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5 Common Reasons for Birds Not Eating Suet

5 Common Reasons for Birds Not Eating Suet

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Those who enjoy seeing lots of birds in their backyards will likely want to place bird feeders on their properties. This can help you to attract more birds, and you’re going to feel good about doing your part to help them thrive.

One of the most popular treats that enthusiasts put in feeders is known as suet. Suet is a type of bird feed option that is commonly placed in feeders during the fall and winter.

Some people find that placing suet feeders in the yard will attract many more feathered friends. If you aren’t seeing the birds using the feeder, then you might be wondering what’s wrong.

Why are the birds not eating suet from your feeders? Is there something amiss that you will need to address?

Keep reading to learn more about this situation so that you can determine what is going on. Having all of the necessary information should make it easy to get good results.

1 – The Birds Might Not Have Discovered the Feeder Yet

One possibility that you need to consider is that the birds simply haven’t found the suet feeder yet. You might not realize this, but birds won’t always recognize the location of a new feeder right away.

In fact, it can take birds a few days or a few weeks to locate a new feeder that you’ve placed in your backyard. Perhaps a little more patience will show you that the birds aren’t avoiding the feeder at all.

You might be able to make things easier if you try to place the feeder in an obvious location. For instance, you’re probably going to get better results if you put the feeder somewhere obvious where the birds can find it.

It’s also going to be beneficial to place the bird feeder in a location where the birds will feel safe. If they feel as if predators will be able to get to them while they’re using it, then they might be wary of stopping by.

Taking the time to consider the location of the feeder is important for various reasons. If you just place it wherever, then there’s a good chance that animals will eat the suet.

Many people have reported having issues with raccoons and squirrels eating the contents of their feeders. That’s why many people choose to place them on poles or hang them from places where animals shouldn’t be able to get to them.

Consider whether the location of the bird feeder is not ideal so that you can turn things around if necessary. Sometimes you’ll get much better results simply by picking a better spot.

2 – There Aren’t Any Suet-Eating Birds in the Area

Another possibility is that there simply aren’t any birds that like to eat suet in the area. Not every bird is going to be interested in suet, and this means that the birds you’re seeing simply might not like what you have on offer.

Before deciding to place a suet feeder, it’s going to be smart to ensure that you have the right types of birds in the area. There are many types of birds that enjoy it, but not every area will have these birds.

Almost every type of woodpecker is going to love dining on suet. So will chickadees, jays, wrens, thrushes, nuthatches, thrashers, and creepers.

If you place a feeder with suet in it out in your yard during the autumn and winter, it’ll be possible to attract these birds if they’re native to the area. Those who don’t have birds such as this where they live won’t need to place suet in their feeders.

3 – You Aren’t Using Fresh Suet

Have you thought about whether the suet that you’re using is the problem? Sometimes people discover that the birds are turning away from the feeders because the suet that they contain isn’t fresh.

When it’s hot outside, it’s possible for suet to go bad faster than you might think. This is why it’s important to go check on things now and then to see how everything is going.

If you notice that the suet has gone bad, then you’re going to want to remove it from the feeders and replace it with something fresh. Of course, since most people place this type of bird feed in their feeders during the autumn and winter, this isn’t usually going to be a problem.

It’s true that some people live in areas where it can still be kind of warm in the autumn, though. In this situation, it might be beneficial to place your feeders in the shade so that the suet won’t go bad quite so quickly.

There are varieties of suet that are better to use in warmer weather. You can find what is known as “year-round” suet that should be able to stay fresh for much longer periods of time in warm weather.

Mold can also become an issue sometimes depending on whether it’s wet or not. If you’re using open feeders and the weather has been rather wet as of late, then you might see mold growing on the feed.

Consider using a covered feeder that will protect the suet from the rain. Even if you do everything right, it’s still going to be necessary to check back to make sure that the feed hasn’t gone bad.

Being a proactive person will ensure that you don’t keep suet that has gone bad in the bird feeders for too long. Now that you know that this can be an issue, it should be easier to remember to keep an eye on things.

4 – You Aren’t Keeping Your Feeders Full Often Enough

Sometimes birds will start to ignore feeders if they have stopped by and there wasn’t any food there in the past. Birds might eat at the feeder once or twice, but if they consistently find that the feeder isn’t full when they come by, then they will stop bothering.

This doesn’t mean that the birds will never come back and check, but they just might not see the feeder as a reliable source of food. If you want the birds to keep coming back, then you’ll need to be consistent about refilling the feeders when they’re empty.

It isn’t always easy for busy people to keep the feeders full. You might not be home all the time, but this is still something that you want to think about if you’re trying to attract birds to your yard.

Some people will install larger bird feeders that won’t have to be refilled quite so often. This can work out okay, but it can also be a detriment if the birds aren’t able to eat all of the suet before it goes bad.

Depending on how many birds you have in the area, installing larger feeders or installing more feeders will either be a good or bad idea. You can certainly consider whether making some changes would make things easier for you, though.

At the very least, you can try to pay more attention to when the feeders are being emptied. If you keep an eye on things and try to refill the feeders as often as you can, then the birds will start to recognize that your feeder is a reliable spot that they can get food from.

5 – Ensure That There’s a Water Source Nearby

Birds also need to be able to drink water, and if you don’t have a place where the birds can drink, then they might not be coming by your yard as often. This isn’t something that will keep birds from eating suet specifically, but it can make your yard more or less appealing.

It might be a good idea to install some type of birdbath on your property. This will ensure that the birds will always have a reliable location where they can stop to enjoy a drink of water.

Since you’ll be using suet in your feeders during the autumn and fall in most instances, it’ll be good to take steps to protect the water from freezing. If you live in a cooler area, then you might need to place a ball in the water so that the water will stay in motion and won’t freeze over.

There are many ways that you can protect birdbaths and keep the water from freezing. Some people even use heaters to get the job done.

If you make the area near the feeders as convenient as possible, then birds should stop by more often. It’s something that can make a big difference for sure.

Final Thoughts

You’ve now seen that there are quite a few factors that can cause birds not to eat suet. Often, it’s simply that the birds haven’t been able to find the new feeders that you’ve installed yet.

Sometimes it might be because the suet isn’t fresh, though. You’ll need to be sure to check things to ensure that you always have the feeders stocked with fresh food for the birds.

Keep the above advice in mind and you should be able to get better results. You’ll be able to attract birds to your yard and you’ll be glad to help them thrive during the autumn and winter.


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