Suet is a great food to offer backyard birds, rich with nutrition and calories for extra energy. But what birds are most attracted to suet, and how can you entice even more birds to try this treat?
Suet is rendered beef or sheep fat that has the last shreds of bone, meat, and tendon removed as the fat is melted and strained. It is easy for birds to digest, and is often mixed with different types of birdseed, grain, dried insects, honey, nut hearts, bits of fruit, or peanut butter for extra flavoring and nutrition to attract different species of birds.
Suet is a popular food to offer the widest variety of birds in winter, just when the extra fat and calories can help them survive the cold when other types of food are scarce. No-melt suet varieties are also available for summer feeding, and suet comes not only in cakes, but also in balls, nuggets, crumbles, and softer dough or butter spreads as well as whimsical shapes such as wreaths, hearts, and flowers.
Birds That Love Suet
Many bird species enjoy suet, especially birds that often eat insects, nuts, and other popular suet mix-ins. Species that have been regularly recorded feasting at suet feeders include:
Clearly, many birds enjoy suet, and throughout the world, similar species of woodpeckers, wrens, thrashers, thrushes, creepers, tits, nuthatches, grosbeaks, and other birds will all be attracted to suet.
Attracting More Birds to Your Suet
Though there are many types of birds that eat suet, a variety of birds can be shy species. These birds can be a challenge to attract to the suet feeders. By first positioning bird feeders correctly – within easy reach of a safe retreat for nervous birds, and away from the noisiest parts of the yard – birds are more likely to feel comfortable at suet feeders.
Because many suet-loving species are most at ease in mature trees, hanging suet feeders from trees or even attaching a suet feeder to the trunk is ideal.
Birds aren’t the only creatures who enjoy suet, and using baffles or metal sleeves around trees can help keep squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, and other suet-stealers from usurping the feeders. At the same time, adding small chunks, crumbles, or shreds of suet to platform or tray feeders will help introduce this treat to other feeder birds and entice more species to sample suet.
See Also: The Benefits of Feeding Suet to Birds
Suet should be kept fresh and never offered to birds if it has begun to mold or go rancid. Freezing suet can help keep it fresh, and putting smaller chunks into feeders will help the birds eat all the available suet before it spoils. Suet can remain frozen for six months and still be perfectly suitable to feed birds, so be patient when offering the treat and let the birds discover it when they are comfortable visiting the feeders.
Suet is an amazing food that can attract a wide range of bird species to the yard, if it is offered safely and available for hungry birds to sample. By choosing appetizing suet blended with top ingredients, as well as using appropriate suet feeders, you can enjoy a flock of hungry birds all sampling your suet.