Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet Feeder Review

Last Updated on May 29, 2021 by Nancie

Birds Choice Upside Down Suet Feeder with Erva Baffle
Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet Feeder with Erva Baffle

Birds Choice upside-down suet feeders help keep starlings and grackles from eating all your suet. They won’t prevent every annoying bird, but they do reduce their numbers and usually keep them from completely dominating the suet, giving other birds a chance. I’ve been using Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet Feeders for years and like them very much. But there is a trick to helping birds find suet in upside-down feeders!

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

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 had a bird feeder sale and so I decided to try a different type of suet feeder, a Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet Feeder. Note: There is also a larger version that fits two suet cakes.

Birds Choice Suet Feeder Open to Add Suet
Birds Choice Suet Feeder Open to Add Suet

The upside-down suet feeders looks like a little house but with a wire grid like cage feeders have underneath. This allows access to the suet only from the bottom. To put a regular commercial block of suet in this feeder, lift up the entire roof, sliding it along the hanger cables. Lay the suet inside and then replace the roof by sliding it back down. It’s very easy. Made of recycled materials, this suet feeder 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 birds in my yard 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 to help birds find the suet, 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 fairly 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 the suet.

Looking Up at the Bottom of the Suet Feeder
Looking Up at the Bottom of the Suet Feeder

I temporarily placed this feeder so that it hung above a regular cage suet feeder. That way when the birds were on the feeder below it, they could look up and see the suet. (Note: I did not hang the regular suet feeder directly from the upside-down feeder. The two feeders were hung separately so that birds could easily access both feeders.) This trick worked beautifully and the birds started using the suet feeder. You just need one bird to figure it out; other birds will notice what the first is doing and try it themselves.

Once the birds got used to it, I was able to put away the old feeder and move the new one to where 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 Suet Feeders

Once the birds figured this feeder out, it has had 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, these birds can learn to dangle briefly from the bottom. But they usually can’t hang for long. Starlings in particular can no longer sit on top the feeder and eat comfortably for hours like they can with a traditional suet feeder. They are more likely to stop by periodically for a quick bite.

Blue Jays have learned to dangle briefly too. The jays in my yard 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.

Note: 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 into 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. (Just be sure to use the no-melt type of suet in hot weather.)

Why I Like The Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet Feeder

It took me a little while to warm up to the Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet 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 resistant to starlings, so I don’t have to mess with DIY starling proofing feeder hacks with plastic like I had to do with regular cage suet feeders. You could also argue that they are more attractive than the traditional metal cage suet feeder. (Note: Also see my post on: Strategies to Keep Starlings Off Feeders.)

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 traditional suet feeders), although I suspect that given time, squirrels might figure out how to lift the roof. (A baffle is a necessity with almost any feeder; which, when hung in the right spot, can keep squirrels off suet.) 

I also like that the roof of upside-down suet feeders 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. Four are these roofed upside-down feeders and one is an Erva Starling-Proof caged suet feeder. (Note: The caged suet feeder only allows small birds access to suet. While it completely blocks out starlings and grackles, larger woodpeckers like Red-Bellied or Pileated Woodpeckers are blocked too. For this reason, I use a combination of the two types of suet feeders.)

Birds Choice Suet Feeders Page on Amazon

Nancie

Solving Suet & Suet Feeder Problems

Acrobatic Grackles At My Suet Feeders

Where to Hang a Suet Feeder

Best Way to Hang a Suet Feeder

DYI Starling-Proofing Traditional Suet Feeders

Deterring Squirrels with Hot Pepper Suet

A Raccoon is Eating My Suet!

Erva Starling-Proof Suet Feeder Review

More on Putting Up A New Feeder

Will Birds Find My Feeders?

Birds Not Coming to Feeders

How to Hang a Feeder With a Hook

Which Feeders Attract Which Birds?

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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8 thoughts on “Birds Choice Upside-Down Suet Feeder Review

  1. I have encountered a reluctance by birds to eat mark’s choice suet. Normally woodpeckers will consume suet plugs (Scott’s) within a day. Your suet remains untouched after a week. As a experiment I loaded both suet brands in the same feeder and within 2 hours Scott’s was gone but no interest shown in marks. Was there an issue with the manufacture of the plugs or is the recipe so different that it is unacceptable to any type of bird?

    1. That’s interesting. I’m currently using Pine Tree Farms brand suet. You might want to check with the folks that make Mark’s Choice too see what they say about its manufacture.

  2. Hi! I’ve really enjoyed your blog – thank you for so many tips! I have the wide version of this Bird’s Choice upside down feeder (fits 2 side by side) and the Starlings are still managing to cling to the underneath and clean it out in one morning. Do you have any suggestions for some sort of baffle for this – something to spook them from going underneath, yet still keep my welcome birds coming?

    1. Hi Barbara, Wow, that’s interesting. I haven’t tried the double wide version; I just have the single but they look similar. The most that our local Starlings can do is kind of hover very very briefly in mid-air to snag a quick bite. I haven’t had one be able to cling underneath for any length of time. I did have one of these feeders hanging on a pole that was too close to the squirrel baffle beneath it on the pole and so the Starling could sit on the flat top of the baffle and nibble at the suet overhead, but even then it had to stretch and so couldn’t get comfortable enough to spend the morning there. (Moving the suet feeder higher solved that problem.)

      I’m not quite sure what to suggest. Something that would spook them would probably do the same for the other birds. I guess my best suggestion would be to watch carefully what they are doing. Are they clinging to the grid work on the bottom of the feeder (which is how the other birds use it) or have they figured out some alternative way to hold on that you could block? Is there any surface below the feeder which gives them access to it where they don’t have to cling (like my baffle situation)? If yes, try moving the feeder. But if you’ve got exceptionally agile Starlings who can hang from the grid work for long periods of time . . . I’m not sure how to get around that.

      One other thought is to ask what other food you offer in the yard? Our local Starlings seem to spend long periods of time eating Safflower seed in the platform feeders and only occassionaly will try to grab a quick nip of the suet. Starlings seem to love suet, but if there is something easier to access available, they might be willing to eat that and stop hogging the suet as much. Maybe.

      Nancie

  3. I have a suet feeder hanging from my upsidedown sort feeder for a few days now. Plenty of woodpeckers but they have not found the upsidedown sort yet. How long does it usually take?

    1. Hi Sandra,
      It can take several days. You need one bird to try it successfully and then others should follow. It sounds like you are hanging a regular suet feeder directly FROM the upside down feeder? One thought I have is that you might want to be sure that there is enough room between the feeders that birds can easily get to the upside down feeder without snagging on the hanger of the lower feeder. That might be a deterrent the way that halo wires are a deterrent to House Sparrows at feeders. If that is not the problem, then since it has been several days, you might try letting the regular suet feeder go empty and see if the birds move to the new feeder. Or remove the lower feeder and watch and see if the birds go for the new one now.
      Good luck!
      Nancie

  4. I enjoy your blog. What do you think of “pure suet” with no seeds in it, to keep starlings and blue jays off your suet feeder?

    1. Hi Anna,
      Thanks! Yes, I’ve been experimenting with pure suet this year and I think it has a lot of promise. (See my post on “Suet Starlings & Grackles Won’t Eat?” for more on what I’ve tried.) Because it melts, you can only use it in the cooler parts of the year. I tried it last spring and the grackles and starlings were not at all interested in it. The only birds that seemed to be completely fine with it were the woodpeckers (Downy & Red-Bellies in my yard.) Other birds would get on the feeder with pure suet and then jump off to instead choose the feeder next to it with the extra seeds, nuts, etc.

      I also bought one of Erva’s caged suet feeders recently. (See my “Erva Starling-Proof Suet Feeder Review” post.) My plan for this winter/spring when the annoying flocks arrive is to use regular suet with the extras inside the caged suet feeder and use pure suet in the open hanging upside-down feeders. That way the smaller birds that might not be crazy about the pure suet can get the regular kind inside the cage feeder while the woodpeckers can eat the pure suet that is in the open feeders. I’ll be posting the results of that experiment once the flocks return to my area this winter/spring.

      If you are having trouble with starlings and blue jays and your local temperatures are under 70F, I’d say give pure suet a try and see how it works for you.

      Nancie

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