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mrclean1227

Where to hang a suet cage.

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Hi everyone. I'm new here, so bare with me if I don't know my bird species all that well. I just bought a suet cage and some suet blocks. I've seen a number of different types of birds always around my house, so I figured I'd help them out a little with their food wants. I already feed doves and finches with a seed mixture that they love. But I see, what seems to be, red-headed woodpeckers every so often on the tree in my front yard. They even peck on my gutters, which I think is hilarious. Lol. So, when I got the suet cage, I also purchased a suet block FOR woodpeckers and other birds. But I guess it's mostly for woodpeckers. Only problem...haven't seen ANY traffic on the cage since I hung it up. Hmm. Just wondering if I need to hang it anywhere in particular. I have it hanging off a limb on my tree in the front yard. It's about a full arm's length to reach it. I used a small step stool to hang it. I figured that should be good. Anyone out there know if that was correct or is there a specific way to hang these things?  Please let me know as I also have two more peanut suets ready to go for ALL the birds after this is all gone. Thanks to u all in advance for any help in this matter.

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Welcome to Whatbird!

Your placement seems just fine.  How long has it been hanging there?  I think you just need to give the birds time to find it.  By the way, other birds will eat the "woodpecker" suet as well since all birds can use the protein.

I hope you get some birds to your suet soon!  Woodpeckers are a lot of fun to watch!

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It's been there for almost two weeks, I think. That's why I'm wondering if I need to move it either higher or on a thicker limb? Not sure why there hasn't been ANY traffic on it at all. I figured all the birds would be going nuts (no pun intended ) over this thing. Ya know?

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I don't think height is all that important.  Your current placement seems good to me since you said you see woodpeckers on that tree, but you could try moving the suet feeder closer to your seed feeder(s) if it isn't close already.  It might get noticed by other birds (like nuthatches) there.  We have ours hanging on shepherd's hooks only a few feet from our other feeders and they get regular visitors.

In my experience, most birds don't really go nuts for suet.  I see it as a supplemental side dish to the very popular black oil sunflower seed we feed (woodpeckers like sunflower seeds, too).

I'll also add that certain kinds of suet can easily turn rancid if left out in high temperatures. I don't know where you live, but if you live in a hot climate I read that it's best to offer "No Melt" suet, if you aren't already.

Others might have better suggestions.

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I live in Seminole, FL. I believe the suet, I have, is made for down here because it's still holding up and hasn't gotten nasty. Now, it DID just rain today. So should I toss it out tomorrow if it's not raining? Also, I ground feed the doves and finches right in front of my front patio. They practically come right up to me. I even have a few regular customers. Even the squirrels will come up to me looking for some dry roasted peanuts...which I oblige. Lol.

So, to reiterate on the placement of the cage, I don't have a seed feeder for the other birds. They peck off the ground what I toss out to them. I'm thinking about, maybe, placing it a little closer to the trunk of the tree so the woodpeckers and other birds might see or smell it a little better? Whatchya think? 

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Welcome to Whatbird!!

The placement is probably fine, sometimes it just takes birds longer to find it no matter where you have it located. I put suet out in cages, one hanging and two nailed against the tree and it took about a year before the Nuttall's Woodpeckers, which used the tree frequently, ever took notice of it. Once one started feeding on it, its mate began to feed from the suet also. That's been several years ago and they continue to feed from them several times daily. I also have Scrub Jays, Nuthatches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, House Sparrows, and occasionally even Crows feed on it. I put different types in the cages so they have a choice.

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I will go against the grain and say you might want to move the suet.  If you can drive a nail into the trunk of the tree, and hang it from the nail, I think you would be better off.  I have one hung like that, and it gets constant traffic.  Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Wrens, Warblers, everyone eats from it.  I will also add my two cents that by far, the preferred suet around here is the No-melt Hot Pepper.  Squirrels won't bother it, and everyone else loves it.  I also have a cage similar to yours that is attached to the bottom of one of my feeder poles, ground level.  Robins, Crows and everyone else eats from that one also.  My opinion is that the birds seem to like one that is more stationary.

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Just another thought.  You don't have to put out a whole cake at a time.  I usually break mine into halves or quarters, depending on the traffic.  That way you are able to keep it fresh longer.  I generally keep mine in the refrigerator when it's not out.

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Thanks to everyone for all your input. It will all be utilized. I'm an animal, lover in general, so why not birds as well? Right? THEY even bring me peace and hilarity sometimes. I helped a dove fingerling after it was either abandoned or it's parents got eaten by one of the neighborhood cats. He hung around for a little while after I gave him something to eat, some fresh water and a make-shift nest to relax in for a bit to get outta the rain. Even after taking off for the night, he returned the next morning for that delicious breakfast awaiting him. Lol. That lasted for about a week, I guess. As I've said earlier, I get repeat customers. Sometimes, even with their young ones. It makes u feel real good when they trust u enough to come feed right in front of u. Ya know? Everyone seems to get along when they're by me, too. Birds, squirrels, lizards and even snakes aren't afraid of me. Although, I've realized that Bluejays are a little bit on the obnoxious or rude side. They'll steal the peanuts from the squirrels if they're not quick enough. But they all come around at one time or another. Sometimes even together at some point. The squirrels come and take the peanuts right outta my hands. Sometimes waiting at my feet with a gentle tap to remind me it's their turn for one. Lol. My wife calls me Dr. Doolittle. I take that as a VERY good complement. THAT makes me feel good. Ya know? 

Well, time to go feed the inside monsters. Lol. They're barking and meowing as I speak. Surely jealous of the attention I'm giving the outside monsters. Lol. Everyone take care and have a great day wherever u are!

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I try to have at least one suet feeder attached to the tree trunk. The brown creeper here (Pa) seems to prefer that versus one suspended from limbs. Rather than pound a nail into tree I tie an appropriate length of rope around the tree or use a metal chain and suspend cage from either with an "s" hook. Since a peksy racoon enjoys the suet I have to move the cage every evening to save suet. Several species will glean broken pieces from the ground. If a black bear happens to cruise thru the neighborhood all bets are off as to placement of any feeder. Most stay only an evening or so, thus, don't have to bring all in the feeders in doors. One year we had a particularly pesky one that fed even during the day! I tried various techinques to get him to finally leave. Even using a sling shot via an open window! 

 

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I have two suet feeders up...a wooden log with holes drilled into it, and a caged suet feeder (I have a starling problem here). They both get lots of traffic. The log is hanging from a tree branch, and the cage is out in the open hanging from a hook attached to my deck railing. The small birds like Nuthatch, Chickadees, Sparrows, and Bushtit use the suet cage, while the woodpeckers seem to like the log best. If I recall, it did seem like it took them a while to use them when I first put them out. As far as flavors go, I have noticed that my homemade peanut butter suet seems to be a favorite. The Downy woodpeckers prefer the "woodpecker treat" suet that I get from my local Home Depot. If squirrels are a problem you can try the hot pepper suet.

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don't know what success you have had since the first post, but I got this idea from my brother-in-law.  he took a log...big branch actually - no more than about 3 inches in diameter.  drilled holes in it - about 1 to  1 1/4 inch diameter holes in the log. Enough for a full cake of suet.  then hung it from a shepherds hook above as squirrel baffle...I get all sorts of woodpeckers and nuthatches and others occasionally   Have been told that piliated woodpeckers find this to unstable to use but get downy, hairy, red bellied woodpeckers, nuthatches and the occasional flicker.  it goes fast but have never seen anything but birds on it...lasts a week at the most

 

oops just saw the log idea has been mentioned..and i do use the no melt suet in the log and suet dough in the suet cages that are affixed to one of my feeder.  

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Thanks for the suggestion. I actually have a bird feeder that holds seed and has two suet cages on either side. I get ALL kinds of birds now. From finches to cardinals to woodpeckers. It's awesome! The doves love to hang out down below it and "peck" up what the others drop down. I did end up having to put a squirrel baffle over it, though. Between them and the rats, I was having to fill the feeder EVERY day! The first time I saw it work was at night when a rat tried to get to the feeder. ROFLMFAO!! He tried twice then finally gave up. It could've been me laughing at it falling that made it stop, too. Lol. The squirrels only tried once. They must be used to those things. Just needed to give mine a try, though. 

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well i so not have rats ( fingers crossed) but you are lucky that the squirrels gave up after only one try.  Mine are a persistent bunch and just keep trying and trying till they make it.  One will get on the feeder and eat...and the rest pick up the seed that falls our.  But I have almost decided that for the little seed they do get....they are entertaining to watch as they "fall" from the branch above and try to grab hold of the feeder on the way past....about 30% of the time they are successful.  Or sometimes they just leap from the trunk of the tree....at least 7 feet and land on top....some of the time.  They are resilient little things....never seem to give up.

And yes the mourning doves and other bird also eat the seed that falls on the ground...sometimes all together - squirrels - chipmunks - doves - chipping sparrows - cardinals  and others..( so far no pest birds)

but happy for you that things are working out

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I'm in South Texas (HOT) so, suit goes bad pretty quick in the warmer months.  During summer, I feed this commercial preparation that's kind of like rice-crispy treats made out of meal-worms and sunflower seeds.  The songbirds go through a giant square of it every month.  Last winter, I fed regular suet and the woodpeckers would clean it out at about the same rate.

I think mine is the same size and elevation, but mine is dangling by one corner from an "S" hook thrown over a branch.

Almost forgot my main point.  Mine was up for about a month before anything went near it. Just when I was thinking of taking it down, the woodpeckers and songbirds discovered it and slammed it constantly until it was empty. That was last December/January.

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I've seen those mealworm and sunflower chip cakes at Tractor Supply, is that were you got them from? I've been wanting to try those. I didnt see them until recently.

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I have two suet feeders up...a wooden log with holes drilled into it, and a caged suet feeder (I have a starling problem here). They both get lots of traffic. The log is hanging from a tree branch, and the cage is out in the open hanging from a hook attached to my deck railing. The small birds like Nuthatch, Chickadees, Sparrows, and Bushtit use the suet cage, while the woodpeckers seem to like the log best. If I recall, it did seem like it took them a while to use them when I first put them out. As far as flavors go, I have noticed that my homemade peanut butter suet seems to be a favorite. The Downy woodpeckers prefer the "woodpecker treat" suet that I get from my local Home Depot. If squirrels are a problem you can try the hot pepper suet.

I have a huge starling problem as well. I limit the suet to the winters because of it. Do you have a picture of your log with the feeders? My suet feeders are very low but doesn't slow the birds down at all. I especially want to attract nuthatches and titmice (titmouses?) Everyone seems to see them at feeders around here but I still haven't! Any suggestions?

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lexlamaster, here are some pics of the two types of feeders I have. The first one is just a piece of wood with holes drilled in it, which I stuff suet into. As I said before, woodpeckers seem to like it best.  

The second feeder is called "Suet palace". This one gets a lot of action from small birds,  and it definitely keeps starlings (and squirrels) out as long as you keep the bottom plate in. As I look out my window now, I see 4 chestnut back chickadees in it! I have two nuthatch who visit this feeder all day as well.

It might take them a bit to start using it, but once they do, they should visit frequently. The nuthatch love the hulled sunflower chips I put out as well. Hopefully you will have them visiting your feeders soon. They are a really cool bird to watch!

Image result for wood log for suet

Image result for suet palace

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I have 6 of these, and usually place them thru out my yard, front and back. They arent getting much action at the moment, so I only have 2 of them out in the front and one in the back. You can get them at Tractor Supply (Mesquite)or on Amazon or Ebay. They are the Stokes brand double suet squirrel proof. squirrels will get on them and swing around, go around in circles and chew all over the place, but they dont eat. Not the ones we have in Texas. Woodpeckers can eat, and the smaller song birds, but doves will stand on top and try to work their necks around but its a no go. I've never seen anything else even try. Starlings and black birds havent tried either. I see them fly around them, but they cant seem to figure out what to do.

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One note on conventional 'cage' style suet feeders if you have a dog: Consider hanging the feeder where the dog can't access what falls out.  My dog scarfed up a couple of big chunks that a woodpecker knocked free.  She spend most of the next day getting rid of it, if you know what I mean.

Now I use one of those cylindrical feeders, the ones intended by the manufacturers to make you buy overpriced suet pellets.  The heck with those; I slice a regular suet cake four or five times lengthwise.  The resulting strips drop right in.  Big pieces can't fall out, and there's an optional tray to catch the smaller bits.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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lexlamaster, here are some pics of the two types of feeders I have. The first one is just a piece of wood with holes drilled in it, which I stuff suet into. As I said before, woodpeckers seem to like it best.  

The second feeder is called "Suet palace". This one gets a lot of action from small birds,  and it definitely keeps starlings (and squirrels) out as long as you keep the bottom plate in. As I look out my window now, I see 4 chestnut back chickadees in it! I have two nuthatch who visit this feeder all day as well.

It might take them a bit to start using it, but once they do, they should visit frequently. The nuthatch love the hulled sunflower chips I put out as well. Hopefully you will have them visiting your feeders soon. They are a really cool bird to watch!

Image result for wood log for suet

Image result for suet palace

 

Oh, just like you described, got it!! ha I will see if I get any new birds this year with some of these feeders. The orange-crowned warblers, ruby-crowned kinglets & woodpeckers went nuts for my cheap suet in the cheap hangers. Dinner & a ride on windy days. I tried hulled sunflowers but the chickadees only visit it on slim occasions when the other feeders are empty. Nothing likes that feeder so I will try them in a different one. Hopefully some new additions to the food & feeders will bring the nuthatches & titmice!! Thanks!

 

 

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One note on conventional 'cage' style suet feeders if you have a dog: Consider hanging the feeder where the dog can't access what falls out.  My dog scarfed up a couple of big chunks that a woodpecker knocked free.  She spend most of the next day getting rid of it, if you know what I mean.

Now I use one of those cylindrical feeders, the ones intended by the manufacturers to make you buy overpriced suet pellets.  The heck with those; I slice a regular suet cake four or five times lengthwise.  The resulting strips drop right in.  Big pieces can't fall out, and there's an optional tray to catch the smaller bits.

That's a good idea too! I saw those but didn't want to buy the pellets. I don't have dogs, only cats. I have to hang everything really low because I'm in a wheelchair but it doesn't slow the birds down at all even with the cats going outside!! Never noticed my cats showing an interest in what falls but will take notice. Thanks!!

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