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mrclean1227

Where to hang a suet cage.

11 posts in this topic

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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