Skip to content

Woodpecker Suet

Woodpecker Suet: A Nutritious and Attractive Food Option for Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers are fascinating birds known for their unique behavior and striking appearance. If you are a bird enthusiast or simply enjoy observing wildlife in your backyard, attracting woodpeckers can be a rewarding experience. One effective way to attract these beautiful birds is by offering them woodpecker suet. In this article, we will explore the benefits of woodpecker suet, how to use it effectively, and answer some frequently asked questions about this popular bird food.

What is Woodpecker Suet?

Woodpecker suet is a specialized bird food designed to meet the nutritional needs of woodpeckers. Suet is a high-energy food made from animal fat, typically beef fat, mixed with various ingredients such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects. The addition of these ingredients provides a well-rounded diet for woodpeckers, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients to thrive.

The Benefits of Woodpecker Suet

Offering woodpecker suet in your backyard can provide several benefits for both the birds and the birdwatchers:

  • Nutritional Value: Woodpeckers have high metabolisms and require a diet rich in fats and proteins. Suet provides a concentrated source of energy, helping woodpeckers maintain their active lifestyles.
  • Attracts Woodpeckers: Woodpeckers are naturally attracted to suet due to its high-fat content. By offering suet, you can increase the likelihood of attracting these beautiful birds to your backyard.
  • Year-round Food Source: Suet is particularly beneficial during colder months when natural food sources may be scarce. By providing suet, you can help woodpeckers survive harsh winters and ensure they have access to food throughout the year.
  • Opportunity for Observation: Woodpeckers are captivating birds to watch, with their unique feeding behaviors and vibrant plumage. By offering suet, you can create a prime viewing spot in your backyard and enjoy observing these fascinating creatures up close.

Using Woodpecker Suet Effectively

While woodpecker suet can be a valuable addition to your backyard bird feeding routine, it is essential to use it effectively to maximize its benefits:

  • Choose High-Quality Suet: Look for suet that is fresh, free from additives, and has a high fat content. Avoid suet that contains artificial flavors or preservatives, as these may be less appealing to woodpeckers.
  • Use Suet Feeders: Invest in a suet feeder specifically designed for woodpeckers. These feeders typically have a cage-like structure that allows woodpeckers to cling onto them while feeding. This design prevents larger birds from consuming all the suet and ensures woodpeckers have easy access to the food.
  • Place Feeders Strategically: Position suet feeders near trees or other structures where woodpeckers are likely to perch. This will make it easier for woodpeckers to spot the suet and provide them with a sense of security while feeding.
  • Keep Feeders Clean: Regularly clean suet feeders to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold. This will help maintain the health of the woodpeckers visiting your backyard.
  • Offer Variety: Consider offering different types of suet to attract a wider range of woodpecker species. Some woodpeckers may prefer suet with added fruits or nuts, while others may be more attracted to suet with insects.
  • Supplement with Natural Food Sources: While suet is an excellent food option for woodpeckers, it is essential to supplement their diet with natural food sources such as insects, fruits, and nuts. This will provide a more balanced diet and ensure the woodpeckers receive a variety of nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I make my own woodpecker suet?

Yes, you can make your own woodpecker suet by melting beef fat and mixing it with ingredients such as seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. However, it is crucial to ensure the suet is free from additives or seasonings that may be harmful to birds.

2. How often should I refill the suet feeder?

The frequency of refilling the suet feeder depends on the number of woodpeckers visiting your backyard and the size of the feeder. As a general guideline, check the feeder every few days and refill it when it is empty or nearly empty.

3. Can other birds eat woodpecker suet?

While woodpecker suet is primarily designed for woodpeckers, it is not uncommon for other bird species to enjoy it as well. Birds such as nuthatches, chickadees, and titmice are also attracted to suet feeders.

4. Will woodpecker suet attract pests?

Woodpecker suet can attract a variety of wildlife, including squirrels and raccoons. To deter these pests, consider using squirrel-proof suet feeders or placing baffles around the feeders to prevent access.

5. Can I offer woodpecker suet in the summer?

While suet is particularly beneficial during colder months, it can also be offered in the summer. However, be cautious during hot weather, as suet may melt and become messy. Consider using no-melt suet options or placing the suet feeder in a shaded area.

6. How can I attract specific woodpecker species?

Different woodpecker species have varying preferences for food and habitat. To attract specific woodpecker species, research their preferred food sources and nesting habitats. Offering suet that matches their dietary preferences and providing suitable nesting sites can increase the chances of attracting specific woodpecker species.


Woodpecker suet is a nutritious and attractive food option for woodpeckers. By offering suet in your backyard, you can provide woodpeckers with a high-energy food source, attract them to your property, and enjoy observing their unique behaviors. Remember to choose high-quality suet, use suet feeders designed for woodpeckers, and position them strategically. Additionally, supplementing suet with natural food sources will ensure woodpeckers receive a well-rounded diet. With these tips in mind, you can create an inviting environment for woodpeckers