Got a bird feeder in your backyard, but having trouble attracting birds? Suet feeders can be used on their own, or in conjunction with an existing feeder in your yard.
They are a highly nutritious and rich food source for a plethora of bird species, meaning they are a promising addition to any bird fanatic. Just some of the kinds they attract include woodpeckers, mockingbirds, chickadees, blue jays, and nuthatches.
Unlike classic seed feeders, suet focused models are effortless to refill and require minimal cleaning. You can use suet cake, suet balls, or suet blocks, and there are so many different styles to choose from.
Since it’s so compact and quite fatty, suet won’t fall to the ground as easily as seeds or other feed. It also means that squirrels can’t knock it over to spill it on the ground. This all leads to reduced waste and less time spent on cleaning up.
- For a full list of the best bird feeders of all types, see our best picks list
How do Suet Feeders Work?
They work through providing birds with a high-energy food source in a comfortable, readily available way. You can use them to complement seed feeders already in your garden, or you can use them on their own. Different designs can attract a different variety of birds.
What Birds Eat Suet?
Birds that regularly eat insects are particularly fascinated by it, since it’s so high in fat. Woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, jays, and mockingbirds are just some of the species that eat suet.
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Reviews – Top Suet Feeders that Attract Birds
As wonderfully low maintenance feeders that are popular with bird lovers everywhere, we wanted to see for ourselves what kind of variety there is out there. As a result, we’ve created this list of the best suet feeders on the market, so you can find the perfect one for your own garden.
1. Squirrel Buster Suet Feeder
Covered in an alluring rich green color, this is a squirrel-proof model that can be used all year, including in harsh winters. It’s our favorite pick because of this squirrel-resistant feature, plus the fact that it doesn’t harm them in any way makes it even better. The top lid area can collect snow without being weighed down or damaged.
To access the suet, there are several port openings that are easy to reach. When a squirrel places its weight on any part of the outer cage, the openings mechanically shut. You can even adjust the spring mechanism to control the size of the birds you want to feed.
A handy crumb port is located at the base, ensuring there isn’t any waste. If any feed drops down, it gets immediately caught in this port and can be eaten again. Birds can cling from all sections thanks to the full-length outer protective cage.
- Robust Metal Construction for All-Year Use
- Weight-Sensitive Squirrel-Proof Design
- Holds 2 Suet Cakes at 5”x5”
2. Woodlink COP4 Coppertop Ranch Feeder with Suet Cages
This is a platform suet feeder, providing a flat tray area for seeds in the middle and dual cages on the sides. The cages are where the suet goes, giving more birds the opportunity to feed. Made from inland red cedar wood, it has a simple feel to it that blends in with the environment.
In addition to weather resistant cedar wood, the screws are all zinc-plated for added durability and longevity. The centre seed compartment holds a large capacity, plus you can insert two suet cakes at the same time.
You don’t need to open anything for refilling the suet, but replenishing the seed is effortless. The roof opens up like a flap, thanks to the robust hinge, and you can quickly pour feed inside. You can either hang it up using the heavy-duty detachable cable, or put it on the floor for ground feeders.
- Includes Side Suet Cake Cages
- Handcrafted Inland Red Cedar & Aluminium Hinges
- Pole Mounting Option
3. Birds Choice Pileated Suet Feeder
Shaped like a paddle, this low-profile model is ideal for pileated woodpeckers, but many other species can feed from it too. It’s built from recycled poly-lumber, which reduces your carbon footprint and makes it easier to recycle in the future. No assembly is required for the set up.
The top part of the paddle has a dual-sided cage. Birds can cling with ease and reach inside with their beaks. We love the completely neutral color palette, with a forest green lid and light taupe colored body. This makes it more attractive for woodpeckers as it somewhat resembles a branch.
Insert a suet cake hassle-free with the easily removable lid, that secures back on tightly to prevent squirrels from tampering. The bottom is extra long to create a comfortable tail prop while they feed.
- Recycled Plastic Durable Construction
- Extra Wide & Long Tail Prop for Easier Feeding
- Easy to Refill & Clean
4. Panacea Decorative Double Suet Basket
Next is a hanging suet basket which is fully squirrel resistant. Its attractive leafy design helps to lure a variety of birds, in combination with its earthy brown tones. Suitable for clinging birds, it’s entirely a cage so birds can feed from different positions. They can cling from the cage on the sides, at the bottom, or on the front or back.
Hanging from a chain, it can act as a beautiful outdoor decor piece as well. This chain is part of the squirrel deterrent, as it isn’t easily accessible or scalable. Filling it is simple as the cage opens, plus you can fit up to 3 suet blocks (depending on the sizes).
- Sophisticated Copper Finish with Leaf Pattern
- 8”H x 8”W x 10”D Dimensions
- Squirrel-Resistant Design
5. Nature’s Way Bird Products Upside-Down Suet Feeder
Made entirely from multi-ply bamboo, this allows upside-down feeding which is attractive for chickadees, woodpeckers, titmice, and nuthatches. It helps to avoid larger birds from feeding, which can frighten smaller songbirds away. You can slide two suet cakes inside, so that one will automatically fall once the first is consumed.
For filling it up, the roof part removes completely. We like that you have a spacious area to insert the cakes without getting your hands too greasy from trying to shove them in. The roof then secures back on tightly to prevent squirrels from prying it off. The bamboo is not only delightful for the birds to land on, but it’s also resistant to bacteria.
- Upside-Down Feeding Style
- Fits 2 Suet Cakes
- Rust-Resistant Hardware & Bamboo Body
6. Woodlink Deluxe Cedar Suet Feeder
Featuring the classic ranch style, this is another tray type feeder. Place plenty of seed mix inside the main middle compartment, while also using suet cakes in the outer cages. You can put two at a time, and the cages are open so you can slide them right in.
Built with reforested and kiln dried red cedar, it takes a subtle approach with the natural wood coloring and simple black suet cages. The cedar is durable to hold up against rough elements, in addition to anodized aluminium hinges.
Mount it on a pole, hang it from its steel wires, or place it on the floor for ground feeders. The roof flips up using the hinges, exposing a wide hole to refill seeds or other feed.
- Quality Kiln Dried Inland Red Cedar Wood
- Rust-Proof Hardware Adds Longevity
- Dual Suet Cake Cages
7. Perky-Pet Bamlft the Lift Suet Feeder
Built with an eye-catching design, this can fit 2 large cakes at the same time. It’s shaped like a traditional peak roof, but without the rest of its body. Birds can hang upside-down to feed, clinging onto the metal cages.
They are strategically placed so that the suet remains protected from light rain, snow, or wind from either side. Also, the angled cages prevent swarming as it encourages them to feed upside-down.
The bamboo build is not only smooth and appealing, but it is naturally resistant against bacteria and mold. As well as clinging to the lower cage, birds can perch at the top for a rest. It’s rather low maintenance in terms of topping up the suet and cleaning. The cages open with ease and don’t require any fancy tricks.
- Durable & Long-Lasting Bamboo & Metal Construction
- Upside-Down Shield Protects from Sun & Rain
- Double Suet Servings
8. C&S EZ Fill Bottom Suet Feeder
This model houses up to three cakes at one time, or one large brick. It’s quite a heavy-duty feeder, made from a robust metal with a copper plated roof. This ensures that it can withstand all kinds of weather conditions, including harsh winters and scorching summers.
It also helps to resist squirrels, as the feed opening is located at the bottom. Birds can cling and hang from the base.
Since it’s completely opaque with the metal, we like how they’ve integrated a feed level indicator. It comes out of the roof and tells you how much is inside so that you instantly know when it’s time for a top up.
- Holds Cakes Measuring 5.5” x 6.5” x 5.75”
- All-Metal Build with Copper Plated Roof
- Suet Level Indicator for Simple Refills
9. Stokes Select Double Set Bird Feeder
Our last pick is a squirrel-proof model with a rounded cage design. Birds can feast from plenty different angles, even upside-down. The exterior guard is large enough for smaller songbirds to fit right through, but too small for squirrels to fit their paws.
Fitting two cakes in one go, you don’t have to change or refill as frequently. An open design allows you to get a clear view of when it’s time to change over the feed, but it also creates some nice ventilation to keep the suet fresh.
Fully metal in construction, it can be used throughout the whole year. The wide diameter roof is also completely metal, so it keeps the interior area dry and fresh, away from rain or snow. It’s made for clinging species, but they can also land on the roof.
- Open Cage Design is Squirrel-Proof & Breathable
- Fits 2 Suet Cakes Simultaneously
- Heavy Metal Roof Protects from Rain or Snow
10. Songbird Essentials SE6000 Suet Palace
Highly squirrel resistant, this features a hefty outer cage that makes it extremely difficult for squirrels to access the inner feed. Birds can land on the top for a rest, or cling to the sides and reach in to eat. Hung by a heavy-duty chain, it won’t buckle under pressure.
All green in color, it’s appealing and merges well with nature. The exterior cage has such large holes that small birds can smoothly lean inside.
Another highlight feature is the roof, which is not only a handy landing spot, but provides some cooling shade while they’re feeding. With its large size and long rectangular shape, multiple birds can feed simultaneously. They can even cling onto the base area.
- Sturdy All-Metal Construction
- Large Outer Squirrel-Proof Cage
- Fits 4.5” x 3” x 4” Suet Cakes
5 Top Tips for Using a Suet Bird Feeder
- Suet is best used in cooler weather. Since it is higher in fat and protein, it provides a rich, hearty, and nutritious meal during colder months where it’s more difficult to locate food and survive. In hot conditions, it can melt and become rotten at a faster rate.
- If the suet is extremely rock hard or cold due to certain conditions, you can soften it up slightly in the microwave. Use a low power and for 15-20 seconds, constantly checking in-between to ensure it doesn’t melt completely.
- Use an upside-down feeder with bamboo or cedar if you’re having trouble with certain nuisance birds that swarm, like starlings. Feeders with tail props will attract larger sized woodpeckers, as they can more comfortably eat.
- You can make your own suet and freeze it inside ice cube trays to keep it fresh. There are many recipes online, and you can fill it with different grains and seeds, sometimes even peanut butter too.
- Always wash your hands after handling suet, as they will most likely feel greasy afterwards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Bird Suet Go Bad?
It can definitely go rotten and spoil in hot temperatures, which can make it dangerous for birds. To prevent it from quickly going off, you can store it in the freezer, or only put it out during cold conditions and out of direct sunlight.
How to Clean a Suet Feeder?
First you can soak it in some hot or boiling water and mild detergent to release any remnants stuck inside. Using a detergent that is made to remove grease will help to break through the fattiness of the suet and deteriorate it. You could also dilute 1-part bleach with 9 parts water to really cut through the oiliness.
Where to Hang a Suet Feeder?
Hanging or mounting it as close to a tree trunk as possible will increase your chances of seeing a woodpecker, but it does also increase the risk of pesky squirrels finding the feed. If you don’t have a squirrel-proof one, you can mount or hang it around 15 feet away from hanging branches or areas that squirrels can jump from.
How do I Keep Squirrels Out of my Suet Feeder?
Using a squirrel baffle is a great idea for deterring them, especially dome baffles above the feeder. Since squirrels can jump 10 feet or more between obstacles, place the feeder 15 feet away from objects, as mentioned above. A squirrel-proof specific feeder will be your best option for keeping them away, in addition to the positioning of the feeder.
Conclusion on the Best Suet Feeders
Suet feeders are an ideal choice for bird watchers who love viewing a variety of birds. They are known for being easy to maintain, simple to clean, and provide an overall hassle-free experience.
We’ve chosen various designs in our list to give you the best range to choose from, so you can decide which birds you’d like to see most. From baskets, to platforms, to classic ranch designs, there are many styles to choose from to suit any backyard.