Q: "I have several seed feeders in my backyard. My neighbor also feeds birds suet. What would adding suet feeders add to my backyard birdwatching? Would the squirrels get into the suet? Thanks'. Paul
Answer: Paul, views have changed about feeding birds suet. Adding suet means adding more of the clinging type birds for your pleasure. Yes, squirrels can get into suet. There are squirrel resistant suet feeders, too.
Now many bird lovers offer suet all year around. Nesting birds need more energy in the spring. Suet provides it. For insect eating birds in summer, suet can substitute for insects especially in years when insects are in short supply. Suet helps birds store fat needed for energy to migrate or to prepare for the cold winter weather and to survive winter in colder climates.
Most suet is made from meat fat, Some regard beef fat from kidneys as the best suet. Suet can also be made from vegetable fat. Suet can be flavored, mixed with seeds, peanuts, peanut butter, berries, etc. or just plain. Suet comes in many forms, netted bells to hang directly from trees, blocks, plugs, pellets which birds can carry back to their nests to eat,etc. There are suet feeders available that are made from coated wire to which birds can cling or perch. Most suet loving birds are cling feeders like woodpeckers. If you plan to feed suet, be well-supplied as once birds discover it, it is eaten quickly.
The birds most seen eating suet are chickadees, woodpeckers, warblers, titmice, kinglets, nuthatches, jays, and wrens. Starlings can be a real pest in some areas: you may want to use a starling resistant suet feeder. that is suited primarily for birds that hang upside down to feed. Likewise, pest squirrels can be better kept away by a squirrel resistant suet feeder.
I recommend that if you buy suet on-line, that you buy a minimum of 6 to 12 blocks, bells, etc. Otherwise your shipping costs will void out any savings or convenience as shipping 6 to 10 pounds cost very little more than shipping 2 pounds.
The choices are too numerous for me to add to this blog. I suggest you search for suet and you'll see the choices we offer.
Thanks for your questions and enjoy your backyard birds.