January 2009. Reviews say that large, hopper-style feeders hold plenty of seed, are easy to fill and accommodate a wide variety of birds, and that some -- like the Heritage Farms Absolute 7533 -- are even squirrel-proof. Made of powder-coated steel, the Absolute has a weight-sensitive, hardwood perch designed to drop down and shut off access to seed whenever a squirrel steps on. It holds 2.5 gallons of seed -- even more than the Arundale Sky Café (ext. $60), a plastic hopper feeder that holds 1.5 gallons but uses a different method to exclude squirrels. One reviewer and a few owners warn that squirrels sometimes outsmart the Absolute 7533 by dangling down from the roof and snatching seed without ever touching the perch. Even so, owners seem satisfied with this product's overall performance. Reviews say that the weight settings on the Absolute bird feeder are adjustable, so you can choose whether to invite or discourage heavier birds.
We found the best information about the Heritage Farms Absolute 7533 at Bird Watcher's Digest, with a field test of 13 squirrel-proof feeders; and Bird-Feeder-And-Bird-House-Guide.com with a detailed analysis of nine squirrel-proof feeders and their strengths and weaknesses. We also read some interesting owner reviews at Amazon.com.
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1. Bird Watchers Digest.com
Five Bird Watcher's Digest readers conducted field tests of 13 different "squirrel-proof" feeders including the Heritage Farms Absolute 7533. The tester mounted the Absolute 7533 on a pole in her yard in California and said the squirrels were unable to access the seed.
Review: Squirrel Proof?, Mary Dykstra
This helpful guide analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of nine squirrel-proof bird feeders including the Heritage Farms Absolute 7533. The author acknowledges that squirrels sometimes defeat this feeder but says it "is quite effective under most conditions."
Review: The Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder, Robert Kegebein, 2007
Reviews from 25 owners give the Heritage Farms Absolute 7533 above average scores. A few owners conclude that the Absolute 7533 is not 100% squirrel-proof, but nevertheless seem pleased with their purchase.
Review: Heritage Farms 7533 Absolute Squirrel Proof Wild Bird Feeder, Contributors to Amazon.com