Add This Ingredient To Your Bird Feeder To Attract More Cardinals This Winter

Cardinals are a beautiful sight in a winterized garden. They add a flash of red against all of the powdery white snow or hibernating brown trees, bringing a merry touch to the yard. But before taking in the sights, you must lure them into your backyard. Luckily, you can easily do that with the help of suet, a type of beef fat. For amateur bird watchers just starting, this might sound surprising. After all, most feeders contain vegetarian staples, such as seeds, nuts, and berries. However, suet is an important treat for the red-feathered birds during winter. That's because it offers them protein in a season when that is scarce. Since there aren't as many insects and worms available, they need to find alternative, high-calorie foods to keep their bodies sufficiently warm during plummeting temperatures. That's where the suet comes in.

It's a great way to add some color to your winter garden and more wildlife variety to your yard. If all you have been seeing are finches and sparrows from your window, and you want to shake things up, try adding new ingredients to your feeders to make your birdwatching more exciting. Here is how to add suet to attract more cardinals to your garden.

How to add suet to your feeder to attract more cardinals

When adding suet to your feeder, the idea isn't to remove all the other foods and cram it with the protein-rich ingredient. Instead, you still want a healthy variety in the feeder. Add it to your blend of safflower seeds, barkbutter, and cracked corn, all of which cardinals love. This gives them a healthy blend of nutrients, all in one meal. It also increases your chances of seeing the brightly colored birds since they'll register that all of their favorite foods are allocated in one spot. 

You can also get different blends of suet. For example, since cardinals don't migrate during the winter, they have adapted their palette to eat all sorts of foods so they can have snacks no matter the season. Because of this, they also enjoy berries. To accommodate that, you can get a nut and suet berry blend that delivers all those ingredients in one package. You can also get something called SuperSuet, which mixes even more ingredients together, including mealworms, beef fat, and nuts. That way, you can just pour the packaging into the feeder and be ready to hang it up rather than hunt down each of the items individually. The suet will keep birds at your feeder longer, and you'll have cardinals coming in and out all day long.