How to Attract Pileated Woodpeckers With Suet on the Side of a Tree


Pileated woodpeckers -- crow-sized birds with distinctive black and white coloration and red crests -- are native to United States woodlands. Spreading suet or hanging a suet feeder on the side of a tree will attract pileated woodpeckers and other native wild birds to your yard; especially in the colder months, when insects and other natural food sources diminish. Suet is a high-calorie food that gives birds the energy and insulation they need to survive the winter.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup rendered lard
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup mixed birdseed and dried fruit
  • Paintbrush
  • Square baking pan
  • Suet feeder
  • Melt lard in a large saucepan over low heat.

  • Remove the lard when it is fully melted and stir in the peanut butter, oatmeal, birdseed and dried fruit.

  • Paint the suet mixture directly on the side of a tree at least 10 feet above ground. If you prefer to use a suet feeder, you will need to cool the suet first.

  • Pour the suet mixture into a square baking pan and wait for it to cool and solidify.

  • Cut the suet into bricks and place one in a cage-style suet feeder. Attach the feeder to the tree and store remaining suet in the refrigerator.

Tips & Warnings

  • Suet may attract wild animals such as bears, raccoons and squirrels. If these animals are a problem, do not paint suet directly on a tree. Instead, install a predator baffle on a hanging suet feeder and take it inside overnight.
  • Suet can spoil if left outside in warm weather.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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