|A scrub jay snacks on high calorie suet. Photo by J.J. Meyer|
Our backyard birds need high-calorie, high-energy foods such as black oil sunflower seeds, insects and suet to support their high metabolic rate during winter. When temperatures drop, birds need to eat more to generate heat. Extra calories stoke their metabolic rate and add to their fat reserves to insulate them against the cold.
Suet is a high-fat food, which can help support birds in winter when insects are harder to find. It can be offered in a variety of feeders and cages. It's an easy to maintain, no mess option for those homeowners who are prohibited from or prefer not to offer seed.