About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Resourceful chickadees triumph over winter

Is suet a natural food for birds? Where do they find rendered beef suet in the wild?- Lansing, MI
Chickadees feed on insects, caterpillars, spiders and other bugs in the summer. In the winter, however, they have to eat whatever high energy, high protein foods they can find. Suet is the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys of animals. In the wild chickadees and other bug eating birds can be found pecking the fat off a dead deer's body or investigating road kill.

Our Wild Birds Unlimited Suet is made with only the highest quality beef kidney fat. It is the most concentrated source of energy you can offer wild birds. In spring, it meets the increased energy demands of nesting birds. In the summer months, it provides a good substitute for insect-eating birds, especially in years when insects are not very plentiful. In fall, suet helps wild birds store fat to prepare for migration. And of course, in winter, suet replenishes depleted stores of energy and nutrients, to help birds survive the long, cold months.

Chickadees are good scavengers and are also very good at caching and relocating food. They hide hundreds of seeds all over their territory, in a behavior known as scatter-hoarding to keep their stash a secret from competitors and help them survive during bad weather and when food sources are low.

Each seed is placed in a different location and to remember where each one is, neurobiologists have discovered that the part of the brain that processes spatial information increases in the birds’ that hoard food. They can find each hiding spot accurately even a month later.

That is why icy weather the hardest time for chickadees because they can’t reach their horde. This is when a feeder can literally mean life of death for a bird.

Thank you Lynn for sharing your photo!

Related Articles:
- What birds eat suet? http://bit.ly/q2Sfje
- Can I make my own suet? http://bit.ly/rsc1JT
- How do I Attract Woodpeckers? http://bit.ly/o4CLqI
- Filling Up on Fatty Foods: http://bit.ly/ob0NIq 
- Can I feed suet year-round? http://bit.ly/I4Ow8l

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