If you want to attract more woodpeckers to your yard then the first thing you need to consider is buying a suet feeder. Many different species of birds love the high energy food that is bird suet, especially woodpeckers. There are several different types of suet feeders you’ll see when searching for the best suet feeders for woodpeckers which can make it a bit confusing as to which one you should choose.
One thing is certain though, your best bet to attract woodpeckers and other types of birds you don’t normally see at seed feeders is to offer bird suet. In this article I’ll narrow it down to some of our top picks for suet feeders, and which ones will likely attract the most woodpeckers.
A few things to consider:
- How much suet it holds
- Type of suet it holds
- If it’s squirrel proof
- If it has a tail-prop
- How you mount or install it
- If it’s best for smaller or larger birds
- The price
Keep those items in mind as you’re looking over this list of the best suet feeders for woodpeckers. I didn’t want to give you a bunch of options for similar feeders and confuse you, so each one is a different type of suet feeder.
6 Best suet feeders for woodpeckers
*Best suet feeder for Pileated Woodpeckers
- Holds 2 suet cakes
- Extra long tail prop
- Attracts larger woodpeckers
- Made from recycled plastic
- No assembly required
- Great customer reviews
Bird’s Choice has been selling quality bird feeders for many years now and are a brand we recommend often. This suet feeder is very similar to one from Duncraft that we own and use regularly. The top slides up for quick refilling and comes apart for easy cleaning.
If you want to attract more woodpeckers of all sizes then this is a solid choice that has already been vetted and approved by many Amazon reviewers.
- Recycled plastic and stainless steel screw construction
- Stainless steel hanging cable
- Heavy gauge vinyl coated wire mesh
- Depending on version you choose, can hold 1 or 2 suet cakes
- Made in the USA
This option is also made of recycled plastic and has a tail prop, but is made by Kettle Moraine. We like Kettle Moraine and also recommend them frequently on this site because they always come through with quality products. This suet feeder has two versions, a one suet cake and a 2 suet cake version.
The features and design is very similar to that of the Bird’s Choice suet feeder above. Both are from great companies. If this is the style suet feeder you like then flip a coin, because you can’t go wrong.
*Best window suet feeder
- Attracts woodpeckers right to your window
- 2 powerful suction cups
- Vinyl coated wire mesh
- Holds 1 suet cake
- Easy to refill and clean
We have been using this little suet window feeder for over a year now with great results! It’s very simple to mount to your window and refill when needed. Just make sure to follow the instructions and clean your window before mounting.
This little window mounted suet feeder attracts mainly smaller birds. We often see Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers along with several other types of suet eating birds mentioned below. These feeders are inexpensive and hold up well in weather. Go ahead and grab 2 if you want one in different rooms.
*Best squirrel proof suet feeder
- Lifetime care from Brome
- Squirrel proof
- Attracts Wrens, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Titmice, Chickadees, Jays, Orioles, Warblers
- Holds up to 2 5×5 Suet cakes
- Grease-free handling
- No tools required easy set up
- Weight adjustable for selective feeding
Brome’s latest addition to their Squirrel Buster lineup is the Squirrel Buster Suet Feeder. The reviews are still coming in on this feeder, but Brome has a track record of making some of the best bird feeders around. This suet feeder is likely going to be on par with their other feeders.
It holds 2 suet cakes and claims to be completely squirrel proof. This feeder uses their patented squirrel proof technology that allows you to adjust for the weight of birds and animals you want to be able to feed from it. It does come with a premium price tag compared to the others on this list, but none of the others on this list are squirrel proof either.
With Brome’s lifetime care you won’t need to worry about having to replace it, they’ll fix or replace it if anything ever goes wrong in your lifetime. We haven’t tried this feeder from Brome yet, but it’s on the list of future feeders to buy.
*Best seed and suet feeder combo
- Constructed of reforested, kiln dried, inland red cedar
- Polycarbonate windows
- Roof has anodized aluminum hinges for easy cleaning and filling
- Holds up to 5 lbs of mixed seed and two suet cakes
- Hangs with an attached cable
- Made in the USA
How about the best of both worlds? A hopper feeder that has two suet cages attached to the sides. This feeder is made by another one of our favorite brands in the world of bird feeding, Woodlink. The folks at Woodlink make finely crafted feeders and backyard birding accessories so you can be sure it’s quality made.
There are no tail props on this one so you’ll likely get the smaller woodpeckers and songbirds that enjoy suet. The roof of the seed feeder easily opens with a hinge for refilling. With 2 suet cakes and a scoop of sunflower seed in the middle, this feeder could be pretty popular in your yard.
*Best log style suet feeder
- Made in the USA
- Solid Northern White Cedar 3.5″ diameter log- 16″ Long
- 4 Holes for plugs drilled approx 3/4 the way through
- Easy to fill
- Large opened hook for hanging
For this suet feeder you’ll need to purchase the suet log jammers, aka suet plugs. Here are some popular ones on Amazon. Many people will also stuff the holes with peanut butter. The idea is to provide the birds with a feeder that is more natural looking than your typical suet feeders like we’ve seen thus far.
This feeder does come with a crack in it that is meant to add to that natural and rustic look. However it will not split completely in half. Some people will take real logs from their property and simply drill large holes in them, then hang those up stuffed with suet or peanut butter. It’s the same basic idea.
I really like this suet log from Kettle Moraine and plan on getting one soon. We’ve had nothing but quality products from this company and I’m sure this is no different.
How to attract woodpeckers
When it comes to attracting almost any type of bird, there are 3 main things you need to offer. These things birds can’t live without, and may vary slightly from species to species. Here is an overview of how to attract woodpeckers and make your yard more attractive to them.
- Food – Because of the topic of this article you may have guessed that when it comes to what food to offer woodpeckers, the best answer is bird suet. Other types of foods woodpeckers will readily eat are peanuts, black sunflower seeds, and berries.
- Water – Woodpeckers need to drink water and bathe just like other types of birds so having a water source nearby can really help attract them. A small bird bath should work fine.
- Shelter – While woodpeckers are fully capable of excavating holes in trees to create their own nests, many species will readily accept nest boxes. If your yard is sparse of trees or only has young trees, a nest box is something to consider. A wooded or partially wooded yard may have plenty of nesting opportunities already. If you have any dead or dying trees on your property, consider leaving them alone because woodpeckers love them for both nesting and finding food.
Where to hang a suet feeder
Suet feeders just like normal seed feeders, are typically hung from a hook, tree, or pole. It’s always best to hang your feeder at least 5 feet from the ground, preferably higher. I recently watched a squirrel in my yard jump almost 5 feet and grab on the the tail prop of my suet feeder, then climb up and start eating. I have since moved it up to about 5.5 feet so hopefully that’s too high for him to jump.
It’s fine to hang them near other feeders, but you can also have a separate suet feeding station in your yard if you want. My feeding station has so many feeders and get’s so much activity that it can be difficult to
Does suet go bad?
In the winter time when weather is colder, this isn’t as much of a concern. However in the summer heat, bird suet can definitely go bad. Suet is typically made from a mixture of animal fats and assorted suets. The seeds themselves can and will go bad in hot and moist weather. The animal fats in the suet can do the same and will go rancid and/or even melt in the summer sun.
Luckily suet is best offered in the winter when birds need the high energy fats that suet gives them. Suet going bad isn’t as big of a concern during this time.
In the summer they are able to get this much needed protein from insects that are plentiful. You can still offer suet during the summer time but I suggest checking it regularly for signs of mold, melting, or a bad smell. If you notice any of these things it may be time to change it out with fresh suet cakes.
What birds eat suet?
Many different types of birds love suet, not just woodpeckers. However woodpeckers are definitely going to be one of the most common types of birds you’ll see at a suet feeder.
Depending on where you live, here are some common woodpeckers you may see at a suet feeder:
- Downy Woodpecker
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Red-bellied Woodpecker
- Red-headed Woodpecker
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Acorn Woodpecker
Other types of birds commonly seen at suet feeders:
Do squirrels eat bird suet?
Yes, squirrels will absolutely eat bird suet from a suet feeder. They can’t quite go to town on it like they would a tray feeder but they can get to the suet and will make short work of it if given the chance. Many people don’t care and just let all backyard wildlife share everything, and that’s totally fine.
However costs can quickly add up simply because of how much squirrels eat. If this is a concern for you then consider the Squirrel Buster Suet Feeder listed above.
Best bird suet
I am still testing the various options of bird suet available. Here are a few that I either have tried at my own feeders or have on my shortlist of suet cakes to try in the future.
- ST. ALBANS BAY SUET PLUS High Energy Suet Cakes, 20 Pack
- Wildlife Sciences High Energy Suet Cake 10 Pack
- Wildlife Sciences Suet Plugs Variety 16 Pack
Want an all-in-one suet feeding combo deal? Try this!
Bird suet recipe
Another option is to simply make your own bird suet. It’s not as difficult as it may seem and can certainly end up saving you a little money. It can be a hassle, especially if you aren’t already good around the kitchen. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in then please check out our article on how to make your own bird suet.
Offering bird suet can bring new species to your yard, like woodpeckers. Suet feeders are pretty simple in design and there really isn’t much to them in general. However, you still want to find the best suet feeder you can. If you already know that you are trying to attract woodpeckers then you want the best suet feeders specifically for woodpeckers. These feeders may have some features, like a tail prop for larger birds, that other suet feeders may not.
A larger feeder like the first one on this list from Bird’s Choice, may be your best bet to attract a Pileated Woodpecker because of the large tail prop it has. However nothing is certain and any one of the suet feeders on this list could potentially attract any of the birds in your area that like suet.