Monday, January 21, 2013

Feed The Birds


Simple Suet Recipe

The temperatures are dropping to lows that we have not seen in years.  The ponds, puddles, and slow moving creeks will be frozen for many days.  So I replenished the feeders and the heated birdbath in anticipation of the severe temperatures. 
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This may look like peanut butter fudge. The is a homemade suet I made for my bird visitors. 
The recipe is simple, use whatever is here.  By melting shortening in the microwave to a liquid, the other ingredients just stir in.

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100_1728The one cup of shortening is heated in the microwave until liquid, then a cup of peanut butter is stirred into the liquid shortening.  Then the fun begins! 
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Some very stale bread and a few biscuits were put into the food processor and made into bread crumbs.  Since I needed three cups of crumbs, I added some store bought crumbs to fill up to the three cups.    100_1730

I then added about 1/2 cup of oats, and a half cup of bird seed.  The left over stale trail mix was also put into the food processor for a course chop.  the nuts, raisins,  and cranberries should be attractive to the birds
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As I was spreading this thick dough into a 8 x 8 pan, I saw hubbies left over popcorn from the night before.  So in went the unpopped  kernels as well. 100_1734

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After letting this mixture cool for about an hour, I divided this batch of suet into four, each portion just fits the feeder.  I love it when a plan comes together. 
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The window above is my kitchen, and I spend some enjoyable moments watching the birds.  A large red-headed woodpecker was chowing down on the suet, so I’m pleased.  The camera didn't pick up well through the screen on the window, so I’ll try again later. 
Bringing birds to the landscape in winter is rewarding.  They seem to have a hierarchy among them. Some seem to want the feeder alone, while others crowd in and the more the merrier.  I am seeing juncos, cardinals, red and yellow finches, jays, mourning doves, and a smaller downy woodpecker , as well as the sparrows, wrens, and nuthatches.
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The long term benefit of having birds in the winter is that they tend to stick around in the spring and summer.  Nesting in near-by shrubbery, the birds will help control the insect population in the garden as they seek food for their young. 
What feeding stations do you have in your yard?  Please share with us, and above all, enjoy your day.  
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