Bird Feeding 101: Low Maintenance Suet Feeding

Suet is a high-energy brick of animal fat and other ingredients to attract insect-eating birds. Because it is high in fat and calories, it is a quick source of heat and energy for birds and has been used as a good substitute for the insects that birds usually feed upon, but are not plentiful in cold weather. Suet can be offered all year long but is especially important in winter. Why not offer suet to your backyard birds today?

Easy Suet Feeders

Providing suet in a wire basket or mesh bag is an easy, low-maintenance option. Depending on the numbers of birds feeding in your yard, you may only need to add a new cake or ball to the basket or bag once or twice a week. Birds will cling all over the feeder to access the suet, so even as the cake is nibbled away they can still reach the treat. While suet may be most popular in winter, you can leave it in your yard year round and birds will always visit, so there is no need to swap out the feeder or store it during different seasons. Another popular option is a suet log – a simple length of wood with 2″ holes that will fit suet plugs. Birds happily cling to the wood as they feed, as it mimics their natural feeding habitat. For the safest feeding, position any suet feeder 5-6 feet off the ground and near a tree trunk, shrubs or brush for birds to retreat easily if they feel threatened.

It is important to note that squirrels may love suet just as much as birds. Using wide baffles above and below the suet feeder can help keep squirrels away from the food and give birds a better chance to feed without interference. Choosing suet blended with hot pepper can also discourage squirrels, but birds have very limited taste buds and don’t mind the heat.

Birds That Love Suet

Presenting suet in your backyard will also attract a greater variety of birds for your enjoyment. The different birds that enjoy suet include…

  • Bluebirds
  • Bushtits
  • Cardinals
  • Chickadees
  • Jays
  • Kinglets
  • Mockingbirds
  • Nuthatches
  • Starlings
  • Titmice
  • Thrashers
  • Woodpeckers
  • Wrens

As more birds discover your suet feeder, your flock will grow and you may find you need to add a second, third or even fourth feeder to sate all those feathered appetites!