Birds rely on layers of feathers to keep them warm in winter, but they also build a layer of fat that insulates them from winter’s low temperatures, damp conditions, and prevailing winds.
In previous generations, hardy bird lovers would render beef (and pork) fat creating a clean food for winter birds.
Today (lucky for us), there are many “flavors” of suet available conveniently packaged in square “cakes.”
At Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU), our ten varieties of suet cakes contain an array of ingredients worthy of the best trail mix: peanuts, oats, almonds, pecans, berries, and more.
SuperSuets and other selections actually contain mealworms for extra protein. A number of our cakes have hot pepper embedded because as it turns out, squirrels like suet too (are you surprised?) and pepper will deter them.
Suet cages are the typical feeder and for extra accommodation, the “tailprop” feeders have an extension on which woodpeckers will “prop” their stiff tail feathers for balance; this provides comfort which leads to longer stays at the feeder.
At WBU, we even have tailprop suet feeders big enough for Pileated Woodpeckers, a crow-sized woodpecker that will occasionally leave the cover of the woods for a backyard feeder.
If you find European Starlings invading your yard, consider an “upside down” suet feeder.
While tree-clinging birds such as woodpeckers and nuthatches (plus wrens and kinglets) are comfortable and accustomed to hanging upside down to forage, starlings are not particularly fond of it.
Upside down feeders limit their ability to devour your entire suet cake in one sitting.
Suet is also available in cylinders and “bark butter bits” – little nuggets that can be served in a typical feeder, tray, or dish.
A winter-feeding station is not complete without suet!
Stop by WBU, at 4920 York Road, Buckingham, for a wide variety of suet and feeders and enjoy the winter activity in your yard! Call us at 215-794-3888 for more info.
PHOTO CAP: Lisa Mergen, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited, uses this Tailprop Suet Feeder in her backyard to attract a variety of woodpeckers and long-tailed birds.