Attracting Clinging Birds: How to Choose a Cage Feeder

Cage feeders are a unique type of birdfeeder. These cage-like feeders are designed to attract birds that prefer clinging to perching, like woodpeckers and chickadees.

Types of feed for cage feeders

Cage feeders are typically square with a cage-like metal mesh. The feeder will typically be made of brightly colored wood or synthetics around the edges, to alert birds to its presence. Two types of bird feed are used in cage feeders, suet cakes and seed blocks.

Suet Blocks

Suet is the hard fat around the kidneys and loin in beef or mutton. Suet is preferred by woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, starlings and most jays. Suet feeders are especially valuable to birds when the weather dips low in the winter months.

Generally suet blocks are rendered, to help them last longer, but can soften in warm weather. If this happens the block must be replaced immediately, because softened fat can coat the belly feathers of the bird and can hurt eggs while roosting as a result.

Seed Cakes

Birdseed blocks are often used in cage feeders, as an alternative to suet blocks, particularly in warm summer months. These hard blocks of seed will attract woodpeckers and chickadees. These are a great alternative to lose seed feeders, particularly if you have a squirrel problem in your yard. Choose a feeder with smaller mesh openings and a seed block, the squirrels will be unable to reach the feed and steal it from your birds!

Materials for cage feeders

Cage feeders can be made from a variety of materials. At, we have natural wood feeders and recycled feeders, depending on your preference.

Natural Wood Feeders

Woodlink Natural Wood Feeders will blend seamlessly with the landscape of your yard and allow birds to enjoy a snack without announcing its presence all day long. These simple feeders are typically made of cedar and metal mesh.

Going Green Feeders

The Going Green™ feeders from Woodlink are made from recycled milk cartons and metal mesh. The colorful synthetic edges make a design statement and help attract finches and other small hanging birds.

Choosing a cage feeder

Now that you know a little more about the different types of cage feeders, think about which would benefit you best in your yard. Consider these questions:

  • Do you prefer natural looking accents or bright colors?
  • Do you live in a warm climate where suet may soften or go rancid?
  • Is using recycled materials important to you?

By answering these questions, you’ll better be able to narrow down your search for a birdfeeder and find the one that works for you. Birdfeeders are an essential addition to a bird garden. Choose the right feeder and you’ll be enjoying woodpeckers, chickadees and other birds in your yard all year long!

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