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In my yard, I use Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet Feeders and like them very much. Suet is incredibly popular in the spring. In my yard it is arguably more popular this time of year than the seed in the feeders. Even if you are someone who doesn’t feed birds in warm weather, I do encourage you to at least put out suet in the spring and early summer.
You will be rewarded with mom and dad birds visiting repeatedly to bring suet back to their babies. And a little later they will bring their fledglings to the suet directly. And of course woodpeckers and quite a few other birds enjoy suet year round as long as it is the melt-free type that is less likely to go bad in hot weather.
Birds Choice Upside Down Suet Feeder Review
For years I offered suet to birds in the inexpensive metal suet cage feeders you find everywhere. But then one day the local bird store was having a sale on bird feeders. So I decided to try a different type of suet feeder, a Birds Choice Upside Down Suet Feeder.
This one looks like a little house but with a gridded bottom surface, like cage feeders have, that allows access to the suet only from the bottom. To put suet in this feeder, lift up the entire roof, sliding it along the hanger cables. Put the suet in and then replace the roof by sliding it back down. It’s very easy. Made of recycled materials, it is sturdy and should last quite a long time.
It hangs from a loop so, depending on where you are hanging it, you may need to get some type of hook or other attachment to hang it. My local bird store sells inexpensive little metal hooks for this purpose. I’m thinking that you could probably also use a metal shower curtain S-hook if you happen to have an extra around. (In the top picture, I’ve hung it using a black metal hook on an Erva baffle.)
Helping Birds Find Upside-Down Suet Feeders
It took the birds some time to find and use this feeder. I tried it several places over a period of weeks without a single peck mark to mar the smooth surface of the commercial suet block I placed inside of it.
I finally realized that I needed to think like a bird and consider what a bird might see when looking at this feeder. From the top and sides it probably looks like a pretty solid people-thing with nothing to really entice them. From these angles, they can’t see the suet inside. So I needed to position it so they could see it.
I temporarily placed this feeder so that it hung over a regular cage suet feeder. That way when the birds were on the feeder below, they could look up and see the suet. (Note: I did not hang the regular suet feeder directly from the upside-down feeder — just over it.) It worked beautifully and the birds started using the suet. You just need one bird to figure it out; other birds will notice what the first is doing and try it themselves.
Once they got used to it, I was able to put away the old feeder and move the new one to whee I wanted it. At first it was hanging from the overhang on my back steps. I could see birds visiting it from my kitchen window. Then I purchased more that I hung from a tree limb by a baffled hook. Eventually I moved all my suet feeders to a pole to keep squirrels and raccoons out.
Birds That Use Upside-Down Feeder
Once the birds figured this feeder out, it has gotten a steady stream of customers, including Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmouses, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees and sometimes Pine Warblers.
The smooth solid angled roof keeps European Starlings and Common Grackles from settling on the feeder top to dominate it. By watching the woodpeckers, they do learn to dangle briefly from the bottom. But they can’t hang for long. Starlings in particular can no longer sit on the feeder and eat for hours. They are more likely to stop by periodically for a quick bite.
Blue Jays have learned to dangle briefly too. They only tend to haunt suet feeders in the spring when they have little ones to feed. Other birds like Gray Catbirds and Eastern Bluebirds will sometimes adopt a strategy of sitting underneath the feeder to pick up suet other clinging birds drop while eating.
Why I Like This Suet Feeder
It took me a little while to warm up to these feeders but I do like them very much now. This feeder is admittedly more expensive than the typical cage suet feeder. If cage style feeders are working for you, then you may have no reason to switch.
But I like that this one is easy to fill. And they are already set up to be fairly starling proof so I don’t have to mess with starling proofing the feeder with plastic like I do with the cage feeders. You could also argue that they are more attractive than the traditional metal cage suet feeder.
They are heavier too, so a squirrel is unlikely to be able to pick the whole thing up or move it to get into it (as I’ve seen larger squirrels do with cage feeders), although I suspect that given time, they could figure out how to lift the roof. (A baffle is always a good idea for almost any feeder and when hung in the right spot can keep squirrels off suet.)
I also like that the roof protects suet inside from rain and snow. I lose less to mold in warm rainy weather. Because the suet is hidden inside this feeder, you do need to go out and take a peek underneath every now and then to check if it needs to be refilled. (With traditional cage feeders, you can typically see if they are empty from a distance.) But otherwise, they are very low-maintenance and easy to use.
I currently have five suet feeders hanging on two poles, one in my front yard and one in the back. All are these roofed upside down feeders.
Other Posts About Suet Feeders
More on Putting Up A New Feeder
More Bird Feeder Reviews
Birdseed & Binoculars Bird Feeder Reviews (Click on this link to see the blog stream filtered to show only my bird feeder reviews.)
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