Best Suet Feeders for this Winter

Temperatures throughout most of the US don't feel like it, but winter will be upon us soon and your feathered friends need suet to help stay warm.

As winter approaches, many backyard bird feeders will being to put out suet to help their birds survive the colder months. Suet is an 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.

First, sure a square mesh suet feeder will attract some birds but there are better options that might help you get more birds or that will convince your birds, especially woodpeckers, to stick around longer. I prefer to use a feeder with a tail prop and the birds seem to prefer it as well. The tail prop allows the larger woodpeckers to be more comfortable on the feeder. Species like Pileated and Red-bellied are quite large and can have trouble staying on small feeders. Remember, the longer the tail prop, the more comfortable a Pileated Woodpecker will be.

Best Suet Feeders for this Winter©Rob Ripma
©Rob Ripma Although this cage might be big enough for a Downy Woodpecker, it’s much harder for a large bird like Pileated Woodpecker to use.

Second, if you have trouble with squirrels on your suet, there are things that can help. First, consider and upside-down feeder. All of the birds that you typically associate with suet can hang upside-down. As an added deterrent, use hot pepper suet. The birds can’t taste it but the squirrels can and do not like it at all.

Finally, consider a suet log. 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 over other feeders. You can also make these yourself very easily! Here are some simple instructions on constructing this type of feeder.

Best Suet Feeders for this Winter©Rob Ripma
©Rob Ripma Sometimes feeding suet is as easy as spreading it on a log for birds like this Golden-fronted Woodpecker to enjoy.

What is your favorite way to offer suet to your birds?

Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.