Suet for the birds
Suet is a type of fat from beef that is heated then cooled and formed into squares. Added to the squares can be an assortment of sunflowers, berries, fruits, seeds or nuts.
Suet is considered a high energy food for birds because it consists of fat. A gram of fat contains 9 calories compared to 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates or protein. This way the birds get more calories when they consume fat vs. the same amount of protein or carbohydrates. Birds need more calories in winter because they spend more energy to keep warm. Suet is an especially good bird food for cold weather feed, although birds enjoy it any time of year. If offered in the summer you need to keep suet in the shade, to prevent melting. Some suet cakes come as melt-resistant.
Suet is offered in a suet feeder, a type of plastic coated-wire mesh square container into which the suet cake neatly fits. Suet feeders come one cake space or multi capacity for suet cakes. If you are having trouble with black birds or starlings eating all the suet try a upside down suet feed.
Suet feeders are a magnet for woodpeckers, such as Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers,. Chickadees, titmice, white-breasted and Red-breasted nuthatches will also flock to our yard for suet.