Woodpeckers make holes in trees to store foods sourced from different places so that they could eat them later or whenever they are hungry. Unfortunately, the food they store may not always be there after they leave as squirrels could eat their food before the birds get their chance. This leaves these famished woodpeckers looking for food in other places. Quite often, they end up being fed by humans through woodpecker feeders. If you are a keen woodpecker watcher, you should definitely get yourself a woodpecker feeder. The following are some of the best woodpecker feeders money can buy.
1Brome Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
As the name indicates, this woodpecker feeder from Brome is truly squirrel- and chew-proof. The feeder has been primarily designed to hold shelled peanuts and nuggets. Ideal for condos and decks, the feeder’s weight is adjustable so that it could act as a deterrent to bigger nuisance-creating birds. Moreover, the design facilitates the inclusion of a large tail prop space, making the feeder woodpecker-friendly. In other words, woodpeckers can use their tails to balance or support themselves on this feeder while feeding themselves.
The seed ventilation system ensures the seeds remain fresher for longer inside the feeder. Moreover, the shroud closes automatically and mitigates an adult squirrel from accessing the seeds when the feeder senses the rodent’s weight on it. Also, the feeder employs an adjustable spring system that lets you predetermine the size of birds you’d like to feed. The feeder can be dismantled manually into individual parts without the need for tools.
• Anti-squirrel chew-proof components
• Four feed ports with removable perches
• Can be dismantled without the need for tools
• The bottom screw could get loose
• A bit on the narrower and smaller side
2Kettle Moraine Window Woodpecker Feeder
If you would like to watch a woodpecker feed from the comfort of your window, this window-mountable feeder from Kettle Moraine would do it for you. There are several advantages to setting up a window feeder. There will be no individual or thing obstructing your view. Also, monitoring the feeder would become easy as it will always be within reach.
There are a couple of powerful suction cups that ensure the feeder stays stuck to any place you mount it. They are extremely sturdy and can hold at least three small birds at once without coming off. They attract a range of birds besides woodpeckers, which include sparrows, blue jays, and black birds. This feeder is almost ideal for people living in two-story apartments yearning for a yard so that they could stick out bird feeders.
• A simple, light and practical design
• Removing suet and refilling is easy
• A lot reasonably priced compared to other feeders
• Withstands weather changes
• Cannot hold more than one suet
• Could create a mess near your window
3GrayBunny Seed and Peanut Feeder
Besides suet, woodpeckers also enjoy feasting on peanuts and sunflower seeds. This steel bird feeder by GrayBunny serves these treats and in the process ends up attracting a range of birds. The feeder is cylindrical in shape and lets peckers and other birds to feed from it via the wire mesh from all angles. The feeder is practical for dried fruit mixes and shelled peanuts.
The feeder’s size is ideal too, standing tall at 15 inches. This means it can easily accommodate a few woodpeckers at any given time. Since the feeder is round, the bird food within gets more evenly distributed. This is one of the major reasons why seasoned birders like this feeder, since a variety of seeds could be put in and multiple feathered guests could join the party. Most importantly, the wire mesh ensures rodents and squirrels do not eat the food from the feeder.
• Enough space for seeds
• 360-degree feeding
• Fully assembled, which makes it user-friendly
• Cleaning the feeder should not be a hassle
• Needs frequent refilling because the food is easily accessible to multiple birds
• Extremely thin wires
4Homes Garden Wild Bird Feeder
This bird feeder by Homes Garden offers some perch for wild birds. Made pretty much completely of cedar wood and a couple of metal cages on both sides, this feeder easily holds a couple of suet cakes simultaneously. Cedar wood smells good and helps attract different varieties of birds. The wood construction is quite sturdy as well, which means extremely bad weather shouldn’t pose issues. The sloping roof would help keep snow and water out of the feeder.
This bird feeder is not designed only to serve woodpeckers. The design element that gives away this fact is the perch, which woodpeckers do not need to cling on to. The perch is there for sparrows and hummingbirds. Also, putting suet cakes inside the feeder is quite straightforward as you only have to take the roof off. The roof comes in handy with keeping water and snow off the feed. This design feature is important because water can easily accumulate on the floor of the feeder.
• Thick cedar wood construction
• Ideal for small woodpeckers
• Accommodates two suet cakes simultaneously
• Bigger woodpeckers would find it inconvenient
• May not attract bigger birds
5The Squirrel Shop Woodpecker Feeder
This woodpecker feeder from The Squirrel Shop is ideal for woodpeckers, blue jays and cardinals. It comes with a big landing perch and is made of freshly cut cedar that you’ll smell right after you open the package. The cedar is decay-resistant, which means it would age well in your backyard or garden. Also, you may fill this dual-purpose feeder with sunflower seeds and peanuts to attract birds or fill some corn to feed squirrels.
You may put the feeder close to a tree on a fence. The feeder can also be hanged from your fence, using a wire hanger. As a result, the feeder becomes easier to access, fill and empty. The product comes bundled in with mounting screws, which should help with its setup. As alluded to before, the feeder is spacious enough to put whole portions of corn cobs.
• Easy to install
• Helps serve a variety of food
• Simple design
• No rain protection
• Cleaning the feeder could be a hassle
6Birds Choice Woodpecker Feeder
This feeder from Birds Choice is made from recycled materials, which shall appeal more to environment-conscious birders. There are quite a few things about this feeder that benefits not just the birds but bird watchers too. The materials/components used to make this feeder is poly lumber, rust resistant aluminium, steel screws, removable seed diverter and routed edges. These work in unison to lend the feeder a sturdy build and an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
The feeder is designed well, which strikes the right balance between looks and functionality. For instance, the clear plexy panel lets you see the nuts or seeds level. This makes sure you don’t have to waste your time guessing the right time to refill the feeder. Also, there are two feeding ports, and the screen base is removable and perforated. The feeder comes with a wire loop attached, which is coated in plastic. Also, you can pole-mount this feeder. You’ll just have to fetch some conduit straps and append the pole to the feeder’s smooth side.
• Easy to clean
• Strong build and elegant design
• Made from recycled plastic
• The roof could leak during rain
• Not squirrel-proof
7Birds Choice Suet-Sandwich Feeder
This suet-sandwich feeder by Birds Choice is probably the most unique looking feeder on this list. At first, it looks like a simple, flat block of wood. However, at closer inspection, you learn that there is much to it than what meets the eye. The feeder is made from durable poly resin. The two outer barks are removable. You need to remove the two brass thumbscrews so that you may spread a thick suet layer in between.
Once the thick layer sued has been spread, you may tighten the thumbscrews so that the feeder can be hanged back to its place. Though there is no perch for woodpeckers to latch on to while feeding, the pure sight of watching those birds hang and feed themselves can be quite a delight to watch. Thanks to the design, only woodpeckers would be able to use the feeder. If you are particular about feeding only peckers, you should love this feeder.
• A simple, yet unique design
• Accommodates woodpeckers’ bill and tongue
• Putting the suet in is easy
• Accessing suet in the middle could be difficult for the birds
• A bit smaller in size
8Kettle Moraine Clinger Cedar Feeder
The Clinger is Kettle Moraine’s bird feeder made using stainless steel screws and solid cedar. The feeder can be mounted to a post or easily hanged from a fence or place of your choice. Designed to accommodate chunky woodpecker mixes, the feeder has a single feed port and a screen backing, so that birds could pull out only one seed and not eat them all within minutes. This would leave some food for other birds and you’ll also not have to refill the feeder frequently.
Besides woodpeckers, other birds such as chickadees, titmice and nuthatches would find this feeder handy. You may use peanuts or a woodpecker mix for feed. The feeder can hold at least a pound of feed at a time. Small birds, such as sparrows, would have a tough time feeding from this feeder. If you would like small birds to not come close to your feeder, you would appreciate this product.
• Offers different feeding options to woodpeckers
• Good build quality
• Stays in place
• Not squirrel-proof
• Feed space is smaller compared to the feeder’s size
9Wild Delight Block Feeder
This block feeder by Wild Delight has been specifically designed to work with the company’s outdoor blocks, which comes included in the package. It comes with vinyl-coated wire that protects the birds’ feet, eyes and tongues and also resists stains and rust. The woodpecker nut block is a unique and nutritious treat or food for different birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, songbirds, cardinals and some outdoor pets. The feed features actual nuts and fruit.
The bundled-in feed in fact helps with attracting the best wildlife to the feeder. It may take some time for the birds to notice the feeder. But once they do, they’ll be chipping away at the food at regular intervals. Seeing multiple birds feeding from the feeder can be quite a satisfying feeling.
• Birds chipping away frequently is great to watch
• Well-built and functional design
• Cleaning the feeder could be a hassle
• A bit on the pricier side
10The Woodpecker Family Handcrafted Bird Feeder
The Amish handcrafted feeder from The Woodpecker Family is built to last long and withstand all kinds of weather conditions. Made using quality wood, construction-grade screws and aluminium hardware, the feeder is both strong and attractive to look at, thanks to the blue paint job. The color is not there purely for aesthetics, but it helps with protecting the base material from the outdoors.
The feeder comes with a nicely integrated opening that is hidden by a hinging lid. It should help with dispensing the birdseed easily and quickly. By the way, the feeder comes in a range of design options. They are based on different birds and their respective hues. The options include bluebird, cardinal, blue jay, goldfinch, eagle, chickadee, oriole, hummingbird, robin, owl, seagull, and woodpecker.
• Beautiful, eye-catching handcrafted design
• Made to last
• Nice large size
• Birds may mistake it for another bird
• Not the most inexpensive feeder
Woodpecker Selection Tips
In the wild—the forests and the wooded areas—the woodpeckers live on a variety of insects, bugs, grubs, mealworms, etc; and on nuts and acorns, saps, fruit saps, and so on. However, in urban and semi-urban settings, the birds may not always have enough food sources to meet their dietary needs. A woodpecker feeder is therefore a nice idea to add to your bird feeding station.
However, for a backyard birder, it is normal to feel a little confused in the face of all the different models that are available for feeding woodpeckers. So, in the following buying guide, we talk about the different types of woodpecker feeders and the particularities of each as well as some basic things you should take into consideration when shopping for your feeder.
Types of Woodpecker Feeder
As you may already know, the most popular woodpecker food for use at bird feeding stations is the suet. Suet is simply rendered animal fat that is mixed with a variety of other ingredients such as nuts, berries, corn, different seeds, raisins and more. You can either make your own suet (if you have the time) or you may settle for any number of commercial suet cakes, balls, etc. that are sold at bird food stores.
Now, among suet feeders, there are different varieties as well.
1. Suet Basket Feeder
This is the most common type of suet feeder that you’ll find hanging in many backyards. This is a simple square-shaped cage basket made of metal and holds one or more suet cakes inside, depending on the model. Some bird feeder models, such as Bluebird feeder-house type models, will sometime attach suet cage basket feeders at the sides of the main feeder.
Typically, besides woodpeckers, any clinging birds can eat from a suet basket. For example, you may find some cardinals or nuthatches nibbling away at your woodpecker feeder from time to time.
2. Suet Basket Feeder with a Tail-prop
This is basically the same as a suet cage feeder only this type comes with a slightly elaborate design in that it includes a tail prop for the birds. If you’ve noticed already, woodpeckers come with longer tail feathers. And when they peck at tree trunks, they support their body with both the talons and the tail. So, a feeder with a tail-prop design makes it more comfortable for the birds to eat their food from the basket.
3. Suet Plug Log Feeder
This type of feeder uses a solid cylindrical log of wood with multiple holes drilled in. The holes are meant to be filled in with suet plugs. The log feeders look more natural in your backyard and add to its aesthetic appeal, which is why many birders prefer these models over the cage basket types.
4. Suet Ball Feeder
A typical suet ball feeder is a ring-shaped metal wire or mesh feeder that holds a quantity of suet balls inside. Generally speaking, the ball feeders are not as popular as the other kind of suet feeders, perhaps for the reason that woodpeckers cannot access their food from a ball feeder standing in a vertical or upright position. All the same, if you feel like it, you may experiment with one of these models and if the peckers visiting your garden are happy with it…well, then, there should be no cause to complaints!
Other types of woodpecker feeders
Wire Mesh Feeders
Woodpeckers love suet, but they also cherish a variety of other foods, including nuts, raisins, hulled sunflower seeds, black oil sunflower seeds and they are often crazy about peanuts! And having a wire mesh feeder gives you the opportunity to feed your woodpeckers different foods. You can put seeds, peanuts, a mix of nuts and raisins as well as suet nuggets (another variety in commercial suet) inside the feeder. However, when buying a mesh feeder, you must make sure that it is meant for woodpeckers. The latter have larger beaks and if the openings in the mesh are not large enough, the birds will not be able to access the food inside.
Tray or Platform Feeder
These are not dedicated woodpecker feeders, but a tray feeder is a good option if you want to provide a variety of foods to the birds all at the same time. For example, you may put nuts, seeds, corns and even some dried mealworms on the tray and chances are that the woodpeckers as well as some other birds will love to eat out of the platform feeder. If you are buying a tray feeder, just make sure that the product is made of good quality material, has a spacious overhang or roof that will help protect the food and has good drainage options.
Selecting a Woodpecker Feeder: Woodpecker Feeder Selection Tips
There are a few things you need to take into account when buying your woodpecker feeder.
The size: The size or capacity of the feeder is important whether you are buying a cake feeder, a log or a suet ball feeder. If you have too many woodpeckers visiting your yard, normally you’ll like to go for a larger feeder. A larger feeder is also necessary if you have members of larger woodpecker species (such as the pileated woodpeckers) visiting your yard.
The feeder you choose must be well-protected from rain and snow. Understand that woodpeckers will be visiting your yard all year round since these birds do not migrate. For this reason, good protection for foods is a must. For the same reason, you must settle for a model that is easy to fill. You’ll appreciate this option during the rainy season and when the winters are harsh!
The feeder you choose must be made of durable, premium grade metal. Especially in case of suet baskets, go for models that are powder-coated and rust-proof. As is the case, the pricier the model, the better it will be in terms of durability and functionality.
Access and visibility: No matter what model you choose, you need to ensure that the birds would be able to access the food without difficulty (one reason to choose a tail-prop design over a simple suet cake basket). Also, the birds must be able to locate the food from a distance. This is one thing, for example, that may count against the log feeders. They look natural and the woodpeckers will love those suet plugs once they have found this food source. However, sometimes the birds may not recognize a suet log feeder as a possible food source.
Finally, while suet cakes or balls are popular with woodpeckers, you may consider avoiding it in extremely hot conditions. For one thing, the heat often melts down the suet (There are also ‘no-melt’ variety of suet available. However, at this point, we cannot really comment on the effectiveness of these products, especially during intensely hot summers). Secondly, since suet is primarily hard animal fat, this fatty diet may not be too good an idea for woodpeckers during the summers.
Top Woodpecker Feeder Brands
Some of the most popular woodpecker feeder models come from the following brands:
• Bird’s Choice
• Kettle Moraine
• Stokes Select
• Woodlink Audobon
However, there are also a number of other brands that offer quality woodpecker feeder models (refer to our above list of Top Models).
Average Woodpecker Feeder Pricing
• Budget Models: $15-$20
• Mid-level: around $30
• High-end: $45 and above
Feeding Woodpeckers: Questions & Answers
How do I attract woodpeckers to my feeder?
Apart from providing supplemental food by way of using woodpecker feeders, you need to create the appropriate habitat for the birds, these include:
Providing bathing areas: Woodpeckers need bird baths for bathing and drinking, but they normally prefer natural baths more than those decorated pedestals. We strongly recommend that you use a ‘ground bird bath’ fitted with a dripper that will more easily attract the attention of the birds.
Planting the right kind of trees and shrubs: Coniferous and deciduous trees, especially pine and oak, are good choices. These provide the birds with adequate shelter plus extra food source. Consider adding some fruit-bearing plants and shrubs as well.
Woodpeckers also love to eat nectars and even jelly. However, if you want to feed nectar to your woodpeckers, keep in mind that you’ll have to buy a nectar feeder with larger feeding holes. (In other words, the hummingbird feeders won’t do!)
Also, avoid (or minimize) using insecticides or pesticides inside your garden space to preserve a healthy insect population, a prime food source for woodpeckers.
Where is the best place to hang a woodpecker feeder?
Positioning your woodpecker feeder is another important factor when you are trying to attract the birds to your yard. Try, if possible, to hang them near large and mature trees that will give the bird enough foraging opportunities. Leaving snags, dead trees, stumps, etc. around the feeder is also a good idea.
How do you clean a woodpecker feeder?
If you are using metal suet feeders, you should use them with clean hot water. Don’t use soap or detergent. You may use a watering hose if the metal basket has gotten a bit messy. Use a dry cloth to clean the feeder and then air dry it before putting t e feederup again.
What do woodpeckers eat?
As we mentioned, woodpeckers thrive on a varied diet and will eat many things including all sorts of insects as well as nuts, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, corns, raisins, dried mealworms, unsalted peanuts, and so on.
Do Woodpeckers eat suet?
But of course. However, the ones visiting your yard may not fancy all sorts of commercial suet mixes. So, do a bit of experiment and find out what product they love the best. Also, during summer months, make sure that the suet cakes or balls don’t melt or get rancid.