Suet Bird Feeders - Winter Bird Feeder - make your own bird feeders

Suet Bird Feeders - Winter Bird Feeder For Your Yard

Winter time - the plants have dropped their leaves, the insects and grubs are hiding in their cocoons or burrowed in hiding places, and if there is something out that a bird might eat it is often hidden under a few inches of snow.

If you are looking to help the birds by feeding them, what's the best approach? A common winter time feeder is a suet bird feeder. So, why use suet, what is suet, and why would you want to use it in a winter time bird feeder?

Suet has a few advantages for use in the winter. It holds up to cold weather well (and in fact starts to melt at temperatures above 70 degrees F). It is a high energy source of food for the birds, it can be mixed with other high energy foods, and the suet cakes will last for a relatively long time so you don't need to refill the feeder often.

Suet comes from raw beef or mutton fat, often made from the fat found around the loins and kidneys. It was a common material in hundreds of years ago since it found many uses for the settlers like candle-making. It has to go through a process called rendering in order to be useful for most applications. The rendering is a process where the fat is heated and results in the cooking off of the wax like material. The result is a wax like material which can be shaped and used in a variety of ways.

Once you have the raw suet, it is usually prepared in a block similar in shape to a sandwich. To this you can add other ingredients like bird seed and peanuts which

are mixed in so they are embedded in the block. This results in a block of high energy food that will survive well in the wintertime. You should note it can go rancid in the summer heat, so don't leave it out then. Most people will just purchase the suet blocks, but you can also find a variety of suet recipes which are tailored for different bird types.

Usually a suet feeder looks like a small wire cage feeder where the suet block is placed. This may be placed on the trunk of a tree or suspended from a branch. Another common style is a bird feeder that has the usual hopper for seed, and has suet cages on the sides to hold the cakes. Another way you can use suet it to smear it onto pine cones which can be hung from a branch.

Suet feeders are often used to attract many varieties of birds, including woodpeckers, goldfinches, juncos, cardinals, thrushes, jays, bluebirds and wrens. Often they will also attract starlings, which some folks don't care for. If you don't want to attract starlings you might consider using a suet bird feeder that only allows access to the food from the bottom, since starlings can't hang upside down. If you end up having problems with squirrels in your feeder you need to make sure it can't be accessed by climbing, and using baffles can help keep them away.

Suet feeders come in a variety of styles, ranging from simple cage feeders that simply hang from a tree branch, to decorative styles that can be freestanding in your yard.


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