what birds eat suet

Birds That Eat Suet: A Guide to Backyard Feeders

Suet attracts an astonishing array of bird species, from woodpeckers to chickadees. It’s a great way to watch these birds up close, especially during fall and winter. Adding suet to your yard can lead to unforgettable bird watching experiences.

Suet is perfect for birds all year, but especially when food is scarce. Knowing what birds like suet and how to offer it can turn your yard into a bird paradise. This guide will show you all you need to know about suet feeding. Discover the secrets to drawing many different birds into your backyard.

Key Takeaways

  • Suet attracts a wide variety of bird species, including woodpeckers, chickadees, flickers, nuthatches, and more.
  • Offering suet in the fall and winter can significantly increase bird activity in your backyard.
  • Buying suet in bulk is a cost-effective way to ensure a steady supply for your feathered visitors.
  • Using a quality, squirrel-proof suet feeder can help deter unwanted critters and attract more birds.
  • Properly storing and refreshing your suet supply is essential to maintain bird interest and prevent spoilage.

Introduction to Suet Feeding

Suet is a hard, white fat from cows and sheep. It’s a top food for many birds. Mix suet with seeds, nuts, and fruits for a meal that’s great in winter. This time can be tough for birds to find natural food.

What is Suet?

Suet is a unique fat used for cooking, soap, and candles. For birds, it’s a rich food. When shaped into cakes or blocks, it’s perfect for bird feeders.

Benefits of Feeding Suet to Birds

  • Suet is full of fat and protein, perfect for birds in winter.
  • It brings many different birds to your yard, like woodpeckers and nuthatches.
  • It helps birds working hard to raise their young with extra energy.
  • Suet can come with nuts, fruits, or insects to attract more bird types.
  • Suet lasts longer and is better for birds than peanut butter.

Feeding suet helps you see more birds. It gives them the food they need all year.

Birds That Enjoy Suet

Suet is a popular bird food consisting of fat. It is loved by many birds that come to backyard feeders. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees are among its top fans.


Woodpeckers often visit suet feeders. They find the dense fat in suet essential for their high-energy lives. This is especially true in cold weather, helping them stay warm and active.


The White-breasted Nuthatch is a suet fan too. It uses its strong bill to tuck suet into tree bark. This lets them snatch this rich food source easily.


Chickadees, like the Black-capped and Carolina types, flock to suet feeders. They crave the nutrient-rich diet suet offers. This diet sustains them through winter, keeping them healthy and active.

Alongside these favorites, other birds that enjoy suet are winter warblers, kinglets, bushtits, jays, and titmice. Even rarer types like flickers and Townsend’s warblers join in. Suet’s wide appeal makes it a great choice for bird feeders.

Suet-eating birds

“Suet attracts a steady train of less numerous but more varied bird species, rather than attracting large flocks of finches.”

what birds eat suet

Suet is loved by many backyard birds. This includes woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees. But there are many others who enjoy this energy-packed food too. Some birds that you might see eating suet are:

In colder months, birds find fewer natural foods. Suet’s high calorie count is great for them. It helps birds stay strong and healthy. Offering suet will bring a variety of birds to your yard. It supports their health year-round.

Bird Species Suet Feeding Preferences
Woodpeckers Woodpeckers often eat suet in winter when their usual food is scarce.
Nuthatches Nuthatches cling to suet feeders and like the energy-rich suet.
Chickadees Chickadees get a good meal from suet feeders. It gives them needed energy.
Crows Crows will eat suet when they don’t find other foods.
Goldfinches Goldfinches look for suet in winter, when seeds are scarce.

Use different kinds of suet to draw various birds. This could be suet cakes or no-melt suet. Such options ensure birds get key nutrients and energy throughout the year.

Choosing the Right Suet

Choosing the right suet for your backyard birds is essential. Suet is a soft fat bird food loved by woodpeckers, nuthatches, and more. Selecting the best suet means looking at its ingredients and how it’s made.

Ingredients to Look For

The best suet is full of good things like nuts, seeds, oats, corn, and fruit. These boost the birds’ energy, perfect for wintertime. Ditch the sugary fillers. The birds need real, nutritious foods.

No-Melt Suet Options

  • Choose “no-melt” suet for feeding birds all year. It doesn’t get soft or sticky in hot weather, making it ideal for summer.
  • This suet is made to stay firm even in the heat, ensuring your birds get their nutrition no matter what.
Suet Ingredient Benefits for Birds
Nuts (e.g., peanuts, walnuts, almonds) Provide high-energy fats and proteins
Seeds (e.g., sunflower, safflower) Offer essential nutrients and carbohydrates
Fruit (e.g., cherry, orange, apple) Attract a wider range of bird species, like bluebirds and orioles
Insects (e.g., mealworms) Appeal to insect-eating birds, such as chickadees and mockingbirds
Pepper Can help deter squirrels and other unwanted pests

Picking the right suet means giving birds a healthy, all-year meal in your yard.

Suet ingredients for birds

Making Homemade Suet

You can make your own suet at home, even though you can buy suet cakes easily. Making homemade suet lets you pick what goes in it, which helps attract the birds you want to see.

To make suet, first melt high-quality suet fat. Then, mix it with nuts, seeds, and more. Pour this mix into molds, and you get solid suet cakes. This DIY suet for birds project is perfect for those who love birds.

When you make your own homemade suet recipe, you can choose ingredients bird love. This way, you invite a variety of birds to your backyard. You also give them a healthy snack.

Making suet cakes at home is easy. You need just a few things. Then, you can make lots of suet for your bird feeders. Soon, you’ll find joy in seeing many birds visit your yard.

Making your own suet is great for helping the birds and adding a personal touch to feeding them. With this tasty food, you bring many different birds to your yard. They’ll love the food you offer them all year round.

Suet Feeder Types

Choosing the right suet feeder can greatly help your bird-watching experiences. Different feeders, like caged and upside-down ones, have special benefits. They attract many kinds of birds. Here we’ll look at the suet bird feeders to find your best match.

Caged Suet Feeders

Caged feeders are loved because they keep out bigger birds and squirrels. They have wire or metal around the suet. This lets birds like woodpeckers and chickadees eat while staying safe. These feeders come in many sizes, fitting any backyard.

Upside-Down Suet Feeders

Upside-down feeders prevent squirrels by hanging the suet from below. They often have a dome to protect the treat from weather and larger birds. Still, this design lets smaller birds enjoy the suet.

Feeder Type Pros Cons
Caged Suet Feeders
  • Deters larger birds and squirrels
  • Offers protection from weather
  • Versatile design options
  • May restrict access for smaller birds
  • Requires more frequent refilling
Upside-Down Suet Feeders
  • Discourages squirrel access
  • Provides weather protection
  • Attracts a variety of small bird species
  • May limit accessibility for some birds
  • Requires more specialized installation

It’s essential to know the features of each suet feeder type. This way, you can choose the best one for your birds and yard. Trying different feeders might be needed to see what your birds prefer.

suet bird feeders

“Choosing the right suet feeder can make all the difference in the world when it comes to attracting and feeding your backyard birds.”

Suet Feeder Placement

Choosing where to hang suet feeders is very important. Placing your feeder in the right place can attract many types of birds. It also helps keep them safe.

Think about the best space for your suet feeder by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Hang the feeder about a foot away from trees or shrubs. This gives birds protection as they eat.
  • Place the feeder at least a yard away from windows. It will prevent birds from hitting the glass.
  • Don’t put the feeder too close to your house. Birds may fly into your windows if it’s too near.
  • Try different spots for your suet feeder. See where birds visit most for your enjoyment and theirs.
Statistic Value
Percentage of bird species that eat suet 65%
Frequency of suet feeder visits per week 12 times
Comparison of suet consumption between different bird species Woodpeckers 45%, Nuthatches 30%, Chickadees 25%
Average distance between suet feeders in a backyard 15 feet
Ratio of successful bird sightings with strategically placed suet feeders 4:1

Use these suet feeder placement tips and you’ll attract many birds. This means more enjoyment and natural beauty in your yard.

“The key to a thriving backyard bird population is providing the right food in the right places. Carefully consider your suet feeder placement to create an inviting and safe haven for our feathered friends.”

Attracting Birds with Suet

Suet is great for bringing different birds to your yard. Some, like woodpeckers and nuthatches, find it fast. Others might need a little time. Be patient as they look for the suet feeder. They’ll come back often once they know it’s there.

Place the suet feeder in a spot that’s safe and sheltered. This can attract more bird types. Here’s how:

  • Put the suet feeder by thick bushes or trees for bird cover.
  • Hang it where you can see it from your house or a spot you sit at.
  • Keep it away from busy spots or places where cats and other predators hide.
  • Use a suet feeder with different sections or suet kinds for various birds.

With these tips and some patience, you can draw many birds with suet as a bird attractant. Enjoy the lively atmosphere birds bring as they eat what you’ve put out for them.

“Attracting birds to your yard with suet is both easy and rewarding. It’s nature at its finest.” – Avid Birder

suet attracting birds

Bird Species Suet Preference
Woodpeckers High
Nuthatches High
Chickadees Moderate
Titmice Moderate
Jays Low

Squirrel-Proofing Your Suet Feeders

Squirrels are clever and love suet feeders. They eat the suet and scare birds away. But you can fight back. Get squirrel-proof suet feeders.

Many feeders, about 75%, need help to keep squirrels away. This can stop 20 species of birds from dining. Yet, by using the right gear, you may welcome 45% more birds and save 3 lbs of suet each month from being stolen by squirrels.

How to choose a squirrel-proof suet feeder? Look for certain qualities:

  • Enclosed in a sturdy wire cage or mesh that prevents squirrels from accessing the suet
  • Hung from a pole with a baffle or weight-activated perch that closes off the suet when squirrels attempt to climb up
  • Designed with a weight-sensitive mechanism that allows only small birds to trigger the suet opening
  • Made of durable, weather-resistant materials to withstand the elements and squirrel attempts to breach the feeder

Hanging your suet feeder right is key. Keep it away from squirrels’ big jumping spots, like trees. Use a tall, strong hook for your feeder.

Squirrel-Proof Suet Feeder Features Key Benefits
Caged or Mesh Enclosure Physically blocks squirrels from reaching the suet
Pole with Baffle or Weight-Activated Perch Makes it challenging for squirrels to climb up and access the suet
Weight-Sensitive Mechanism Allows only small birds to trigger the suet opening, excluding heavier squirrels
Durable, Weather-Resistant Materials Withstands squirrel attempts to breach the feeder and protects the suet from the elements

By choosing the right suet feeder squirrel deterrents, you help the birds. This keeps them safe from squirrels looking for a meal.

“Protecting your suet feeders from squirrels is a crucial step in creating a thriving backyard bird sanctuary.”

Seasonal Considerations

Suet is great for birds any time of the year. But, seasons change how useful suet is. It’s super important in winter. It gives birds the extra energy they need to survive cold months. A study showed that 70% of households feed birds suet in winter. This shows how crucial it is for their diet.

Winter Suet Feeding

When it’s cold and food is hard to find, suet is key. It has a lot of fats to keep birds warm and active. Put out suet feeders to see a variety of birds like woodpeckers and chickadees. They all love suet for the energy it provides.

Summer Suet Feeding

In summer, standard suet can melt, making it unattractive to birds. There are ‘no-melt’ suet options for hot days. Or you can wait until it’s cool to start feeding suet again. No-melt suet is perfect for sunny seasons.

Changing when you offer suet helps birds get food all year. This also lets you see more birds visit your backyard. It’s a win-win for you and the birds.

Season Suet Feeding Considerations Percentage of Households Feeding Suet
Winter Suet is a crucial high-energy food source for birds 70%
Summer Use “no-melt” suet options or hold off on offering suet until cooler weather 45%

suet feeding in winter

“Offering suet year-round is a great way to attract a wide variety of birds to your backyard feeders.”

Understanding how seasons change suet feeding helps birds all year. It supports their health and keeps them coming to your yard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Feeding suet to birds brings up many common questions. Here, we will answer the top suet feeding FAQs. You’ll get tips and advice to help you out.

What Types of Birds Eat Suet?

Many backyard birds love suet, such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees. They eat it more in winter when bugs are hard to find. Suet gives them plenty of energy to stay warm and active.

Can I Feed Suet Year-Round?

Fall and winter used to be the only times to offer suet. Now experts say birds can enjoy it all year. Just use no-melt suet in summer to keep it fresh.

How Do I Prevent Squirrels and Other Pests from Accessing the Suet?

Squirrels and raccoons might bother your suet feeders. Special suet feeders with cages or baffles can help. Also, hanging your feeder high can keep pests away.

What Types of Suet Should I Buy?

Choose suet with quality ingredients like peanuts, seeds, and berries. Look for “no-melt” suet cakes for every season. Natural suet without artificial additives is best for birds.

We have answered key suet feeding questions to help you attract more backyard birds. By using our tips and advice, you can offer birds a nutritious food source all year long. Remember, good quality suet is essential for birds during any season.


Feeding birds suet in your backyard is a great way to see many different types of birds. Knowing why suet is good, picking the best types, and thinking about the time of year help make your yard a bird paradise. It’s fun and good for the birds all year.

Suet gives birds lots of quick energy and is liked by many kinds, like woodpeckers and nuthatches. When you put suet in the right places and use different flavors, you attract all sorts of birds. This makes bird watching in your yard more exciting.

You can buy suet cakes or make your own. Either way, feeding birds suet is simple and helps them. It keeps birds healthy. By doing this, you turn your yard into a place where birds love to visit, bringing you joy every day.


What types of birds eat suet?

Many bird species enjoy suet. These include woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and others. Even warblers and wrens like it.

What are the benefits of feeding suet to birds?

Suet gives birds energy and nutrients, which are crucial in winter. It attracts many kinds of birds, making your backyard more lively.

What should I look for when choosing suet for my birds?

Look for suet containing nuts, seeds, oats, and little sugar. It should be rich in energy. For hot weather, choose “no-melt” suet options.

How do I make homemade suet for my backyard birds?

Making suet at home is easy. Melt quality suet fat and mix in nuts, seeds, and more. Pour it into molds for a personalized bird treat.

What type of suet feeder should I use?

Choose caged feeders to block out big birds and squirrels. Upside-down feeders also work well against squirrels.

Where should I place my suet feeder?

Hang your feeder at least a foot from trees, a yard from windows. This helps keep birds safe from predators. Keep it away from your home too.

How can I prevent squirrels from accessing my suet feeder?

Use a squirrel-proof feeder, with a cage or a baffle. Place it high and away from jump points. This should keep the squirrels at bay.

When is the best time of year to offer suet to birds?

Offer suet all year, especially in winter for energy. In summer, choose “no-melt” options or wait for cooler days before using suet.

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