feeding suet to wild birds
A good way to help wild birds survive the winter months is to put out bird feeders filled with sunflower and other seeds. But by offering suet, you can provide more food for birds that prefer feasting on insects.
Woodpeckers (like the one at left), titmice, chickadees, jays, catbirds and nuthatches, are all attracted to suet, or beef fat. Suet gives birds calories for warmth, especially important in winter, but it’s also a good spring and summer food for parents to take back to their young in the nest.
Wire cages are the best way to serve suet — birds cling to the hanging cage and peck out small portions. Most folks find it easiest to pick up rendered suet cakes with seeds at hardware or home centers. The seeds add some extra protein.
However, you can also buy raw suet from a butcher shop and put it in the cage. Want to do it yourself? We’ll show you how to make suet cakes and give you three recipes. One note: In warm weather, raw suet goes rancid quickly, so unless you have lots of birds eating it, you’re probably better off with the cakes.