(noun) A cake of hard fat mixed with seeds, grains, nuts and fruit that is used as food for backyard and wild birds. The fat is from around the kidneys of cattle and sheep, and it can be shaped into flat cakes, balls, plugs or novelty shapes such as wreaths, muffins or bells to be decorative as well as nutritious for birds.
Suet is a popular food for feeding birds, particularly in the winter, because the fat used to create the cakes is a highly concentrated form of energy essential to maintain body heat. Depending on the specific blend of ingredients mixed with the fat, suet can attract a number of different bird species, including European starlings, downy woodpeckers, eastern bluebirds, brown thrashers, black-capped chickadees, northern cardinals, blue jays and hairy woodpeckers.
Suet is typically fed in specially designed wire or mesh cages so birds can cling to the cage and peck at the suet block. Suet can also be chopped up and fed in platform feeder, or it can be hung from trees or feeder poles. Other types of suet feeders include plug logs and combination hopper and suet feeders.