Every gardener hates insects. Come on, how does it feel to see your beautiful garden swarmed with those tiny unwanted residents, and your plants being destroyed after their rampage? Once or twice, I have been so frustrated by these bugs that I even considered resorting to chemical insecticides. That is … until I figured out a savior: woodpeckers.
Not only do these flying visitors help get rid of pesky insects, they are also fantastic and beautiful birds that most bird lovers (including me) are sure to love. As a result, I have tried plenty of ways to attract these flickers to my back yard. After several studies and experiments, I have come up with a conclusion: the first thing you need is a high-quality suet bird feeder.
Why include a suet feeder at your bird feeding station?
Suet is the raw, high-energy fat of animals found around the loins and kidneys. This stuff is especially appealing to woodpeckers and other insect-eating birds such as chickadees, cardinals, wrens and bluebirds.
In addition to tastiness, suet also provides a burst of crucial heat and calorie that these birds need due to their high metabolism rate. During migration periods and cold winter months, when the weather is harsh and bugs are scarce, this source of energy may mean the difference between life and death for the above-mentioned creatures.
It also comes in handy in the mating season to compensate for the energy loss caused by activities such as nesting, egg hatching and infant feeding.
(If you would like to learn more about suet for birds, click here).
One of the problems with suet feeding is that the stuff can be very messy and difficult to store. Not to mention the fact that exposure to harsh sunlight may result in the melting of your bird food. Hence, an appropriate suet bird feeder is necessary for birders in order to better nourish their daily visitors.
The feeder requires little work to keep in condition – you only need to refill it once per week and leave it in your garden year-round without any scrubbing. The convenience it offers, the flying flocks it attracts and the eventual removal of pesky bugs are enough to convince you to consider purchasing one.
Below is a list of the best suet bird feeders that I have tested and concluded worth buying
If you would like to learn more in detail, please continue to read.
1. Stokes Select 38069, Brown X Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder, 2 Suet Cake Capacity
Have you ever put a suet cake in your suet bird feeder, only to see it consumed later by unwanted intruders such as squirrels and large greedy bird such as starlings? Well, no need to worry any more, as there is a cost-effective solution to the problem now.
Stokes Select 38069, Brown X Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder is designed as a powder-coated metal cage that allows small to medium birds like woodpeckers to enter and feast on the suet inside and shields the food from predators such as squirrels and larger birds. The squirrel-proof suet bird feeder has enough space to contain 2 suet cakes, which saves you from having to refill the cage frequently.
The metal material is highly durable, which enables the feeder to sustain harsh weather conditions as well as deter the most tenacious intruders. The open case allows air circulation, which makes the suet cakes you prepare always stay fresh, as well as makes it easy for bird lovers to open, clean and insert food inside the cage.
The suet bird feeder is painted in natural brown, which helps attract birds of several species. Smaller ones can slip inside and enjoy the suet cakes, while larger ones may still be able to cling to the cage from the outside and use their long beaks to chew the food inside. It is just enjoyable to watch the woodpeckers experiment the cage and finally find a way to get to their reward!
As much as I like the squirrel-proof suet feeder, I recognize that it does have a flaw. There is a 1-inch gap between the top of the suet basket and the lid, which some birders claim to have cause injuries to birds when they try to get out. As a remedy, I recommend that you cover this gap with an aluminum lid. If it hadn’t been for this design flaw, I would say this is one of the best suet bird feeders available now!
2. Stokes Select 38070 Capacity Double Bird Feeder with Metal Roof
“A simple, yet high-quality and effective suet bird feeder” is what comes to my mind at the mention of this product. Stokes Select 38070 Capacity Double Bird Feeder is designed as a small cage that is capable of holding up to 2 suet cakes, which reduces the number of times you have to refill it.
The sleek design complements your garden’s beauty and adds convenience to refilling and cleaning, while the double-sided feature allows birds of different breeds and sizes to feast on the food inside at the same time. Once, I have seen my Stokes Select suet bird feeder flocked with 3 visitors – 2 small birds entering the cage from one side and 1 large woodpecker clinging to the feeder from the other side. How amazing it is!
The cage’s roof is made from durable, rust-resistant metal that is not only long-lasting, but also shields the suet from environmental damage (sun, rain, snow etc.) and less acrobatic birds such as sparrows and house finches. The safety value is further enhanced by the double-lock system, which makes it difficult for cats and squirrels to steal the suet inside.
In conclusion, Stokes Select 38070 Capacity Double Bird Feeder is a worthy pick for those looking for a simple, yet well-constructed squirrel-proof suet bird feeder. The price is pretty much affordable, which adds a nice bonus to the product’s selling points.
3. Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder
An upside-down suet feeder? Why does it have to be that inconvenient way? This was my initial thought… until I figured out that this design played an important role in eliminating unwanted guests.
The upside-down position is generally too uncomfortable for acrobatic birds such as grackles and starlings to adapt to, which deters them from stealing the suet inside the feeder. On the other hand, woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches and chickadees have no problem eating upside-down. Therefore, Nature’s Way Bird Products Cedar Bird Feeder is the ideal solution to prevent the larger birds from “bullying” your beloved visitors.
The suet bird feeder boasts exceptional durability thanks to being made from cedar wood, which is naturally resistant to insects and rotting. This feature, combined with the stainless and rust-free hardware, results in a durable product that can last for seasons (that is, with proper preservation, of course).
I also love its easy-to-fill design, which is enabled by the keyhole style roof and wide opening. The feeder has enough space to contain 2 suet cakes, so you will need to refill it less frequently.
That being said, Nature’s Way Bird Products Cedar Bird Feeder is not a perfect product. Its price is a little expensive compared to similar items. What’s more, if you are looking for a squirrel-proof suet feeder, you are likely to be disappointed. Nevertheless, the feeder may still perform well for you, as long as you make sure it is not attached to a tree or metal hanger where there is something those pesky creatures can stand on next to or near it.
4. Birds Choice 2-Cake Hanging Suet Feeder
The feature that strokes me when I think of this suet bird feeder is its design – it is comprised of a large cedar block, 2 front-loading suet baskets on both sides and an eye hook attached to the block. This creative design proves to be handy when it comes to feeding larger woodpeckers, as these creatures often have a hard time clinging to smaller bird feeders due to their clunky tails. Now, they can comfortably stick to the wooden block and chew on the suet inside with their long beaks, while the smaller species are able to sit on top of the cage and enjoy their meals.
The 2 suet baskets allow the feeder to store 2 suet cakes, which adds convenience to your bird feeding routine. The sturdy metal and high-grade cedar materials boast strong resistance to insects and rotting, which helps prolong the lifespan of the product.
On the other hand, the fact that bigger birds can comfortably cling to the feeder also presents one difficulty, as pesky “bullying” ones such as starling and black birds are able to steal the precious suet inside. I guess, it is fine trade-off after all.
Overall, if you are looking for a woodpecker suet feeder that presents little discomfort to your chunky flying guests, Birds Choice 2-Cake Hanging Suet Feeder is a worthwhile consideration.
5. MEKKAPRO Double Suet Wild Bird Feeder
In my opinion, MEKKAPRO Double Suet Wild Bird Feeder is somehow similar to the Stokes Select 38070 Capacity Double Bird Feeder that I have discussed before. It is designed as a dark brown cage that blends in with the outdoor backyard and helps blur any dirt found on it.
The suet bird feeder features a metal iron roof that boasts considerable resistance to weather damages and protects the suet inside from sunlight, rain and snow. Hence, you are likely to benefit from it for longer. The durable case is comprised of two compartments, which allow you to store 2 suet cakes or 2 different types of bird food for different periods of the year. Now, you are given the opportunity to provide your visitors with nesting materials during their mating season in spring, and switch to oranges in the summer.
MEKKAPRO’s double-sided feature allows bird of different breeds and sizes to feast on the suet inside at the same time. In addition to the convenience it offers to these creatures, we users are also able to enjoy that same convenience. The cage is designed with a latch that you can hang to a tree branch in just a few minutes. The doors are easy to open, which enables comfortable cleaning and refilling.
However, this easy-to-use feature also makes the suet bird feeder susceptible to racoons and squirrels, who can just open the fasteners at the bottom of the cage and enjoy the suet that drops out. My advice is that you strengthen the fasteners with a pair of needle pliers so that it is more difficult for these creatures to open the cage.
6. Kaytee Feeder Station for Suet Wild Bird Feeder
Sometimes, it may be difficult to set up a stationery wild bird feeder, especially for those who own a dog/ cat in their house, as they are likely to chase away their feathered guests.
Kaytee Feeder Station for Suet Wild Bird Feeder offers a solution to this dilemma – it is designed as a little suet cage that helps protect birds and the suet inside from your canine companions.
The suet bird feeder is attached to a hook and a chain, which simplifies the installation process – all you need to do is to put a suet cake inside, then hang the feeder on a tree branch/ pole, and that’s it! The only thing left to do is waiting for the birds to come and feast on their well-prepared meals.
In addition to its convenience, Kaytee Bird Feeder also boasts considerable longevity thanks to being made from sturdy metal. The price is extremely affordable, so buying one is likely to be a good deal for those who are on a budget.
One small note: once the suet bird feeder is closed, the latches are very tight, which may present some difficulties when you need to open and clean the cage. On the flip side, it means better protection from squirrels and other predators, so I guess the minus is fine after all.
7. KALLAK Bird Feeder for Outside, Suet Fat Ball/Nut/Seed Feeder
Given the chance to describe this suet bird feeder with a single word, the word I would choose is “versatile”.
As the name might have suggested, KALLAK Triple Tubes Hanging Bird Feeder is comprised of 3 different tubes, each of which can be used to store a different type of food to attract various flying species to your back yard. When I first purchased this feeder, I filled the tubes with reg seed, sunflower seeds and suet balls. In the end, birds of various breeds, including cardinals, woodpeckers, wrens and finches visit my garden to consume these. Amazing, isn’t it? If you are a bird lover, surely you will want to try this triple-tube bird station.
KALLAK’s metal construction is sturdy enough to hold up to environmental damage and the pecking of various birds, while still stylish enough to complement your garden’s beauty. My friend lives in a rainy area, and his KALLAK suet bird feeder is still in great condition after 6 months of using.
The feeder’s tubes are covered with removable lids, which makes refilling much easier. If necessary, the acrylic tube can be removed from the tray and washed to remove any dirt inside.
The only major “downside” of KALLAK bird feeder is that you may need to refill it more than usual. If you fill the three tubes with different kinds of food, it is certain to attract several flying visitors, who will empty the tubes very quickly and require you to insert new food afterwards. After all, isn’t it a desirable outcome, especially for bird maniacs?
Overall, attractive design, great durability and amazing versatility are what makes KALLAK suet bird feeder a great choice for birders. Just buy one – I can assure that it won’t be a waste of money!
8. Homes Garden Suet Wild Bird Feeder USA Cedar Wood Double Suet Holder
Homes Garden Suet Wild Bird Feeder is made from cedar wood, which emits a pleasant smell that can attract birds of several species to your back yard. In addition, the high-quality cedar roof is also very durable and capable of holding up to harsh weather and insect damage. Hence, it acts as a perfect protective barrier for your feeder.
Thanks to the double-suet feature, 2 suet cakes can be inserted inside the cage, which adds convenience to your bird feeding routine. The open four-side design allows multiple birds to feast on the suet inside at the same time. Isn’t it just lovely to watch your suet bird feeder flocked with beautiful visitors?
To sum up, Homes Garden Suet Wild Bird Feeder is a well-designed, durable and easy-to-clean feeder that your birds will surely love. Though the price is a little high, I believe that purchasing one will be worth the investment.
With the availability of numerous suet bird feeders in the market, deciding which one to purchase may prove to be tricky. Below are some recommendations that you may consider in order to make the correct decision.
Generally, you are looking for high-quality, durable, weather-resistant materials in order to prolong the feeder’s lifespan and protect the suet inside. These materials include metal such as iron and copper, cedar wood and hard recycled plastic.
Additionally, the materials should play an important role in discouraging predators, a prevalent example of which is squirrels. As these creatures are adept biters, metal fitting feeders are often recommended over plastic ones, which can be easily chewed through. If you choose to use a plastic feeder, it is advisable that you reinforce the feeding ports with metal to deter squirrels.
Nowadays, there are 4 main suet bird feeder designs:
-Suet plug feeders: these feeders resemble a vertical log with a few holes along its sides.
-Suet bags: these are hanging mesh bags filled with suet.
-Open trays: these are designed as horizontal trays for birds to land on and eat the suet inside.
Each of these 4 designs is meant to satisfy certain criteria, among which a notable one is suet type. Different types of suet require different kinds of bird feeders; hence, you should make your purchasing decision based on the food you intend to offer. Overall, suet usually comes in these 4 popular styles:
-Cakes: This is the most common suet type. If you intend to feed your birds with suet cakes, a simple coated wire suet cage feeder is perfectly fine. On top of that, the cakes can also be served in a mesh bag or an open tray feeder.
-Balls: These can be served in various types of mesh feeders.
-Nuggets: Sometimes called small suet balls, these bird foods may be placed in either a platform feeder or a mesh one.
-Plugs: As the name might have suggested, suet plug feeders are the recommended choice here.
Aside from suet type, another important consideration is bird safety – that is, you want the suet bird feeder’s design to help deter predators such as squirrels and larger birds. Based on my own experience, I would like to give you some advice:
– The bird feeder should feature grills, mesh to prevent larger birds from entering, and built-in baffles to deal with squirrels.
– As discussed before, an upside-down suet feeder that opens only at the bottom is ideal to discourage acrobatic birds such as starlings, as these creatures find it hard to feed in the upside-down position.
– There have been reports of bird toes entangled in mesh onion bags, which resulted in casualties. Hence, it is generally safer to use suet cages.
– Larger woodpeckers are known to press their tails against a tree while feeding. Therefore, a large suet bird feeder with a tail prop is the ideal choice for these birds.
Suet feeder tips
– To choose the best suet for your daily feathered visitors, check the ingredient list first. Generally, you want the suet to be rich in protein in order to better nourish your birds. The ideal protein percentage is 9% or more, while suet with less than 5% of protein is not recommended (even if the price is much lower). Cheap grain fillers such as corn, wheat and milo should be avoided at all cost.
– During hot weather, it is advisable that you reduce the amount of suet, as exposure to heat may make the suet melt, smell bad and unsuitable for birds to consume. You can also counteract this by purchasing no-melt suet blends that are able to withstand high temperatures, or place the bird feeder in a shaded, cool area. Any suet leftovers can then be stored in a refrigerator for later use.
– If larger bullying birds such as starlings and black birds tend to visit your garden a lot, a bottom feeding suet bird feeder or one designed with exterior cages will shield the suet inside from these birds and allow smaller birds to slip in and enjoy their meals.
– To deal with other intruders such as squirrels, mice and raccoons, you may want to make sure that the amount of suet available in your feeder should not be too plentiful. During the night, the feeder can be taken inside your house for better protection.
– Suet is meant as a source of nutrients for insect-eating birds, which usually cling to trees to search for bugs. Hence, you should place your feeder near tree trunks or thick branches.
– Sometimes, a suet bird feeder may be not necessary – soft suet can be spreader over tree barks for woodpeckers and other birds to consume later.
As a hard-core gardener and a bird lover, I have always strived to find the best suet bird feeder to attract more woodpeckers and other birds to my garden. All of the options above have proven to perform well for me in terms of quality, convenience and price. Hence, I assure that buying one of them will be worth your investment.