Love at First Bite: Attracting Birds with Bark Butter

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) eating Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter off of a fork.

What is Bark Butter?

Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter is a highly nutritious, palatable, and spreadable suet created by Wild Birds Unlimited founder, Jim Carpenter, with the intention of attracting the shy Brown Creeper to his yard. Jim spent years perfecting his recipe, ultimately coming up with the perfect blend of pure rendered beef suet, peanut butter, corn, and added calcium for an extra boost. Not only did this recipe attract Brown Creepers, but it also attracted several other species who were not regular suet feeder visitors such as Grey Catbirds, Northern Mockingbirds, and Northern Cardinals. Since it's creation, Bark Butter has been recorded being dined upon by over 145 bird species!

The Bark Butter Fan Club
With over 145 species being attracted to Bark Butter, the opportunity for new bird sightings in your yard is endless. Because of its unique advantage of being able to be spread on trees (or almost anything), you may even find yourself with visitors will not take food from commercial bird feeders.
Here is a list of just some of the uncommon feeder birds you may see feeding on Bark Butter in your yard: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Grey Catbird, Brown Creeper, American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, and a number of warbler species including Pine, Palm, and Magnolia Warblers. Bark Butter will also satisfy your every day feeder birds such as Blue Jays, Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Woodpecker species. Click here for a complete list of birds recorded enjoying Bark Butter.

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) feeding on Hot Pepper Bark Butter.
Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) feeding on Hot Pepper Bark Butter.
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) feeding on Hot Pepper Bark Butter.

Bark Butter Varieties
Over the years, Bark Butter has become so popular among backyard birders and birds themselves, that new varieties with added benefits and different applications have been created to further enhance the bird feeding experience. Those varieties include:

  • Hot Pepper Bark Butter: The original spreadable Bark Butter with a spicy kick to deter squirrels and other critters, allowing you to feed the birds anywhere and keep unwanted diners at bay.
  • Bark Butter Bits: All the goodness of Bark Butter rolled in to bite sized pieces. Bark Butter Bits can be fed alone in a variety of different feeders, or mixed in with your favourite WBU seed blend. They are an ideal food to offer during nesting season as they are packed with calcium and easy for parents to feed their young birds, With some patience and luck, you may even get a bird to land in your hand for one of these delicious morsels! Also available in hot pepper variety.
  • Bugs & Bits: A mix of our popular Bark Butter Bits & dried mealworms, designed to attract insect-eating species. Enjoyed by birds year-round, but especially beneficial for a boost of nutrients during nesting season. 
  • Bark Butter No-Melt Cylinder: A long-lasting feeding option that allows for longer views of your backyard birds as they continue to come back for more of this tasty treat. Fits in any WBU cylinder feeders.
  • Bark Butter Plugs: Same nourishing Bark Butter recipe in a convenient plug form. Can be used in suet plug feeders or suet cages.
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) feeding on Bark Butter Bits from hand.

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) feeding its young Bark Butter from our new WBU Log Feeder.
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) feeding on Bark Butter Bits from a WBU Peanut Ball Feeder.

How to feed Bark Butter & Bark Butter Bits to your backyard birds
  • Our original Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter can be fed in a number of ways including our specially designed Bark Butter Feeder, made specifically for easy Bark Butter application, cleaning, and feeding for the birds. New to the WBU feeder line-up this August* is the Log Feeder (pictured above), which holds suet cylinders or suet balls inside, while Bark Butter can be spread in the grooves on the outside of the feeder, creating a suet smorgasbord! The number one benefit of adding Bark Butter to your backyard bird feeding menu, is that it turns your surroundings in to bird feeders. Grab your tub of Bark Butter & a fork, smear a generous amount on to a tree and crosshatch with fork prongs, and watch as the birds investigate and chow down. Log Feeder expected to be available mid-August 2019
  • Bark Butter Bits and Bugs & Bits can be fed on their own, or mixed with your favourite WBU seed blends and offered in tray feeders such as our WBU Spiral Treat Tray, or Dinner Bell Feeder. Bark Butter Bits can also be offered in feeders designed to hold shelled peanuts, like our Peanut Ball Feeder (pictured above). In some instances birds will take food from your hand, Bark Butter Bits are the perfect size and shape for this fun activity, and their great taste will keep the birds coming back for more.
To view Bark Butter products in action, see the video below.

Now that you know what it is, who likes it, and how to feed it, it's time to experience the magic of Bark Butter for yourself. From August 1st to 11th, all Bark Butter food products are 15% off! What new birds will visit your yard? Share your photos of birds eating Bark Butter in our Facebook group Ontario Birds by WBU Barrie!

Happy Trails!
- Shayna

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