Bird Suet Recipe – Is Peanut Butter Lethal to Certain Birds?

Bird Suet Recipes with Peanut Butter as an Ingredient Are Not Dangerous

I received a comment from Consuelo on a previous post about making your own bird suet. She wanted to share information she’d found about peanut butter being potentially dangerous to certain bird species. Peanut butter is one of the ingredients I recommend using for the suet recipe.

I’d like to add a more detailed response to her comment here in a post, so that it properly addresses this subject and provides more information for those of you who perhaps have landed here, looking for information about “potential hazards of using peanut butter in a bird suet recipe.”

bird eating homemade suet recipe cake

Hi Consuelo:

Thank you for forwarding the information, however the comments you found on that forum thread about peanut butter being dangerous and/or lethal for some species are NOT ACCURATE at all.

I don’t want you, or anyone reading your comment on my previous post to think “Oh no! I’m killing birds using suet cakes made with peanut butter!!”

If you will note, towards the end of that forum thread, someone posted this link to a PDF document from Cornell that provides more accurate information about feeding birds peanut butter.

**Please look on page 2 of the Cornell document, section “High Energy Foods” and you will read: Some people worry that birds will choke on sticky peanut butter. There’s no evidence that they do, but you can completely eliminate any risk by mixing peanut butter with corn meal or oatmeal.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, as it has helped me become more informed on this subject.

If You Are Really Concerned About a Bird Choking On Peanut Butter …Then Do Not Feed Peanut Butter All By Itself! Add a Gritty Ingredient as Well

Through my research to determine if what Consuelo shared was correct information or not, and of course to educate myself about the “hazards of feeding peanut butter to birds”, the bottom line from all trusted authority sites is:

There is no documented evidence that birds will choke (or die) from ingesting peanut butter all by itself. However, mixing peanut butter with grit or cornmeal or oatmeal will break up the stickiness and can give peace of mind to those who might be

My recipe calls for cornmeal. 🙂 So, in my humble opinion, there is nothing “dangerous” about any bird suet cake that has peanut butter as an ingredient if that cake also has a “gritty” ingredient, too.

More Resource Links With Information About Peanut Butter in Bird Suet Recipes

Everyone, please take a look at the following information I have uncovered from very reliable sources. Come to your own conclusions, but I believe you need not worry one bit about adding peanut butter into a recipe for making suet cakes.

Here are just a few of the better links I discovered with not only information about peanut butter in suet, but other great bird feeding information as well:

  • Bird Feeding Basics from the National Audubon Society. Please look at the topic: “Mix peanut butter and corn meal”
  • Backyard Bird Feeding from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conservation Library. Look about 3/4’s of the way down to: “Can birds choke on peanut butter?”
  • Feeding the Birds from the Massachusetts Audubon Society. About 1/3 of the way down, look for the topic: “Peanut Butter”.

There … with the above information I’ve provided I do hope the issue of feeding peanut butter to our backyard birds, whether it’s an ingredient in a store bought suet cake or in a homemade bird suet recipe, will no longer be a concern for anyone. Happy birding!


  1. Hey, I was reading your post and I just wanted to say thank you for putting out such great content. There’s so much crap on the internet these days its hard to find anything worthwhile. I actually have cooked a different recipe before and I’m extremely eager to try your variation because it looks excellent. Thanks for the article and great ideas.

  2. gary l grunwald says:

    with my homemade wooden suet feeders i had a problem with squirrels knawing at my wooden dowels then i tried cayenne pepper, put it on the exterior walls of the suet cake an the rodents didnt want no part of it.

  3. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Thanks for the tip, Gary. And yes, cayenne pepper is a great squirrel deterrent.

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