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Woodpecker Suet Feeder

Woodpecker Suet Feeder: Attracting and Nurturing Woodpeckers in Your Backyard

Woodpeckers are fascinating birds known for their unique behavior and striking appearance. If you’re a bird enthusiast or simply enjoy observing wildlife, attracting woodpeckers to your backyard can be a rewarding experience. One effective way to do so is by using a woodpecker suet feeder. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using a woodpecker suet feeder, how to choose the right one, and provide valuable insights on attracting and nurturing woodpeckers in your backyard.

The Benefits of Using a Woodpecker Suet Feeder

Woodpecker suet feeders offer several advantages for both the birds and the birdwatchers:

  • Food source: Suet is a high-energy food made from animal fat, which is an excellent source of nutrition for woodpeckers. It provides them with the necessary energy to survive during harsh weather conditions and breeding seasons.
  • Attracting woodpeckers: By providing a consistent and easily accessible food source, a woodpecker suet feeder can attract a variety of woodpecker species to your backyard. This allows you to observe their behavior, feeding habits, and enjoy their unique calls and drumming sounds.
  • Supporting biodiversity: Woodpeckers play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of forests. They help control insect populations by feeding on wood-boring insects, such as beetles and termites. By attracting woodpeckers to your backyard, you contribute to the overall health of your local ecosystem.
  • Photography opportunities: Woodpeckers are stunning birds with vibrant plumage and distinctive markings. Having a woodpecker suet feeder in your backyard provides an excellent opportunity for bird photographers to capture these beautiful creatures up close.

Choosing the Right Woodpecker Suet Feeder

When selecting a woodpecker suet feeder, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

  • Design: Look for a suet feeder specifically designed for woodpeckers. These feeders often have tail props or larger perches to accommodate the woodpeckers’ unique feeding behavior.
  • Durability: Opt for a feeder made from sturdy materials, such as metal or high-quality plastic, to withstand the woodpeckers’ powerful pecking.
  • Easy to clean: Choose a feeder that is easy to disassemble and clean. Regular cleaning prevents the spread of diseases among the birds and ensures the suet remains fresh.
  • Weather resistance: Consider a feeder with a protective roof or cover to shield the suet from rain and snow, keeping it dry and appealing to woodpeckers.

Attracting Woodpeckers to Your Backyard

Now that you have your woodpecker suet feeder, it’s time to attract these magnificent birds to your backyard. Here are some effective strategies:

  • Choose the right location: Place the suet feeder in a quiet and undisturbed area of your backyard, preferably near trees or shrubs. Woodpeckers feel more secure when they have nearby perches to retreat to.
  • Offer a variety of food: In addition to suet, consider providing other food sources that woodpeckers enjoy, such as nuts, seeds, and fruits. This diversity will attract a wider range of woodpecker species.
  • Provide fresh water: Woodpeckers need access to clean water for drinking and bathing. Consider adding a birdbath or shallow dish of water near the suet feeder.
  • Create a woodpecker-friendly habitat: Plant native trees and shrubs that produce berries, fruits, or nuts, as these provide natural food sources for woodpeckers. Dead trees or snags can also serve as nesting sites and foraging areas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can woodpecker suet feeders attract other bird species?

Yes, woodpecker suet feeders can attract a variety of bird species, including nuthatches, chickadees, and even some migratory birds. The high-energy suet is appealing to many birds, making it a popular choice among backyard birdwatchers.

2. How often should I refill the suet feeder?

The frequency of refilling your suet feeder depends on the number of woodpeckers and other birds visiting your backyard. As a general guideline, check the feeder every two to three days and refill it when the suet is consumed or becomes rancid.

3. Are there any potential risks or downsides to using a woodpecker suet feeder?

While woodpecker suet feeders offer numerous benefits, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Suet can melt in hot weather, so it’s important to choose a feeder with a protective cover. Additionally, suet can attract unwanted visitors, such as squirrels or raccoons. Consider using baffles or squirrel-proof feeders to deter these animals.

4. Can I make my own suet for the woodpecker suet feeder?

Absolutely! Making your own suet is a cost-effective and rewarding option. There are numerous recipes available online that use ingredients like animal fat, peanut butter, and birdseed. Just ensure that the suet mixture does not contain any harmful additives or preservatives.

5. How can I identify different woodpecker species?

Woodpecker species can vary in size, coloration, and behavior. Field guides, birding apps, and online resources provide detailed information and illustrations to help you identify different woodpecker species. Pay attention to their distinctive markings, head patterns, and calls.

6. What should I do if woodpeckers become a nuisance?

While woodpeckers are generally beneficial, occasionally they may cause damage to wooden structures, such as siding or fences. If woodpeckers become a nuisance, consider installing visual deterrents, such as reflective tape or scare balloons. These measures can help redirect their attention away from your property.


A woodpecker suet feeder is a valuable addition to any backyard birding enthusiast’s arsenal. By providing a consistent food source, you can attract and nurture woodpeckers, supporting their well-being and contributing to the biodiversity of your local