7 of the Best Woodpecker Feeders for Your Backyard

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Woodpeckers are found all over the world – except for Australia and New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme polar North and South.

These fascinating birds are especially popular with birders throughout North America, especially in forested areas where they feed on insects and bugs, as well as suet, nuts, mealworms, seeds, fruits, and nectar.

Product Name
Best for Big Woodpeckers
Birds Choice SNPS Recycled Double Cake Pileated Suet Feeder
Best Window Feeder
Kettle Moraine Window Mount Single Suet Cake Woodpecker Bird Feeder
Upside-Down Design
Nature's Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder
Image
Birds Choice SNPS Recycled Double Cake Pileated Suet Feeder, Suet Feeders, 8"L X 3"W X 22-1/2"H, Taupe Base w/ Green Roof
Kettle Moraine Window Mount Single Suet Cake Woodpecker Bird Feeder
Nature's Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Poly Lumber
Made From Recycled Milk Jugs
Made From Cedar Wood
Mounting Type
Hanging Mount
Window Mount
Hanging Mount
Weight
2 Pounds
10.4 ounces
14.9 ounces
Size
8"L x 3"W x 23"H
5"L x 1.75"W x 6.25"H
8.5"L x 8.5"W x 4.13"H
Best for Big Woodpeckers
Product Name
Birds Choice SNPS Recycled Double Cake Pileated Suet Feeder
Image
Birds Choice SNPS Recycled Double Cake Pileated Suet Feeder, Suet Feeders, 8"L X 3"W X 22-1/2"H, Taupe Base w/ Green Roof
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Poly Lumber
Mounting Type
Hanging Mount
Weight
2 Pounds
Size
8"L x 3"W x 23"H
Best Window Feeder
Product Name
Kettle Moraine Window Mount Single Suet Cake Woodpecker Bird Feeder
Image
Kettle Moraine Window Mount Single Suet Cake Woodpecker Bird Feeder
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Recycled Milk Jugs
Mounting Type
Window Mount
Weight
10.4 ounces
Size
5"L x 1.75"W x 6.25"H
Upside-Down Design
Product Name
Nature's Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder
Image
Nature's Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Cedar Wood
Mounting Type
Hanging Mount
Weight
14.9 ounces
Size
8.5"L x 8.5"W x 4.13"H

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re lucky, you will have a dead tree trunk that you can leave safely standing in your yard, far away from where it can fall and cause damage to any people or property.

This is one of the best ways to attract woodpeckers to your yard because they will come to eat the bugs that are consuming the dead tree.

However, you can also attract woodpeckers by providing their favorite foods in dedicated woodpecker feeders!

In this article, let’s take a look at what woodpeckers eat, what kind of woodpecker feeder is most effective for attracting woodpeckers, and how to build a DIY woodpecker feeder. We’ll also guide you through 7 of the most interesting and best woodpecker feeders on the market today.

Let’s start with information about what kind of food woodpeckers like to eat!

What Kind of Bugs Do Woodpeckers Eat?

Woodpeckers like a variety of insects!

First of all, when it comes to their feeding habits, they love beetles, especially the emerald ash borer. In fact, the woodpecker population in my neighborhood exploded after we faced a serious emerald ash borer infestation.

Now that most of the ash trees are dead, the trunks and stumps are full of woodpecker holes!

They also eat other wood-boring beetle larvae and eggs, spiders, ants, grubs, and mealworms.

When insects are less available (especially in the winter), they turn to seeds and nuts, berries, and fruits. They will drink nectar and tree sap in the summer.

What Food Works in a Woodpecker Feeder?

Woodpecker feeders can be filled with many of the same bird seeds and suet options that you provide to other birds in your backyard.

That includes:

  • Suet and suet blends
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (acorns)
  • Freeze-dried mealworms
  • Bark butter
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pine seeds
  • Cracked corn
  • Fresh fruit (berries and apples) and dried fruit (raisins)
  • Nectar/sugar water

Suet is probably the most popular food to offer to woodpeckers in a feeder.

Where to Hang a Woodpecker Feeder

The best place to hang a woodpecker feeder is where these birds are already foraging for food.

Because woodpeckers are safest and happiest in the woods, try to place your feeder near tree trunks or thick branches.

Avoid hanging the feeder too close to your home’s windows, because birds can get confused by the windows and injure themselves. They may also be frightened away by the noise and activity coming from inside your home.

Other Strategies to Attract Woodpeckers to Your Garden

Hanging a suet feeder may be your best bet, but there are some other ways to attract woodpeckers to your yard or garden!

  1. Where you hang your feeder, provide them with a perch that they can easily grasp vertically. This recreates the way they perch on trees and poles.
  2. Even though woodpeckers eat many of the same foods as other backyard birds, you should still purchase or build woodpecker-specific feeders that are designed to be used by these birds with their unique toes and other traits.
  3. Provide multiple bird baths. Woodpeckers don’t like to draw attention to themselves. They are wary and cautious, and it’s unusual to get to see them bathing. If you have a popular, busy birdbath, they will avoid it! But if you offer a small, “private” birdbath somewhere near their habitat, they are more likely to use it.
  4. If you can safely leave a few dead trees in your yard (or in the woods near your yard), do it! These dead trees and branches provide important habitats, security, and food to woodpeckers.
  5. Keep your birdfeeder clean. Woodpeckers prefer a neat and tidy feeder!
  6. Consider building a woodpecker-specific birdhouse as a nesting site.

How Do I Clean My Woodpecker Feeder?

This is a great question!

Cleaning your woodpecker feeder is an important part of creating a hospitable environment for these birds.

To clean your feeders, you can use a solution made with a bucket of warm water, a drop or two of dish soap, and a capful of bleach. If you don’t want to use bleach, you can use 1/4 cup of vinegar. We recommend wearing rubber gloves so that you aren’t exposed to bacteria.

Take down your feeders and remove any old or moldy birdseed. Using your cleaning solution and some scrub brushes, clean all of the books and crannies of the feeder. You can also use wet wipes.

Once you’ve cleaned the feeders, rinse them thoroughly, either with an extra bucket of cold water or with your hose.

After the feeder dries, you may re-fill it and re-hang it.

The frequency with which you clean your feeders is dependent upon how many birds use your feeders, and how hot the weather is. In hot climates, birdfeeders need more frequent cleanings.

A good, reasonable schedule to stick to is cleaning your feeders about once a month. If you have a big uptick in the number of birds visiting your feeders, or if you go through a heat wave, you may need to increase that frequency.

If, however, the weather is cool and you have just a few birds visiting your feeder, you can wait longer between cleanings.

Types of Woodpecker Feeders

Before we review some of the most popular woodpecker feeders on the market, let’s break down the most common types of woodpecker feeders.

  • Suet cake holders
  • Suet ball holders
  • Suet plug feeders
  • Window feeders
  • Large seed and nut feeders
  • Feeders with tail props

Woodpecker feeders come in a variety of materials, including plastic, wire, and wood.

The Importance of a Tail Prop

Tail props are not a part of every woodpecker feeder, but they’re a great feature to look for because they make it easier for woodpeckers to eat what you provide.

When a woodpecker clings to the side of a tree, it pushes its tail against the tree trunk. This gives the bird security and stability as it pecks for bugs. Feeders can recreate this by including a piece of wood that extends below the feeder. This is the tail prop.

A longer tail prop can support a larger woodpecker, and a shorter one only supports smaller birds.

7 Interesting Woodpecker Feeders

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

These are some of the most interesting and effective feeders on the market. We chose the best feeders for sale by looking through hundreds of reviews, using feeders with different features, and evaluating the features of each feeder on our list.

We’ve also included a variety of woodpecker feeder styles so that you can choose the one that best meets your needs! Consider the following as you choose:

  • What is your budget?
  • What kind of birdseed, suet, or other bird food do you want to provide?
  • What kind of features are most important to you?

Solution4Patio USA Cedar Tail Prop Suet Bird Feeder

Solution4Patio USA Cedar Tail Prop Suet Bird Feeder with One Perch, Clasp Suet Cage for Squirrel Proof, Suet Cake Holder for Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Chickadees, etc.
  • 🐦 ONE SIDE PERCH - Perch design ideal for attracting large woodpeckers like the pileated to your backyard and provides...
  • 🐦 USA CEDAR - This tail prop suet feeder made of USA cedar, sturdy and durable, corrosion resistant. And cedar wood smell like...
  • 🐦 CLASP for SQUIRREL PROOF - There is a little clasp in the cage when you fill the suet cakes that makes squirrel can not steal...

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features: The Solution4Patio Cedar suet feeder is designed for woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees.

It consists of a suet cage framed in durable cedar and includes a roof that protects the cedar from the elements. One side of the feeder has a perch bar, and there is also a tail prop.

Pros:

  • I love the roof that keeps the suet dry and protected from the rain.
  • The clasp is squirrel-proof, so squirrels shouldn’t be able to make off with your suet.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty.

Cons:

  • There is a tail prop, but it’s pretty short. The product description says it can provide support for large Pileated Woodpeckers, but I’m skeptical that Pileated Woodpeckers would be comfortable on this feeder for very long. That said, it’s ideal for Red-Bellied, Downy, and other smaller woodpeckers.
  • Some reviewers mention that the latch is a weak point in the design. If the latch is not working, you should reach out to the manufacturers about having it replaced.

Birds Choice SNPS Recycled Double Cake Pileated Suet Feeder

Birds Choice SNPS Recycled Double Cake Pileated Suet Feeder, Suet Feeders, 8"L X 3"W X 22-1/2"H, Taupe Base w/ Green Roof
  • PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Includes 2 Cake Pileated Suet Feeder | Material: Recycled Poly-Lumber | Color: Taupe w/ Green Roof |...
  • DOUBLE CAKE PILEATED SUET FEEDER: This feeder dispenses a high-energy suet food cake made from rendered animal fat. Holds up to...
  • RECYCLED MATERIALS: Poly lumber proudly made from recycled plastic jugs and bottles in the United States and is designed to...

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features: This polycarbonate lumber (recycled plastic) feeder is a hanging-style suet feeder. It comes with 2 suet cakes to get you started. It has a long tail prop but does not include a perch bar. The rectangular, flat roof of the feeder slides up so that you can drop the suet cake into the feeder.

Pros:

  • The long tail prop is perfect for big woodpeckers, like Pileated Woodpeckers.
  • Poly lumber is incredibly durable, and you can feel good about purchasing a recycled plastic product and keeping plastics out of landfills.

Cons:

  • The suet cage itself is a little small. Thick suet cakes aren’t going to fit.
  • At 2 pounds, this feeder is pretty heavy, which means you have to have a very sturdy place to hang it. (The weight of the suet makes the feeder even heavier.)

Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder

Nature's Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder
  • Upside-down design naturally eliminates nuisance birds like blackbirds and grackles that are not comfortable hanging upside-down...
  • Made from premium cedar
  • Preservative helps prevent discoloration and water damage

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features: As an alternative to traditional vertical suet feeders, this model suspends the suet block horizontally to the ground.

The frame is made from cedar, and the roof lid lifts off for refilling. It holds one cake and is designed to attract smaller and medium-sized woodpeckers, as well as nuthatches and chickadees.

Pros:

  • The “upside-down” format is designed to deter nuisance birds like starlings and grackles. They can’t cling to the feeder comfortably as a woodpecker can.
  • The suet is completely protected from the elements, even more than the other roofed designs on this list!
  • At just under one pound, this suet feeder is pretty lightweight and easy to hang in a variety of locations.

Cons:

  • You are unlikely to attract large woodpeckers to this feeder because there is nowhere for them to prop their tails.
  • Hanging mount designs are somewhat limiting for where you hang them because you have to have something like a branch or a hanger. You can’t just secure it to a tree or fence post.

Cedar Wood Suet Log Feeder for Woodpeckers

Cedar Wood Suet Log Feeder for Woodpeckers, Plus Wild Bird Feeder Hook and Chain for Hanging Outdoors, Use with Suet Plugs, Suet Balls and Suet Cake
  • MAKE YOUR BACKYARD A BIRDING PARADISE: Suet feeders attract clinging and perching birds such as Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Blue...
  • NATURAL FEEL FOR BIRDS: Suet log outdoor bird feeder is made of natural wood, birds are captivated by the suet while the wood...
  • BIRDING BUFFET: The wood suet log feeder will crack naturally, allowing little creatures to create a habitat that will attract...

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features: This suet log feeder has a simple design inspired by nature. The feeder looks like a tree trunk or log that has already been hollowed out by woodpeckers.

It has three 1.5″ diameter holes that have been drilled through the log, which you stuff with suet plugs or pieces of suet cake. The feeder is 15″ long.

Pros:

  • This feeder doesn’t need a perch or tail prop, because it is a natural piece of wood with wood grain that woodpeckers and other birds can easily grasp.
  • The feeder cracks over time, which is not actually a problem! Instead, this allows the feeder to imitate a tree in the forest, changing with time and exposure to the elements.
  • It comes with a hanging chain.

Cons:

  • Nothing about this feeder protects your suet plugs from the attention of squirrels and other nuisances.

Gtongoko Peanut Wreath Bird Feeder 16 Inch

Gtongoko Peanut Wreath Bird Feeder 16 Inch, Rust & Waterproof, Solid Steel Durable Whole Peanut Wild Bird Feeder with Hanging Hook, Outdoor, Black
  • 【LARGE CAPACITY】The size of peanut bird feeder is 12 X 16 inches, and can hold about 12 standard-sized suet balls or 1.25 lb...
  • 【GUARANTEED QUALITY】The peanut wreath bird feeder is made of high-quality steel. The peanut ring is very sturdy and well made,...
  • 【EASY TO USE】Both ends of the spring ring have a hook. Please wrap one hook around the other. Loading whole peanuts into it is...

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features: This wreath-shaped feeder is made of metal and hangs on an included hook. Hang the feeder directly in the tree branches and fill it with peanuts or other large seeds for birds to enjoy.

This isn’t specifically designed for woodpeckers, but you can fill it with some of their preferred foods to entice them into a visit. It can also hold whole peanuts or several suet balls.

Pros:

  • This has a unique design and appearance, which gives you more variety among your feeders.
  • The steel design is durable.

Cons:

  • If you put peanuts in this feeder, you will definitely attract squirrels in addition to birds like woodpeckers. Many people seem to intentionally purchase this as a squirrel feeder.
  • Because of the unusual design, there is a minor learning curve to filling it without creating a mess.

Kettle Moraine Window Mount Single Suet Cake Woodpecker Bird Feeder

Kettle Moraine Window Mount Single Suet Cake Woodpecker Bird Feeder
  • Attract Woodpeckers to Your Window
  • 2 Powerful Suction Cups
  • Vinyl Coated Wire Mesh

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features: This is a suction-cup-mounted window feeder that holds one suet cake. The wire mesh is vinyl coated for durability.

Pros:

  • The suction cups are very strong, which means that small and medium-sized birds should have no problem perching on this feeder to eat. As long as you get good suction, the feeder should stay put.
  • This is a budget-friendly option for someone just starting out with suet feeders. It’s simple and effective!
  • Reviewers report great success bringing birds to their windows with this feeder.
  • Window feeders are usually a bit harder for squirrels to access.

Cons:

  • Woodpeckers do like suet, but they are shy birds. They may be less likely to visit a window feeder because it is so far from the safety of the woods. If you don’t attract woodpeckers with this feeder, you’ll still attract other birds!
  • There is always a risk to putting a birdfeeder on your window. Sometimes, birds will not gauge the distance correctly or will not see the window, and they may strike the glass and become injured or stunned. If you use a window feeder, consider putting decals and clings in your window so that it is more visible to the birds it attracts.

SAND MINE Wild Bird Feeder, Caged Tube Feeder

SAND MINE Wild Bird Feeder, Caged Tube Feeder, Squirrel Proof Outdoor Birdfeeder with Large Mesh Metal Seed Guard Deterrent for Large Birds, Black
  • HIGH QUALITY: This bird feeder with steel cage construction,d xtremeill lrab a lifetime.resistant powder-coated that will last a...
  • EASY TO USE: This hanging bird feeder has a steel metal wire handle so you can securely hang the feeder on anything that will...
  • SQUIRREL AND DEER PROOF BIRD FEEDER: Large cage keeps squirrels, raccoons and large birds away so you can attract more song birds.

Last update on 2023-01-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Features: Steel cage feeder that hangs from either a tree limb or a feeder pole. Height is 14.5 inches, and it holds about 18 oz of soybeans or similarly weighted seeds. The feeder itself only weighs about one pound. It is squirrel resistant when mounted securely.

Pros:

  • This is a great option if you want to give your woodpeckers something other than suet cakes.
  • Cage-style feeders are one of the most effective low-cost squirrel-resistant strategies.
  • Opens easily at the top so that it is easily refillable.

Cons:

  • This model has no perches or tail props.
  • Although the pictures in the review show large birds feeding from this cage feeder, the dimensions suggest that it would only satisfy smaller birds. Downy woodpeckers, sure! Large woodpeckers, not so much.
  • You would probably need to cut suet balls in half if you wanted to provide suet in this feeder.

DIY Suet Log for Woodpeckers

If one of those store-bought feeders doesn’t work for you, or if you’re feeling a bit creative and want to try to make your own feeder, this is a pretty great option!

This DIY suet log is simple and inexpensive to build. You just need a few tools.

Required supplies: A 2×4 about 16 inches long OR a thick branch; a drill with a 1″ spade bit; 1 eye bolt; a piece of rope.

Recommended additional supplies: A table saw, skill saw, or jigsaw. Alternatively, you could use sandpaper.

We got this idea from one of our readers, Jim from New Brunswick.

Step-by-Step Suet Log

  1. Find a piece of 2×4 lumber that is between 12 and 16 inches long. You could also use a thick branch, but it needs to be at least 4 inches wide.
  2. Using a drill and 1″ spade bit, drill a hole on the flat side of the 2×4. Drill all the way through the wood or branch.
  3. About 6″ below the first hole, drill another…and another and another. Basically, create these small, 1″ holes 6″ away from each other from the top to the bottom of the piece of wood or branch. You should leave about 4″ at the bottom without any holes.
  4. Using a table saw, create straight lines under each hole that are about 1/16″ deep. You can also use a jigsaw or a skill saw. This is the “perch” that the woodpeckers can grip while they are feeding. If you don’t have one of these tools, you can use a piece of rough sandpaper to create texture beneath each hole.
  5. At the top of the log or wood, you just need to drill a hole for an eye bolt (a screw with a circle at the end). Tie a piece of rope through the eye bolt and there you go!

This feeder can be filled with suet plugs, or you can use crunchy peanut butter.

Some Additional Facts About Feeding Suet

  • Suet Bird Food supplies not only a full belly but also fuel to carry their little bodies through a bitterly cold winter night.
  • These Bird Suet Recipes will handsomely reward you in terms of increased visitation to your backyard feeders.
  • Unsuet-suet” is very similar to what we have always known as suet but it has a very different base. Wild birds love it, so get ready to make it often. This is a great option for vegetarian birders who don’t want to purchase animal byproducts like animal fat suet.

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Liz Ranfeld

Liz Boltz Ranfeld is an independent educator and writer from Indiana. She lives on the edge of the woods with her husband, 2 kids, dogs, chickens, and hedgehog. One of the best things of living in rural Indiana is spotting hawks, pileated woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and other wild creatures. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and gardening, and one of her personal heroes is the conservationist and birdwatcher Rosalie Barrow Edge, who paved the way for the protection of birds around the globe.