Oct 5, 2016 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, October 2016

Suet Feeder Types

Woodpeckers are more comfortable at feeders that provide a tail prop.

The most affordable suet feeder is a square metal "cage." It has a door that opens and latches closed after filling. Many people hang it from a shepherd's hook, a tree branch, or a deck rafter, but such a free-hanging arrangement is difficult for larger woodpeckers to use.

Woodpeckers naturally feed with their tail propped against the trunk of a tree for stability. Some suet cages are built with a tail prop underneath to accomplish this, or a simple cage can be mounted against a wooden post or tree. Some platform feeders have suet cages built in, and the design often allows woodpeckers a place to perch comfortably as they dine on the fatty treat.

Starling-proof suet feeders allow access to the suet only from the bottom; the roof and sides are solid, but the bottom is wire mesh. Such feeders make it difficult—but not impossible—for starlings to get to the suet, but woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, and most other birds that enjoy suet have no problem getting to it. Create your own suet feeder by drilling holes into a small log, and filling them tightly with suet and/or peanut butter. Drill a hole and install a metal eye, and suspend the log with wire.

What do you think? Tell us!

comments powered by Disqus

New On This Site

The Latest Comments

  • New to birding...newbie question. We spotted what we thought was a Sapsucker at our patio feeders in December. The folks at our birding supply store told us that Sapsuckers are only here in Summer months and what we saw was a Flicker. I thought I new what a Flicker was and this did not look like a Flicker. It was thinner and more smooth looking but did have the Woodpecker Bill.
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • We just signed up and get your magazine via email. Will we be receiving a printed copy?Ed [email protected]
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • Chickadees are adorable and intelligent. Chickadees have brains that are the most like human brains. Chickadees are personable, lively, and have their own language. Chickadees form lasting pair bonds; and are very good parents. Love.
    by Merl Elton, Tue, 24 Dec 2019
  • I'm still worried about my backyard birds even though myth #3 says they won't starve if I stop feeding in the middle of winter. I'm concerned because I'm moving in a couple of weeks to a new house and the winter's in northern Ohio get pretty challenging. Should I start backing off slowly on there food or just stop when we move?
    by Vince Bove, Sat, 14 Dec 2019
  • Birds make our world a wonderful and beautiful place to live.
    by Mac Eco, Mon, 09 Dec 2019