The Importance of Feeding Wild Birds Suet During Fall and Winter

Suet is a highly nutritious food that is perfect for wild birds. Although it can be offered all year round, it’s most beneficial during the fall and winter months. Why is this? Suet is rich in fats, providing the extra calories that birds need to survive the colder weather.

When it comes to wild bird suet and our chirpy pals, who can we expect to see coming over for a suet-y feast?

Bird Species you are sure to attract to your bird suet feeder!

Not all fats and oils are safe for birds!

Safe fats are a true suet fat, the fat from around the loins of a cow. This suet is hard and crumbly and is safe for birds as it fall off their feet and bills easily. Peanut butter is the other safe fat. Mix your peanut butter and suet fat together with your other ingredient for the safest bird suet. To test suet, pinch your suet, is it squishy? Then it is too soft! Your suet must be hard and crumbly to be safe.

Suet Add-Ins: Ingredients to Enhance Your Suet

Begin with equal parts of beef or pork suet and peanut butter.

Add either oatmeal or cornmeal to bind together. Continue to add any or all of the following until your suet is the way you want it to be.

Sunflower Seeds

Are a source of many vitamins and minerals that can support your immune system and increase your ability to fight off viruses.

Pumpkin Seeds

Are rich in vitamins and minerals like manganese and vitamin K, both of which are important in helping wounds heal. 


Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E. 


Walnuts contain a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are healthier than saturated fats. In addition, walnuts have alpha-linolenic and linoleic acids, which may have anti-inflammatory effects that keep blood vessels healthy.


Raisins contain substantial amounts of beneficial minerals, such as iron, copper, magnesium, and potassium. 


Apples are a good source of nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants which can help support healthy digestion.


They are clean, easy to work with, an excellent source of nutrients, and an aid to birds through cold winter weather and spring reproduction.


Adds an excellent variety of nutritional seeds for an all in one option.

Cracked Corn

 An excellent source of energy as it is high in carbohydrates.


 An excellent source of vitamins and minerals. These small pieces of the oat grain are high in protein but low in carbohydrates. Birds love these small pieces of cut grain.


 An excellent source of fat and vitamins and minerals. Cornmeal is also a perfect way to bind your suet.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is an excellent feed for birds as like peanuts and other nut varieties; it is rich, and nutritious. It provides an essential energy boost, so it is a great choice through the winter and birds love the taste as well!

Important Suet Tips

If you decide to make your own suet here are some important facts to consider.

When fat and oil gets on a birds feather this will hinder their ability to stay dry and staying dry is the key to staying warm.

When a bird get fat on their feet and bills, and then they use these to preen their feathers and heads, greasy fat spreads ad smears on their body. Oils on feathers impair their ability to weatherproof and stay dry. To avoid this always use safe fats in your homemade suet and always use a cage or some kind of protection from the suet for the birds to land on besides suet.

Making your own suet is not a job everyone likes! Suet and peanut butter are sticky and hard to work with. Plus the large array of ingredients you will want to add to your suet means keeping everything stored in a cool and dry place to keep them usable. Luckily for most of us suet is available in many different types of flavours, with a variety of ingredients from insects, seeds, and nuts to fruit. All are high energy which birds need especially in fall and winter, and any would be appreciated by your feather friends!