5 Best Woodpecker Feeders for 2020

Woodpeckers drill into trees, and males do this mainly because they are announcing their claim to a territory, which is called drumming. Another reason would be to excavate, the woodpecker’s need to construct a nest in an open hole. 

Trees and houses, unfortunately, become targets. The standard solution to this problem is to set up a feeder in the yard. It is essential to set up a feeder because you don’t want too much damage to be done to your trees or your house. 

The damage done to trees by woodpeckers isn’t life-threatening, but over time it can cause added expense if it isn’t properly treated.

We Recommend

Extra-long tail prop

Birds Choice Pileated
Suet Feeder

Best weather-proof

Squirrel-X
Bird Feeder

With spring mechanism

Brome Squirrel
Buster Feeder

How to Attract Woodpeckers to My Feeder?

Woodpeckers are capable of being attracted to feeders all year round. They have basic needs for adequate amounts of food and water and providing secure shelter, and sufficient nesting sites will help keep woodpeckers coming back to your yard.

  • Water: Woodpeckers will visit bird baths to drink and bathe, but they prefer natural baths that are more isolated. Woodpeckers are more likely to use birdbaths stationed in more secluded garden areas. Especially in the winter season, it is recommended to have a heated birdbath because all birds will be looking for a natural source of open water to survive the cold temperatures.
  • Create a Snag: Woodpeckers particularly like drilling into older or dead trees. In the event you need to cut a tree down, leave some of the lower trunk standings. Woodpeckers are resourceful and they will use these parts to create homes. If you don’t have any natural snags in your yard, you can create your own by trimming branches on the live trees in your yard. You can also vary the shapes and sizes of these snags.
  • Roost Box: A roost box also provides shelter for woodpeckers from predators, cold temperatures, and bad weather. Roost boxes are much like birdhouses but are not intended to be permanent shelters for birds. As many as a dozen birds can go inside these boxes and share body heat through the cold nights of winter.

Where to Hang a Woodpecker Feeder?

There are various kinds of feeders that are suitable for woodpeckers, and one question that will arise will be where to hang the feeder. Here are some tips and suggestions.

  • Tree Branch: Trees are strong foundations for hanging bird feeders. Use a long rope, chain, or bungee cord with a S-hook on end. If you prefer to attach a squirrel guard to your feeder, make sure it hangs at the right height.
  • Window: Hanging a woodpecker feeder up against a window of your home gives you a better view of the birds that visit your yard. Suction cup mounts are the main tool for stability, though you can also use string, chain, or wire to hang your feeder close to the window if you are worried about predators attacking the woodpeckers.
  • Deck Hangers: You can have more flexibility with the location of your woodpecker feeder if you have a deck hanger or a freestanding hook. Check out our bird feeder pole guide.
  • Activity: Areas in your yard that are quiet and lack activity are better options to hang your feeder compared to your garage or patio. Woodpeckers are attracted to natural sounds like water splashes and insect buzzes, not wind chimes or other artificial noisemakers.

What is the Best Food for Woodpeckers?

Woodpeckers prefer to eat various natural foods like nuts and berries, and they drill wood to look for insects to eat. In your feeder, offer them peanuts, peanut butter, black oil sunflower seeds, and mealworms. 

One easy way to entice woodpeckers to stay in your yard is to offer them fruit, which includes oranges, grapes, raisins, and apples.

If you don’t have fruit on hand, then putting jelly in your feeder would make a great substitute. Woodpeckers prefer jelly flavors like grape, apple, and marmalade. Make sure the jelly brands you buy contain fewer preservatives. Jellies are a great source of nutrition for woodpeckers, as the high concentrations of sugar and carbohydrates give them energy.
Suet is another sure way of attracting woodpeckers to your feeder.

Especially if you have blends that come in the flavors of nut, insect, and fruit, woodpeckers will pay attention. There are small coated wire mesh cages specifically designed to contain suet, and in most cases, these cages can be bought in stores. 

You can either stick with the basic suet cake shape to feed woodpeckers, or you can try other shapes such as balls, pellets, plugs, crumbles, and shreds.

How to Choose the Right Feeder for Woodpeckers?

The needs of woodpeckers are different than other bird species. If you are looking to buy a feeder that woodpeckers will approve of, then you should consider specific features that will make the eating experience enjoyable for woodpeckers.

  • Tail Prop: The tail prop normally sticks out on the bottom of woodpecker feeders. The longer the tail prop is, the more opportunities woodpeckers will have for hanging on to the feeder.
  • Gripping Skerfs: Ridges that are on the sides of a feeder are called gripping skerfs. These are designed to allow woodpeckers to clamp their feet into the skerfs for stability while eating.
  • Trays or Platforms: Trays offer an open space for many different species of birds to land on and eat the seed, including woodpeckers. Trays pose as an easy solution to attracting woodpeckers, but they offer no protection against rain and snow and can be left vulnerable to squirrels and chipmunks depending on how they are positioned.
  • Tube: If you care about preserving seed, you should consider getting a tube feeder. Depending on the size of its features, such as the perches and the feeding ports, you can convince woodpeckers to come. It also helps that these feeders are squirrel-resistant.

Best Woodpecker Feeders

1. Birds Choice Pileated Suet Feeder

Birds Choice suet feeder is made from recycled plastic, this suet feeder can hold up to 2 suet cakes and has an extra-long tail prop, allowing woodpeckers,  to maintain a grip while they eat. 

As long as there is food stored inside, there won’t be much to worry about after hanging up this feeder. 

It has proven not to rot, split, or be destroyed by animals like squirrels and raccoons. It is possible to attach a cone squirrel baffle. 

You would need to have a plastic baffle that has a hook underneath and a hook on top. This feeder is very easy to clean as the grills slide out and give you access to the inside. For cleaning recommendations, submerge the feeder upside down in a 5-gallon bucket of a soap and water mixture for around 30 minutes. Use a scrub brush if any debris remains sticking to the feeder.

Check the price of Birds Choice Pileated Suet Feeder here

What we liked

  • Strong enough to endure constant drilling from woodpeckers
  • No assembly required
  • Suet cakes can be easily replaced inside the feeder once the birds finish eating them
  • Heavy and durable recycled plastic frame

What we didn’t like

  • It requires a strong branch/pole to hang from
  • One of the heavier feeders, weighing 2 pounds

How much seed/food can fit: 2 12-ounce suet cakes
What is special about it: This feeder is accessible from both sides, with the suet being protected by coated wire mesh.
Dimensions: 8 x 3 x 23 inches

2. Brome Squirrel Buster Wild Bird Feeder

Brome Squirrel Buster feeder only allows peanuts to be stored inside, but it is very flexible and safe for birds. 

It’s designed to discourage squirrels from taking any peanuts because it can detect the weight of any animal that hangs on to it. Hence the name – Squirrel Buster.

Squirrels love to chew through all sorts of materials, but they won’t be able to chew through the design of this feeder as exposed parts are made of chew-proof materials.

There is also a spring mechanism that detects the size of an animal that is getting on the feeder. If a squirrel attempts to take any peanuts from the feeder, the mechanism will go to work and shut the doors to the peanuts. 

Check the price of Brome Squirrel Buster Feeder here

What we liked

  • No assembly required
  • You can manually determine which size birds will be able to eat from this feeder (spring mechanism)
  • Chew-proof
  • Large tail prop (essential for Woodpeckers)

What we didn’t like

  • While it is designed to be squirrel-proof, you still have to make sure it is in the right position (at least 18 inches of clearance around the feeder)
  • Your feeding area underneath this feeder can become messy

How much seed/food can fit: 3/4 quarts/1.3lbs
What is special about it: This feeder lives up to its name. The moment a squirrel attempts to take peanuts, the shroud will automatically close.
Dimensions: 19.5 x 5.3 x 5.3 inches

3. Kettle Moraine Cedar Suet Plug Log Feeder

This is a log feeder that mimics regular trees and encourages woodpeckers to fly over and investigate. It weighs a sturdy 2.16 pounds. 

This log feeder is designed for products like peanut butter and suet to be stored inside its 4 holes. 

It is recommended that you fill the holes with chunky peanut butter rather than creamy peanut butter.  

You can also mix the peanut butter with cornmeal or oatmeal to give woodpeckers more nutrition.

This feeder isn’t squirrel proof, so there is a chance that squirrels can grab hold of the log and steal food. You would have to attach a cone squirrel baffle on top to give this feeder better protection from squirrels.

Check the price of Kettle Moraine Log Feeder here

What we liked

  • Deep enough holes to store plenty of peanut butter
  • Comes with a large opened hook for hanging
  • Provides a lot of tail support
  • Made out of solid Northern White Cedar (endures all kinds of weather)

What we didn’t like

  • Isn’t best for storing peanuts or seeds
  • Isn’t fully squirrel-proof

How much seed/food can fit: 4 holes filled with peanut butter products
What is special about it: Drilled about 3/4 the way through the log are 1 1/4” holes in diameter.
Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 18 inches

4. Kettle Moraine Window Woodpecker Feeder

Kettle Moraine Woodpecker feeder is great to hang up against your window as its 2 suction cups are strong enough to endure bad weather like rainfall. 

Depending on the location of your home’s windows and other glass surfaces, you can mount this feeder to stand vertically or horizontally. 

Location is key because it will be easy for woodpeckers to spot it, as opposed to hiding it in between large trees.

While the design of this feeder is as simplistic as it gets, it gives you a close view of the action. There isn’t much to clean up from this feeder, but rather the issues begin after woodpeckers eat the suet. Depending on how the winter season goes, excess suet can chip off and stick to the window from the pecking.

Check the price of Kettle Moraine Window Feeder here

What we liked

  • Easy to handle and few individual parts
  • Durable suction cups (can withstand bad weather like rainstorms)
  • The suction cups can also be removed

What we didn’t like

  • Only 1 suet cake can be stored at a time
  • No tail prop

How much seed/food can fit: 1 12-ounce suet cake
What is special about it: This feeder doesn’t require much maintenance at all. Once you place its suction cups against a window, the feeder is ready to go.
Dimensions: 6.3 x 6.3 x 2.8 inches

5. Squirrel-X Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

Squirrel-X is perfect if you are looking for great security of suet cakes in a feeder. 

The steel cage design will protect Woodpeckers from any predators providing safety.

The steel top of the cage is screwed on and the fit is so tight making it squirrel-proof.

The steel that makes up this feeder is able to endure all sorts of weather, so you will be free to use this feeder throughout the entire year.

Larger birds such as blue jays, starlings, and grackles won’t be able to dominate the eating of this feeder’s suet cakes as the openings on the cage are 1 3/8” squares.

This may be an issue for some species of woodpeckers depending on their size, but they should be able to hang on the outer surface and peck at the suet with their long beaks.

Check the price of Squirrel-X Bird Feeder here

What we liked

  • 100% squirrel-proof design
  • The steel cage is powder-coated weather-resistant (weather-proof)
  • Simple for you to open, fill, and clean
  • The open case of the suet cakes allows for even filtration, which keeps the feed fresh

What we didn’t like

  • The only way to mount it is to hang it from its top ring

How much seed/food can fit: 2 12-ounce suet cakes
What is special about it: This feeder gives the suet cakes added protection by surrounding it with a steel cage.
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 9.4 inches

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