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Submitted By

Andrea Popick

Stuarts Draft, VA, United States


I put suet out all year long as it can help provide energy demands: 1) during nesting times 2) in storing fat in preparation for migration 3) be a substitute for insects for insect eating birds when insects are not plentiful and 4) replenish depleted stores of energy and help birds survive winter. Most of the birds that visit my feeding stations also feed on the suet at times. However, I was surprised to see a Robin feeding on the suet one late afternoon this past April and for several days afterwards. Several Robins nest in my yard and I hope it provided any increased energy demand during that nesting time. I was happy to be able to capture the moment in a photo.


American Robin Eating Suet.

American Robin

31 replies on “American Robin eating suet.”

Mary Mossman says:

This week is the first time we have had a robin on our suet feeder in Stuarts Draft, Virginia. She has been coming daily.

Marcia Jackson says:

We have had a robin on our suet feeder for the last week or two. She/he comes several times a day. Originally we had it hanging normally like the above picture but the bird was having problems staying on top. We fixed that by adding another wire and now it hangs level and the bird can just hop on top and stay that way more comfortably. We also have had a thinner robin eat from our platform feeder that we fill with black sunflower seeds and shelled peanuts. We did have a late snow storm about the time we first saw the robins so I’m thinking they needed supplemental food and fortunately found our supply. We are in Green Lake, WI about two hours from Madison and Milwaukee.

Rebecca Gardone says:

Yes . We have had a Robin at our suet feeder these past few weeks in May. Really strange for I have never seen this . We live in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Patricia Schenk says:

For three years now, I have a Robin who enjoys eating the suet I put out. It is now feeding 4 babies in a nest that I have saved. I believe it to be the same Robin coming back each year. I think there maybe a shortage of worms.

Jenny Leigh says:

I too have also been noticing one Robin in particular hanging around our hanging suet! (I’m in Western PA) Funny thing is, he/she will not go up on the suet holder to ear the suet. He/she will stand underneath it while another bird, such as a woodpecker or starling eats it and waits for the excess to be dropped! ?? Smart birb!

Marie Sander says:

This is the first time I’ve seen a robin at my suet feeder. Looks right at home. I live in Raleigh NC.

CP says:

I am glad to read the above comments about robins eating at a suet feeder. I have never seen a robin at a suet feeder before until this week. Now one robin comes multiple times per day. Sits on top of the suet cage or else perches on an adjacent wooden dowel. No other birds appear to be interested.

Lois Moyer says:

For the last week, I have seen a robin visit and enjoy the woodpecker suet in my back yard. I thought this unusual, but I enjoy watching that. Eastern PA

Laurie says:

We also have a robin at our suet feeder for the last several days here in the western suburbs of Chicago. It looks so odd.

Catherine says:

I’ve fed our backyard birds for over 40 years from WA, to PA to OH to TX and back to OH. This is the first time I’ve seen a robin feeding from our suet feeder. I feed chunks of beef suet, not suet cakes. I now see I’m not alone. What gives?

DG Danoski says:

I first saw a robin eating suet last Spring. I live in Kalamazoo Mi. This year several are eating suet. Sure is proving the bird books wrong ! Lol!


Erin says:

I live in Knoxville tn and I too have a Robin at my suet feeder everyday. I thought it was strange so I googled it. And it brought me here. I guess other robins are doing the same, but why??

Marilyn Swanston says:

Same one constantly eating the suet cake for about 3 weeks and if another bird comes up the robin chases it away. Doesn’t matter if it’s little or large bird

Karen Morse says:

I too was amazed to see a Robin enjoying the woodpecker cake suet in Nebraska. It appears by the comments, their tastes or needs have evolved!!

Mary says:

I live in northern Iowa. For two years now, the same robin and her mate have eaten suet that I hang for woodpeckers. At first, she was satisfied to wait around and scoop up bits that fell as woodpeckers fed. Quickly she realized she could fly up to the suet, and while in the air, grab a piece and fly back down to the ground to gulp it. By watching her, her mate learned the trick. If they fail to secure suet in their beaks, they manage to knock pieces to the ground. Last year they raised 3 little ones. A couple times a day she brought all 3 to my patio and had them sit below the feeder where they learned to pick up pieces that fell when she knocked some down, or she secured pieces in her beak and fed them. I see them eating other things, so I am no longer concerned that they are dependent on suet.

Lindsay says:

We also have a Robin that eats the woodpecker suet. Noticed it yesterday for the first time & thought it was very strange. The Robin also has 3 fledglings so maybe it’s just convenient since it’s already mashed up. We are in Charlotte, NC

Bonnie D says:

I’ve also had robins at my suet feeders this year, first time ever. I attached a suet cage to a small board hanging off my deck railing. It’s easier for them to get to it, since it doesn’t swing and they can stand on the board to eat it. I’ve also seen one feeding a juvenile robin. I’m not sure what this behavior means, but it concerns me a little.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Bonnie, In many birds, adults will feed young for several weeks after fledging the nest. As for robins eating suet – it’s not unheard of for some birds to eat suet, particularly insect-eaters, when weather conditions may reduce their normal food supply. For example, if you have had an unusually cold or wet spring, you may find some birds coming to suet, which is a high-energy food.

Bill and Cheryl says:

We’ve had an adult male robin also an adult brown thrasher come to our suet feeder
The brown thrasher more regularly
We’ve never seen this before.
However this is the first time we’ve put out suet all year!
What a surprise!

Barb says:

First time for us, as well, that a Robin has been coming to our suet feeder for the past week. I did a double take when I saw it. It has been able to perch on the side of the suet cage and eat. Maybe it’s been watching the other birds, lol. We have very few Robins here (Larkspur, CO, about 6,750’, Ponderosa forest), so it’s even more of a surprise. Regardless, it is very welcome, anytime!

Christine & Matthew says:

We have just had a robin at our suet feeder for the first time as well. She has come several times throughout the day and seems quite comfortable. I have never seen this before, and interestingly enough my Merlin Bird ID app doesn’t offer the robin as an option if I describe her as eating at the feeder. We are in central NJ.

Sarah says:

We have an American Robin feeding on suet in our yard right now (March 30, 2021) and she’s been eating the suet multiple times a day for a solid week. She’s polished off a full square all by herself. We’re pretty sure she’s not going to do well at her Weight Watcher’s weigh-in this week.

Ohioanna says:

First time for me to see a robin on my suet feeder in Ohio. Male, quite bold when I’m in the yard.

Cindy Timmons says:

I have never seen a Robin eating suet until this year. I guess the early warm weather in March and fooled them into coming back a bit early and now it’s back to cold weather in Ottawa Canada.

Jody says:

So glad to hear others remark on Robins eating suet! I was quite surprised to watch. At first this Robin would stretch its body to reach the fruit and nut cake, However after a couple days it has mastered positioning itself like a Woodpecker!

Jody says:

Note: Observation made from my backyard in Chicagoland area!

Bobbie says:

I live outside of Chicago, IL. I’ve been feeding the birds here year round for about 20 years. This is the 1st year I’ve ever had a Robin feed from the suet feeder. Have noticed it also joining the other birds eating seeds from other feeders that have fallen on the ground. Its’s just now starting to get warm here so insects and worms have been hard for them to feed on.

Pam says:

I agree. I live in McHenry, IL and with the extreme drought no worms for the robins. I have been putting suet pellets on my deck to make it easier for the robins. I have 2 nests in my evergreens so both pairs are very busy. Liked the idea of making the suet cage flat. Thanks for the tip

Naomi says:

First time I have had a robin at my suet feeder in central PA. We have had a lot of dry weather recently.

Kathy Gill says:

Dodge County in SE Wisconsin is quite dry right now and we see robins regularly at our suet as well as the feeder that we keep stocked with a cracked corn and hulless sunflower and peanuts mixture. We are lucky enough to have attracted a white-breasted robin with only a faint pinkish/orange streak at either side of it’s breast.

Carol says:

I have been feeding birds for about 10 years in Toledo, Ohio. I have a pair of nesting Robins eating my suet for the first time ever. They chase other robins away.

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