Updated at: 11-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

If you’re impatient like me and get antsy waiting for birds to show up at a brand-new suet feeder, know that it’s only a matter of time before they do.

If you currently provide birds with other types of feeders, it won’t be long until they discover your suet feeder. It may take a week to a month for the birds in your yard to get used to your new suet feeders and start eating from them. Meanwhile, put the suet in a well-lit spot away from the feeders.

How Long Does It Take Birds To Find A Bird Feeder

Similarly to how birds will flock to any form of bird feeder in your yard, suet feeders will attract birds in a matter of minutes if your garden is already bustling with avian life.

If you haven’t already figured it out, not all suet-eating birds can actually consume suet out of what is a restricted compact suet bird feeder cage, which is why a poorly set up suet feeder will appear to be ignored altogether.

In order to ensure that all birds that want to feed on a mealworm-filled suet cake, or indeed cater to more species with seed-filled suet exclusively, you should consider securing a fat ball or suet bird feeder out in the open within a lit up area.

If you leave suet out in a yard where birds are active, they will come to it as soon as you return inside, but if you only see birds in the morning, and your yard is quiet, the birds won’t bother with the suet.

If you want your suet feeder to attract birds, you should put it up before dawn, when the birds are most likely to be out and about, and check it occasionally to make sure that some of the birds are actually eating from it.

If it’s your first time using a feeder, and if no birds show up, try moving the feeder or leaving some suet out of the feeder sometimes. This will ensure that even small birds, which may have trouble reaching the suet in the feeder, will be able to get some if it’s made available elsewhere.

Can depend on time of year

How Long Does It Take Birds To Find A Bird Feeder-2

Truth be told, typical backyard birds will eat suet all year round, however you may notice a decline in suet consumption during particular periods of the year.

How long does it take for birds to learn to use a suet feeder? During the spring and early summer, birds will quickly learn to use the feeder, whereas in the fall and winter, they will gradually stop using it altogether.

Suet is a fatty but protein-rich bird meal that must be consumed in colder months since birds lose more fat while they forage in challenging conditions. This means that birds will find suet feeders immediately from fall through winter.

Sometimes it takes a few days for a fresh suet feeder to attract birds, depending on the time of year, while other times it only takes a few minutes, depending on how long you’ve had your feeder pole and how well you’ve been able to train the birds to come to it.

Maintain your fat ball or suet cake feeder for the wild birds, but be aware that there may be food waste in the beginning if you don’t time it just so.

Because of the significant acceleration of the present suet expiration date when suet is exposed to the elements’ outside, it is not possible to leave suet out in feeders past its expiration date. It’s important to plan ahead to prevent wasting suet, as you’ll have up to two weeks to use it all up.

Suet feeders will see new arrivals

However long it takes for birds to discover a particular suet feeder, keep in mind that birds drawn to suet will eventually exhibit interest in any type of suet feeder.

Seed-filled suet is favored by newcomers like chickadees and finches; established birds like cardinals and blue jays will also eat it; however, the suet feeder must be within reach of these larger, less nimble species.

If you want to attract a variety of wild birds, you should provide a feeder that is accessible to all of them.

If American Robins or Bluebirds regularly visit your other feeders, they will find the suet feeder within minutes. However, if the feeder is in an awkward location, the birds will stop trying to use it.

To prevent birds from landing on the small, compact swinging feeder, a suet feeder is best hung so that it leans against a tree branch or rests on the bird feeder pole.

If you have birds visiting your yard regularly, they won’t have to look far to discover a suet feeder.

In all likelihood, if there were already no birds in your yard when you hung the suet feeder, you won’t be seeing any new or returning visitors any time soon.

Display in lit up area

How Long Does It Take Birds To Find A Bird Feeder-3

Again, the time it takes for birds to discover a suet feeder is contingent on whether or not birds are already regularly drawn to other bird feeders in your yard.

You can’t really expect wild birds to show up out of the blue if you don’t use any feeders in your yard at all.

Because birds lack the ability to detect odors, it is imperative that you place your suet feeders in a well-lit area.

Hang a feeder from the branch of a tree in your yard that birds use, or place a suet feeder on a bird feeder pole in a location where birds may see it as they fly overhead or land to rest.

Put up the suet feeder in the same area as your seed and peanut feeders for maximum results. It’s better to place several feeders in close proximity to one another than to place several feeders in a larger region.

In order to attract a wide variety of wild birds, it’s important to provide a variety of food sources, such as seed or mealworm suet cakes or fat balls.

However, suet fat balls or cakes might be better utilized when left out on top of a platform for less able bird feeder birds, so you shouldn’t constantly rely on a suet feeder to feed birds.


Although suet’s popularity may seem to remain constant throughout the year, some of us have seen that it is consumed at a higher rate in the spring, when new birds are just learning to fly, and at a lower rate as we move closer to the middle of summer.

If you currently provide regular food for wild birds, it won’t be long before they discover your suet feeder.

If you don’t currently have any bird feeders set up in your yard, I can guarantee that it will take anywhere from a week to a month for birds to start regularly using a new suet feeder you hang or place there.

Experienced bird watchers know that the birds who visit their gardens regularly will quickly flock to any new feeders they put up.

It’s only a matter of time before you see birds landing on your suet feeder if you keep it out in a well-lit, secluded area of your yard, preferably in the yard’s center near some foliage or trees.

Expect rapid success if you provide the ideal environment for birds of all sizes and abilities to dine at your feeders.

In spite of this, no birds seem interested in using the feeder, which is a little, compact suet fat ball, because those larger birds just cannot land on it. If you want birds to find and eat the suet you put out, you’ll have to make accommodations for their various sizes and talents, otherwise you could be waiting a long time.

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