Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Emphasize Suet this Fall

Visits by such a spectacular bird as a Hairy Woodpecker make a simple suet cage feeder filled with a no-melt suet cake invaluable at any bird feeding station.
WBU Hot Pepper Bark Butter Bits.
The WBU Globe Cylinder Feeder can be used to offer a Suet Cylinder.
Duncraft’s Grandview Double Hopper Feeder with two Suet Cages.
The SquirrelBuster Suet Feeder holds one or two suet cakes.

Suet should be a staple at every birder’s feeding station year-round, simply because it attracts the greatest variety of birds, including some birds that don’t eat other feeder foods. Suet is one of the best bird foods, one of the easiest to provide, and one of the most economical to add to your feeding station. Sounds simple, but suet can be complex when you consider the many options offered by birding products manufacturers and retailers. With all the options, it’s still easy to assess and adjust your options to attract birds that might be missing from your yard.

Suet attracts and benefits many species that belong to a variety of bird groups, including woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens, jays, finches, sparrows, and more. One specialized suet described below is known to attract 152 species and counting! Some people think of suet as a winter food, but it has long been heralded by birders as important year-round fare.

Suet is a natural food utilized by birds. In nature, suet is provided by animal carcasses; and suet manufacturers usually make suet using rendered beef fat infused with additives such as seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, peanut butter, dried insects, and mixes of these ingredients. Suet is usually sold as square packaged “cakes” that are easy to transport, handle, and insert into suet feeders made especially to hold suet cakes for birds to feed on. However, another suet feeding option is to use the more sizable long, round suet cylinders.

No-Melt Suet

There are also suet blends called “no-melt” suets that are also known as “summer suet,” although many people prefer these no-melt suets year-round. No-melt suets tend to be made of a suet blend with the consistency of a hard dough and are considered the cleanest and easiest suet mixes to use.

Hot Pepper Suet

Just as birds are attracted to suet, so are squirrels. That’s a plus for many people, but squirrels can create problems for other birders. When squirrels dominate your suet feeder, there’s a simple suet solution – Hot Pepper Suet! That’s right, suet infused with a spicy-hot chili powder is hated by squirrels and other mammals, while it appears to have no effect on birds – birds show no preference for other suet options when compared.


Wild Birds Unlimited seems to have taken a lead in producing a variety of suets, and continues to create new suet blends. Their newest product sounds like an ultimate suet combo, appropriately named SuperSuet, it contains roasted peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, mealworms, and calcium with the requisite beef fat to create their highest level of fats and protein in suet. SuperSuet comes in two additional entities including No-Melt and Hot Pepper SuperSuet; see

Bark Butter

A longtime Wild Birds Unlimited favorite is a spreadable Bark Butter that was created by Jim Carpenter, founder of WBU. This unique suet can be spread on the bark of a tree, on a pole, or used on a Bark Butter Feeder – and it’s known to attract 152 species, to date. In addition to the spreadable form that comes in plastic tubs, Bark Butter also comes in handy Bark Butter Bits, bite-sized round nuggets; and QuickBites, smaller single servings of Bark Butter. There are also the long, round No-Melt Suet Cylinders of Bark Butter, large helpings that are fed in cage-like Suet Cylinder Feeders. For all the Bark Butter options, see

Suet Feeders

A suet feeder can be a simple “suet cage” that has a hinged opening and is hung from a hook, pole, or branch. Some birders who have a lot of birds visiting their suet feeder opt for a double suet feeder that allow you to provide two suet cakes at once. There are even combination feeders that provide a seed hopper in the center and one or two suet cages on the sides of the hopper. Suet feeders are easy to use and very inexpensive.

If you prefer to use suet cylinders over suet cakes, there are a few suet cylinder feeders on the market too. There are also a few “squirrel proof” suet feeders, most of which are a wire enclosure that allows small birds to enter the cage-like cover, while keeping squirrels and larger birds out. However, they also tend to keep some of the most interesting woodpeckers and jays from reaching the suet too; but there is a new answer to keeping squirrels out of your birds’ suet – the SquirrelBuster Suet Feeder.

SquirrelBuster Suet Feeder

When you’re serious about reserving suet for the birds, including large woodpeckers, eliminate squirrels with the best in the business, the SquirrelBuster Suet Feeder that holds one or two suet cakes. Learn more about the SquirrelBuster Suet Feeder, the winner of the Best New Product at the 2019 Wild Bird Expo, at

Providing suet is a basic element of feeding birds; no feeding station should be without suet to attract and benefit the most diverse group of birds in a simple, clean, economical way. In fact, if you have a small space, a suet feeder may be the answer to a minimum feeder footprint. How many species does your suet feeder attract?

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