Suet provides energy birds need
In fall, suet helps wild birds store fat to prepare for migration or the coming winter. In winter, suet replenishes depleted stores of energy and nutrients, helping overwintering birds such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and others survive the long, cold months. Today's no-melt suet can even be used in the warmer months to provide sustenance when natural forage cannot be easily found.
What is suet?
Bird suet is made from fat. Fat plays a very important role in the wild avian diet. It is a concentrated form of energy and, per unit weight, provides more than twice the caloric energy as other nutrients of equivalent weight. Fat is essential for birds because their metabolisms are extremely accelerated, especially when they are trying to warm up or sustain a high activity level.
Birds like it, too
In addition, birds love to eat suet, including special suet with "extras" like insects, nuts, seeds, and berries, or those for specific species. Some of our favorites include the Suet Plus High-Energy 10-Pack with a variety of flavors, including one for woodpeckers.
Some species, such as woodpeckers and nuthatches, can eat upside down. You see evidence of this as they cling underneath tree branches, feeding on insects. You can encourage this with a feeder like the Upside-Down Suet Feeder. Birds must climb underneath to feed, so birds that don't cling (and squirrels!) cannot get at the suet, leaving more for upside-down eaters.