Peanut Butter Suet Recipe

This home-made suet recipe is a favorite with my backyard birds, including bluebirds. The suet provides a good source of fat and protein to make available when unpredictable harsh weather arrives.  

Home-made Peanut Butter Suet

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup lard

Melt together in microwave.  

In a large bowl mix the following:

2 cups plain yellow cornmeal (no self-rising additives to meal or flour)
2 cups plain oats
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Stir until well mixed.   Add additional flour and/or cornmeal as needed to reach crumble consistency. Allow the mixture to cool and harden.  Pack into a square tub to make suet blocks or crumble into small chunks for feeding on a plate.  I store in refrigerator but also can be stored at room temperature.  


This suet is well liked by bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, wrens, woodpeckers, jays, cardinals, towhees, yellow-rumped warblers and hermit thrushes when served crumbled on a plate or packed into a suet container.  

Bluebirds unfamiliar with the crumbled mixture will accept it after encountering it in the same dish with mealworms. Accidental eating of the suet crumbs in the haste to swallow mealworms enables bluebirds to recognize the suet as a tasty food.  

Important Note:
This suet dough recipe has been around for many years and is an excellent cold-weather food, rich in fat and protein.  Martha Sargent of the Hummer Study Group has been feeding the basic recipe year-round for many years, however, both lard and peanut butter are high in gout causing purines. Julie Zickefoose has raised the question of whether the mixture is too rich with purines to serve to birds during the nesting season.  

As a precaution, I limit this food offering to cold weather months when birds need the extra protein and fat to stay warm and replenish fat stores.   

Visit Julie Zickefoose's articles on her experiences with bluebirds and make your own decision.  The gout she witnessed may have been caused by disease or other unknown factors.

Bird-banding at Seven Islands State Birding Park

Bird-banding at Seven Islands State Birding Park
Photo courtesy of Jody Stone

Bird-banding at Seven Islands

Bird-banding at Seven Islands
Photo courtesy of Karen Wilkenson

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill!

Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill!
Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Adventures

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane banners and son, John

Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane banners and son, John

The Incredible Muir Woods near Stinson Beach, CA

The Incredible Muir Woods near Stinson Beach, CA
Photo courtesy of Wendy Pitts Reeves

Me and Denali

Me and Denali
Photo courtesy of Bob King

For the Love of It...

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Sendivogius (1750)

Your Uncapped Creativity...

Your Uncapped Creativity...
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly." ----the great dancer, Martha Graham