Red-breasted Nuthatch on the world's best suet.

by DeborahJeanCohen on February 11, 2013

Satisfaction guaranteed

Here’s a recipe for suet that birds absolutely LOVE.  It has been scientifically tested against store-bought suet:  the birds don’t even touch the store-bought if this suet is there too.  Also, my very exacting sister Sherry has given it her approval.  This is a woman who fine-tunes her bird seed, observing species and taking notes.

I’ve seen an amazing variety of species at this suet:  even American Robins, Baltimore Orioles, and yes, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  (Granted, the Hummingbird was just checking it out, but seeing him made me put out nectar, and after that one summer, they now come and look at the suet each year in order to prompt me to put the nectar out once more.)  It is guaranteed, as well.  If you don’t like it, feel free to yell at me.



2 c. lard (or suet) NOTE: 1# lard = 2 c.
2 c. peanut butter
4 c. oatmeal
4 c. corn meal
1-2 c. other stuff (wheat germ, raisins, rye flour, bird seed, a handful of craisins, mealworms, whatever)

Follow these easy steps

  1. Melt the lard and peanut butter together, then mix it in with the dry ingredients.
  2. Line a 9″ X 11″ brownie pan with foil (I use foil because it can be recycled), and pour the mixture in.
  3. Shake the pan a little to settle the mix.
  4. Chill in the fridge, and cut in 6.
  5. I wrap the extras in foil and store in the freezer.
  6. Each block fits into one of those green wire suet cages.

I feed this all summer. When it gets too hot, I cut each piece in 4 and feed only one at a time in the platform feeder.

If you feed in summer, do not substitute suet for the lard. Happy Feeding!

Tufted Titmouse on suet - Deborah Jean Cohen.

More tips how to feed the birds you find on the previous blog post about birdfeeding,  Check it out!


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Alfredo Begazo February 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm

This suet mix looks so good, I would eat it myself. I am surprised to see a Carolina Wren coming for the suet. Here in Florida, Red-bellied woodpeckers and blue jays are the main suet consumers, wrens don’t even look at it.


okbookwoman February 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

Sounds like a winner! And I LOVE the photo of the Tufted Titmouse! They were my favorite feeder birds back in OK. So much personality! Now that we’ve moved to the Front Range of CO, we don’t have them here. 🙁


Barry Hershfeld February 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I usually buy the suet with red pepper in it to discourage the squirrels, it makes them last much longer. Do you think this is good for the birds and what and how much would you add?


DeborahJeanCohen February 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

You wouldn’t believe the species that come to the suet. Pine Siskins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Pine Warblers, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Eastern Bluebirds, Carolina Chickadees (we don’t have Black-capped here, and I miss them), Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch, Purple Finch, Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, Starling (well, I chase them away if there’s more than 1), White-crowned Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, Red-crowned Kinglet, Tufted Titmice, I could go on and on. The Baltimore Oriole tried it, but turned to oranges when I put them out. I’ve even seen Robins try it more than once.


DeborahJeanCohen February 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

@Barry — I’ve never tried hot pepper, but I hear that it doesn’t hurt birds. I wouldn’t know how much to put in!!! Experiment and taste, and if it repels you, it will probably repel the squirrels. To thwart the squirrels, I hang my suet from under the eaves of our second floor, outside a window. They can’t get to it.
I’ve also hung them using wires hung between 2 trees, very high, with a thin wire holding the suet cage, too far from the trees to jump, the wire is too thin for the squirrels to climb down, and the cage is too high for them to jump. It’s a pain in the ass to do this, and you need just the right conditions.


Maridele February 20, 2015 at 11:02 am

I’m so glad I found this recipe! Only problem is the starlings go crazy over it. It is literally bird crack! I saved 6 of the plastic containers that the commercial suet blocks come in and just pour this mixture in those. Last batch I mixed in food grade millet, wheat germ and dried cranberries.


Mary November 3, 2015 at 11:46 pm

Interesting! I heard that peanut butter is quite bad for birds, so checked on google. A veterinarian said yes, that is true – OK for birds to eat peanuts but not peanut butter. Its not a natural substance for them. Thought I should pass this on.
I do really well with attracting a variety of birds just using a high quality beef suet from the meat department – comes in big chunks which I put in bait bags.


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