Pileated Woodpeckers are primarily insect eaters, preferring carpenter ants and other insects. Big holes gouged in dead wood are a sign of pileateds probing in search of delectable insects.
Pileateds can be attracted to suet feeders, but to accommodate these big birds, you've got to think BIG! Here are some feeder options that our customers have had pileated success with. All these pictures were taken by our customers!
The feeder that has the most reports of pileated feeding is our suet log feeder. These feeders are long enough for these huge birds to comfortably perch on. Fill it with peanut suet plugs if hung on a baffled Advanced Pole System® set-up; fill it with hot pepper suet plugs if hung in a tree.
Other customers have had good success with a Suet Sandwich feeder when hung flush to a tree. The birds can perch on the tree trunk while probing into the sandwich feeder to access the suet inside.
This feeder is somewhat squirrel resistent in design; thin suet slabs are pressed between the two hard-plastic faux tree trunk side, allowing only a 1/4" opening to access the suet. This is plenty for woodpeckers (and other suet-loving birds) but it limits access to squirrels.
The WBU Double Tail Prop Suet Feeder is designed with the Pileated Woodpecker in mind. It holds two cakes of suet, which is needed for this big-billed bird and has a prop on the bottom for the bird to use as a "kick-stand".
So if you're lucky enough to have Pileated Woodpeckers in your area, think about putting out one of these accommodating feeders and see if you can attract them to some suet!