, other large birds and squirrels by making the holes in the outer grid too small for them to pass through. This is a contemporary bird feeder (choice of celadon green or aubergine powder-coated metal) that fits into modern garden landscapes. This Nuttery bird feeder comes with a ten-year guarantee to keep pests out.
Read next: How to attract birds into your garden?
5. Selections Ground Bird Feeder Haven Cage
The Selections Ground Bird Feeder Haven Cage looks different from the other bird feeders in this review but it works the same way. This Selections bird feeder is basically a metal cage in a half-dome shape that sits on the ground. The cage has bars going down it that are spaced closely so that large birds, including pigeons, can’t get through the gaps.
The feed tray, for whatever food you want to put out, is suspended by three galvanised chains within the dome and hangs off the ground a bit. Small birds can hop through at ground level and feast on the seeds etc.
While this ground bird feeder does keep our large birds and other pests, smaller ones such as mice and small squirrels can easily make their way through the gaps and saunter up to the feed tray.
- Semi-spherical dome cage of black powder-coated metal to protect the food source underneath.
- Feed tray is suspended from the dome on galvanised chains and above ground level.
- Three metal feet on the base of the structure rest on the ground.
- Dimensions: 50cm (diameter cage); 30cm (height) and 16cm (diameter feed tray).
- Any pests smaller than the space between the cage bars can enter.
The Selections Ground Bird Feeder Haven Cage is a good choice for pigeon-proof bird feeders if you don’t have anywhere to hang up another model. It does keep large birds and vermin out, but smaller animals, such as mice, find their way to the seeds you put out.
Buyer’s Guide for Pigeon-proof Bird Feeders
Pigeon-proof bird feeders also keep away other pests – though don’t underestimate the smartness of your average squirrels, I have another article about this here. I found the solution to issues with squirrels was to give squirrels their very own feeder as reviewed here
Our Buyer’s Guide explains the various mechanisms you can choose from to keep these pests away from your bird feeder.
Many bird feeders have a grid of some design as the wall of the feeder tube cylinder. The layout of the mesh varies, depending on whether the feeder is designed to handle nuts, seeds, peanuts or suet.
Many times the gridded feeder tube is placed inside an external structure, again of a grid or some arrangement of metal rods.
Holes in grid
The first way to stop larger birds from accessing the food is to make the holes in the external grid too small for them to pass through. Only smaller birds can hop through and reach the feeder tube. Unfortunately, depending on the size of the grid, this may also stop some medium-size birds that you want to feed from being able to enter as well.
Distance to feeding tube
Along with the small grid openings, the best bird feeders also leave quite a distance between the outer structure and the inner feeder tube. This stops pigeons and other large birds from sitting on the feeder and reaching just their heads into the gap. In doing this, they may be able to reach the feed if the feeder tube is close to the outside of the unit.
A different method of preventing pigeons (and squirrels) from hogging the food is to stop them from being able to sit on the feeder. Weight-sensitive perches achieve this goal. Many bird feeders have perches around the outside for the birds to sit on.
If the perches are spring-loaded, they are triggered by the heavier weight of a large bird. This causes the door over the food portal to close, cutting off access to the seeds and nuts. Once the weight is removed (i.e. the bird flies away), the door opens again and the feed is available once more.
If weight-sensitive perches are used, there’s no need for a separate feed tube in the bird feeder and the feeder itself can be just one tube, perhaps of clear plastic.
Size adjustable perches
Perches may also be adjustable in size. If you want to attract only small birds, make the perches narrow so that only small bird feet can grip there. Larger birds wobble off of these perches and give up in disgust.
Do your bit for the feathered inhabitants of your local eco-system by providing them with a food source and a safe place to eat. Squirrel- and pigeon-proof bird feeders aren’t 100% safe from unwanted guests stealing the nuts, seeds or suet. But they’re made to be as difficult for squirrels to enter and pigeons to poke their heads in as possible. Don’t underestimate these pests though. You may have to search the internet for hacks to your bird feeder when your local squirrels figure out how to take off the lid or pigeons learn how to knock the feeder to the ground.
Our Best Pick for pigeon- and squirrel-proof bird feeder is the Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder, 1.5L of seed. Spring-loaded perches close the feed portal doors when heavier birds (or squirrels) sit on them.
The Runner-up in our best review is the Gardman A01820 Heavy Duty Squirrel Proof Seed Bird Feeder, 0.5kg seed. This bird feeder works by making the grid holes in the outer structure too small for larger birds to fit through.
The features that keep squirrels out of bird feeders also serve to keep pigeons from stealing the food. See more bird feeders in our The Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders – Which actually do work! review.
Birds need fresh water to survive as well as food. Check out our Best Bird Baths reviews for some of our favourites. We also have advice on what to feed birds in Choosing the best food for garden birds in winter and helpful tips to help over the colder months of the year.
Last update on 2022-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API