Suet

Suet

A beautiful female Red-bellied Woodpecker perches on a suet feeder at a Brown County, Wisconsin feeding station.
A beautiful female Red-bellied Woodpecker perches on a suet feeder at a Brown County, Wisconsin feeding station.

An excellent source of energy in the dead of winter, suet is a cake or block of fat mixed with seed and grain that birds find irresistible. Because they are bound with lard or suet, these food sources can melt or become rancid in intense, direct sunlight. Therefore, it is better hang suet cakes in a shaded spot or place them in a feeder or bird table when the weather is cool.

Create homemade suet cakes by pouring heated pure lard into a mould and mix with uncooked oats, seed, crushed nuts, dried bugs, chopped dried fruit, or even bits of biscuit. Avoid using vegetable shortening because it can negatively affect birds’ flight feathers.