We’d be willing to bet in the past week or two, many of you have likely donned some traditional fall attire such as that cozy cotton sweater or that old hooded sweatshirt that makes an appearance each year when the leaves begin to change.
As our weather continues to change, so do the needs of many of our backyard birds as well as those who are passing through on their way south. While many of us look forward to anticipating the return of our birds during the spring, the fall is an equally important and exciting time of year to be a birder.
One such ingredient that should be included in all of your fall birding efforts is incorporating the use of suet. Derived from the fat located around the kidneys and loins of beef or mutton, suet is high in calories and fat, with that we add our high-grade seed, nuts, dried mealworms and depend on the blend dried fruit giving your birds the energy they need during this vital time of year.
How Suet Helps Birds in the Fall
Suet or animal fat is very easy to digest and is easily metabolized into energy for the bird, which comes in very handy as the weather begins to cool. Birds will not only use suet to increase their energy as they prepare or depart on migration, but it also aids them in growing new feathers as many species begin to molt during the fall.
Types of Birds
Suet is a welcomed addition to a number of species of birds during the fall and winter months but is particularly enjoyed by woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and jays with occasional visits from creepers, a winter or two ago we had a Carolina Wren stay with us ,our suet became his daily hang out, which I’m sure gave him the body heat needed to survive outside of his normal range.
Suet is also versatile in that it can be used to deter unwanted bird visitors such as starlings (who happen to love it). When used in conjunction with a proper suet feeder, birds such as starlings find it very difficult to hang on our wooden upside down suet feeder, where species such as woodpeckers can easily hang upside down and enjoy all the benefits of suet.