The Best Suet Feeders for Winter Birds

Updated: Feb. 15, 2023

Winter will be upon us soon and your feathered friends need suet for energy. Check out the best suet feeder types to attract winter birds.

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As winter approaches, many backyard birders will offer suet to help their birds survive the colder months. Suet is a great source of fat for the birds and it helps them quickly refuel after cold nights when they’ve used all their energy trying to stay warm. When you’re picking out the perfect suet feeder for your yard, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

A basic square cage feeder will attract some birds. But there are better options that might help you convince more birds, especially woodpeckers, to stick around longer.

Recycled Double Cake Suet Feeder

suet feederVia

I prefer to use a feeder with a long tail prop and the birds seem to prefer it as well. The tail prop allows larger woodpeckers to be more comfortable on the feeder. Pileated woodpeckers and red-bellied woodpeckers are quite large and can have trouble staying on small feeders. This 2-cake suet feeder from Amazon features an extra long tail prop.

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nature's way suet feederCourtesy Ken Orich

If you have trouble with squirrels and bully birds, consider an upside-down suet feeder. This type of feeder keeps less agile birds like starlings, grackles and blackbirds off while giving woodpeckers and other clinging birds, like nuthatches, access to the suet from below. As an added deterrent, use hot pepper suet. The birds can’t taste it but the squirrels do not like it at all.

Field editor Ken Orich tested this feeder for Birds & Blooms. “I immediately liked it and could see the value in its design. House sparrows and European starlings clean out my suet feeders in a matter of days, leaving nothing for nuthatches, woodpeckers and chickadees. This feeder solves that problem,” he says. “A male downy woodpecker visited the Nature’s Way feeder for the first time less than two days after I hung it up.”

Ken added, “While I like the easy-to-remove roof (or lid) for inserting suet cakes, I found the interior measurements to be a bit tight for inserting store-bought suet cakes. When I pushed the cake in, pieces would break off, leaving a bit of a mess.” However, he also says the feeder is easy to clean.

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Cedar Double Suet Feeder

double suet feederVia Merchant

Designed specifically to give woodpeckers a place to prop their tails, with suet cakes on both sides, this cedar wood feeder makes for a stunning viewing station.

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Suet Buffet Bird Feeder

suet buffet feederVia

The shingle-patterned roof on the buffet feeder keeps up to four suet cakes dry, and the grid design allows clinging birds to easily grab a bite to eat.

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Kettle Moraine Log Feeder

log suet feederVia

Consider a log feeder. Birds seem to love these and they are so easy to use. These logs come with holes drilled through them and you just push in suet plugs. The birds seem to love the natural feel of the log. You can also make these feeders yourself very easily!

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Window Suet Feeder

window suet feederVia

Try a window suet feeder for a close-up view of your favorite birds. The suet cage attaches firmly to the glass with strong suction cups.

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