Suet Trivia (Really—read on to learn a fascinating fun fact to amaze family and friends)

Do you ever long for the good old days? You know, those unrushed days pre-cell phone dings and chirps which cry out for attention. The days of soup simmering on the back burner, melding flavors instead of the insanely fast microwave minute madness. The days when feeding your birds meant nailing the remnants of a tasty animal carcass to a tree. Wait. WHAT?

Uh-huh. That’s right. The early practice of offering suet to birds began that good old fashioned way. Quite a contrast to today’s tidy suets available in sanitary cellophane wrap.

Early use of suet was anything but that. Consider the old school suet feeding technique found in the 1898 book Birds of Village and Field, A Bird Book for Beginners by a pioneering naturalist Florence Merriam Bailey. Florence encourages the reader sharing an “easy tip” to attract birds with a nod to the original suet feeder—on attracting birds from the woods she writes: “It can be done very easily by taking little pains to feed them. Bones and a few pieces of suet or the fat of fresh pork nailed to a tree are enough to attract chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers…”.

Kudos to this passionate naturalist who enjoyed the simple pleasure of attracting birds to her backyard using what she had available. But I, for one, celebrate the easier (and more attractive way) using high quality suet, rendered to prevent spoilage, year round as a source of sustenance for my birds.

Pygmy Nuthatches on Starling-proof suet feeder

Turns out progress—especially in the suet department—isn’t all bad…

Happy Backyard Birding, my friends. Who are you seeing at your feeders? I’d love to hear all about it!

Have a Bluebird Day,


Carol handfeeding Chickadee