Best Squirrel Baffles & Guards Reviewed: For Shepherd’s Hook & Pole-Mounted Feeders

Last Updated on October 1, 2020

If you have a bird feeder in your garden and are an avid bird watcher, you’ll know just how much squirrels can get in the way of your favorite hobby. Especially if you’ve just invested in a new bird feeder pole, the last thing you want is squirrels scaring away your birds and stealing your precious bird feed…

This is where a squirrel baffle can make all the difference. 

Squirrel baffles or squirrel guards can stop pesky intruders from climbing up your bird feeder or jumping down on to it and stealing your bird feed. 

And for those of you (like us) who want a really easy set-up, you’d have to see why the Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle is our top favorite.

Whether you’ve used a DIY squirrel baffle and need something more long term, or need a particular squirrel baffle for a shepherd’s hook bird feeder, we’ve got the low down on the best squirrel baffles out there right now.

Top 5 Best Squirrel Baffles Reviewed

1. Audubon Wrap-Around Squirrel Baffle NABAF18

Woodlink NABAF18 Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle, 18-Inch - Black

As the name suggests, this bird feeder squirrel guard wraps around your bird feeder quickly and easily, you won’t even have to remove your bird feeder to set it up. This means you can move it around depending on which of your bird feeders the squirrels are targeting. 

For me, Woodlink NABAF18 is the best squirrel baffle overall for a few key reasons:

Made from textured powder-coated steel, this product is not only durable and corrosion-resistant, it is also extremely hard for squirrels to get a grip on, adding an extra layer of protection to your bird feeder. At 19 inches in diameter, it is easy to transport and set up while spanning enough space to keep even larger pests at bay.

One complaint that customers have had is that the clip-on design leaves a gap that could lead to the device coming unattached during heavy wind. This would leave your bird feeder vulnerable for some time. 

But there are additional parts included to cover any gaps so if you are diligent enough with your set up, you shouldn’t have a problem with the device coming unattached. For a quick fix that is easy to attach either above or below your bird feed, this is a great option.

Also, for a reasonable price, you could have your squirrel baffle set up immediately

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up
  • Durable and resistant
  • Material is smooth and difficult for squirrels to climb on
  • Can be used above or below the bird feeder

Cons

  • Some customers have had problems with it coming apart

This squirrel guard is the best quick and easy option if you need to deal with your squirrel problem as quickly as possible and need something much more durable than a homemade squirrel baffle.

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 2. Audubon Torpedo Steel Squirrel Baffle NATORPEDO

Audubon Torpedo Steel Squirrel Baffle Model NATORPEDO

A completely different model that is equally impressive when it comes to deterring garden pests is this torpedo-shaped bird feeder baffle. Again, made from textured powder-coated steel, this squirrel baffle is incredibly difficult for bird feed stealers to grip and climb, keeping your precious bird feed safe.

It comes with a coupler and can be mounted to any pole 1 1/2 to 1 3/8 inches in diameter which covers most bird feeder poles. The torpedo itself is 6 inches in diameter, which doesn’t offer as much surface area as cone designs but the shape should still confuse a lot of climbing predators. Once the coupler is attached, the squirrel guard is easy to slide on.

The stainless-steel material beneath the smooth coating promises longevity so even in rough and windy conditions you can rest assured that your squirrel guard won’t give out. There’s also no risk of it splitting open as the design is sealed all around. This makes it the best squirrel baffle for durability as it is much less likely to get caught in the wind or chewed apart. If your garden experiences a lot of strong wind and you are worried about a circular squirrel baffle flying off, this could be the answer.

One issue with this option is you can’t use it as a squirrel baffle for a shepherd’s hook bird feeder as you need to slide the whole device over the top. The coupler attachment also helps the device to spin around further deterring the squirrels. In spite of the squirrel baffle itself being durable, the coupler can wear out over time and might need replacing to keep the whole thing together.

Pros

  • Durable material
  • Easy to attach
  • Spins to deter squirrels
  • Smooth coating

Cons

  • Not suitable for shepherd’s hook
  • Coupler can wear out over time

Remember to place this bird feeder baffle at around four to five feet away from the ground to make sure that the squirrels can’t jump over it.

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3. PREDATOR GUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle PREDATORGUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle - Protects Hanging Bird Feeders & Poles - Raccoon & Squirrel Proof Your Bird Feeders & Bird Houses - Anti-Rust Galvanized Steel - 17 Inch

Another wrap-around option for any bird feeder, this squirrel baffle can protect pole-mounted and hanging bird feeders, including shepherd’s hooks, thanks to the tight wrap-around design. Everything you need to mount it is included and set up is pretty simple.

The slippery black powder-coated steel surface of Predator Guard means grip is almost impossible for squirrels, or even raccoons, that might try to outsmart your squirrel guard and help themselves to your delicious bird feed. The 17-inch diameter provides a large enough surface area to deter even bigger predators. Your pole or hanging feeder will need to be ½ to 1 inch thick for the bird feeder baffle to stay in place.

This is the best squirrel baffle for hanging bird feeders as it is one of the few options that stays fixed around a smaller diameter. This is a great feature as you can also use it to protect a range of hanging objects like bird houses. It is also a decent squirrel baffle for shepherd’s hook bird feeders.

Pros

  • Can be used for hanging feeders
  • Strong material
  • Slippery surface
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not as effective as other products
  • Only works with round poles or hanging objects

The strong steel material is rust-resistant and retains its smooth adhesive layer throughout rainy and windy spells as well as being lightweight. Despite the versatility of this product, some customers have found an issue in that it can’t be fixed to square poles so you might want to bear this in mind. There have also been some complaints about the effectiveness of the product when used as a squirrel baffle specifically for shepherd’s hook bird feeders.

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4. Audubon NACLBAF16 Clear Squirrel Baffle

AUDUBON NACLBAF16 Clear Squirrel Baffle, 16-Inch

With a slightly different look, the Audubon NACLBAF16 clear squirrel baffle blends seamlessly into your garden and doesn’t distract from your bird feeder. I know that when I splash out on a beautiful new bird feeder, I don’t want my squirrel guard stealing all the attention. 

This bird feeder baffle is ideal for anyone looking for subtlety.

This product works with hanging or pole mounted bird feeders and also acts as a good weather shield so your birds can feed comfortably in rainy weather. The clear material is functional as it prevents your view of the birds from being impeded by overarching black steel.

As opposed to wrap around squirrel guards, this baffle uses a hook to easily hang over your bird feed. The problem with this is it can be dislodged or knocked down in the event of heavy wind and rain so keep an eye on it during bad weather. The good thing is the hanging mechanism allows it to move back and forth, further deterring those squirrels.

Pros

  • Easy to hook on to feeder
  • Clear plastic allows for better view
  • Doesn’t draw attention away from bird feeder

Cons

  • Can break more easily
  • Not as secure

Although a good idea for bird watching, the plastic material is less durable than steel squirrel baffles and can be cracked or damaged.

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5. North States Two-Way Squirrel Baffle

Instead of a wrap, this squirrel baffle is more of an inverted-bowl shape that nicely covers your bird feed whether from above or below. It can be used on both hanging and pole mounted bird feeders and includes everything you will need for set up.

With a 15.75-inch diameter, North States Two-Way Squirrel Baffle is one of the smaller circular squirrel guards in this review, but the bowl shape tucks around bird feeders nicely and keeps them out of sight. Made in the USA, North States is a recognized brand that creates innovative and high-quality products for bird watchers. 

This product is durable, UV protected and weather-resistant. However, it is made from plastic making it less durable than steel squirrel guards and more prone to cracking or breaking.

Some customers have also found that this bird feeder squirrel guard isn’t entirely effective for larger squirrels who use the curved edges to hang on while they dig into your bird feed, so this might not be the best pick if you regularly deal with large predators.

Pros

  • Can be used above or below bird feed
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight material
  • Protects from sun and rain

Cons

  • Doesn’t stop larger predators
  • Can crack  

This is the best squirrel baffle, however, if you are looking for quick installation as it can be easily attached either above or below your bird feeder. It also works well at protecting your bird feed from sun or rain damage thanks to the curved design and UV resistant material.

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Buying Guide & FAQ

Why Do I Need A Squirrel Baffle?

The number one answer to that is because aside from knowing how to keep squirrels away from bird feeders, you want to be extra sure that they won’t get access on those precious seeds that are meant for the lovely birds, right?

And…

You’ll often find that setting up bird feeders can attract some unwanted guests even if you haven’t previously had a problem with squirrels intruding into your garden. Although squirrels are also delightful garden visitors, when your main aim is bird watching, they can really deter birds away from your bird feeder.

Squirrel baffles or squirrel guards are contraptions that can be put above or beneath your feeder to stop squirrels and other predators from climbing up what you painstakingly chosen as the best bird feeder pole or jumping down onto it. Providing that layer of protection from predators ensures a much more successful bird watching experience so whether you buy or make your own squirrel baffle, squirrel baffles really make a difference.

What To Look For In A Good Squirrel Baffle

There are lots of different options out there for squirrel baffles so it can be confusing to figure out what makes a good squirrel guard. Here are a few factors to think about when picking your squirrel baffle.

Material

In this review, we’ve featured squirrel baffles made from steel and plastic. Although plastic options are generally cheaper and more lightweight, they aren’t as durable as steel options and might not last as long. If you are looking for a quick fix or would rather have a transparent squirrel guard, which won’t get in the way of your bird watching, try one of the plastic squirrel baffles.

But if you are looking for long term protection, go for a sturdy steel which is rust-resistant and weatherproof. If your garden is visited by larger squirrels and other pests, you’ll also want to think about purchasing a heavier squirrel guard that they won’t be able to move around.

Shape

There are a few different shapes to choose from and you might have to try a few options to find out which one works best for you. Bird feeder squirrel baffles come in several different shapes including cones, inverted bowls and torpedoes. We’ve included different options in this review so you can find the one that works for you.

For larger predators, make sure you choose a squirrel guard with a larger diameter so they can’t climb around it. Although inverted bowl-shaped squirrel guards can protect your feed from wind and rain, they are also easier for squirrels to grip on to so bare this in mind if you are finding that your bird feeder squirrel baffle is not cutting it.

Using different shapes can also prevent squirrels from getting used to your squirrel baffle and finding ways around it so if you’re really having a problem, try switching between a cone and a torpedo shape to really baffle them.

How To Make A Squirrel Baffle

Although buying a professional quality squirrel guard is the most effective option, lots of people in need of a quick fix opt for homemade squirrel baffles. If you want to try before you buy you can use a DIY squirrel baffle to see if it helps. You can use malleable plastic, steel or even household objects to create a wraparound home-made squirrel baffle for shepherd’s hooks or other bird feeders depending on their size and design.

Attach your home-made squirrel baffle using some simple wire bent into the shape of a hook and see just how much difference even the cheapest squirrel guards can make. You can use household objects like bowls to make your own squirrel baffle even if you don’t have the necessary steel or plastic material. 

Here is a video of a DIY squirrel baffle to give you an idea:

 

How To Make Your Squirrel Guard Effective

If you find that squirrels are still evading your squirrel baffle you might have to switch to a different shape or material. Observe how the squirrels are getting around your squirrel guard and make amendments as necessary. 

The solution might be as simple as positioning your bird feeder further away from other objects such as trees so squirrels can’t make the jump from one to the other. Take a look at the material and see if squirrels are struggling to land on it or not.

The good thing about the squirrel baffles in this review is that they all use material which is hard for squirrels to cling on to. If you find that your homemade squirrel baffle is easy to grip onto it might be better to choose one of these professional options and see what difference the material makes.

How To Choose The Right Squirrel Baffle For You

The right squirrel guard for you can depend on a lot of different things. Depending on whether you see small red squirrels in your garden or larger grey squirrels and other predators, you’ll have to consider the size of your squirrel guard. 

To cover all your bases, look for a larger diameter like the 19-inch Woodlink NABAF18 Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle.

If your main priority is a clear view of your birds while still protecting your seeds from predators, try a transparent squirrel baffle like the Audubon NACLBAF16 Clear Squirrel Baffle.

If you’ve just invested in a shepherd’s hook bird feeder pole, you’ll want a compatible squirrel baffle for shepherd’s hooks like the PREDATOR GUARD Squirrel Guard Baffle.

There are also squirrel proof feeders that work best when coupled with a baffle – I mentioned the top ranking ones in the market in my review on that.

Conclusion

Although all the products in this review have their highlights, my overall favorite is the Woodlink NABAF18 Audubon Wrap Around Squirrel Baffle. The design is simple and easy to use and the large diameter protects from almost any garden intruder. 

There’s not much more you could ask for than that.

Take a look at all the options in this squirrel baffle review to find the perfect match for you no matter how many pesky squirrels are getting at your bird feed, the solution could be a simple squirrel baffle.

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