Many varieties of birds are returning to the garden for the winter.
We feed the birds all year round but add some extra feeders in the winter.
One of the feeders has bird cake in it. You can buy suet block feeders in the stores and they vary in content and price. I prefer to make my own.
I do cheat a bit and buy one suet block from the store for the plastic mold. I fill it about half way with regular bird seed and then add some extras like black oil sunflower seed, nyger seed, safflower seed and a handful of peanuts. Mix it up and check to see it is enough to fill the mold.
I melt a couple of tablespoons of lard. I’ve also used vegetable shortening but lard is more preferable as it has more nutrients for the birds. You can do this on the stove top or in the microwave. While it is melting I add a tablespoon full of peanut butter. This will also melt into the lard/shortening. Let it cool just a bit and add another tablespoon full of peanut butter and mix in the bird seed and nuts. It becomes quite a sticky mess. Then press it all back into the mold. If you think the seed is a bit loose or there are gaps you can pour a bit more liquid shortening over the top. Pop it into the fridge so it all solidifies. Then pop it out and put into your basket feeder.
The birds start to come almost right away.
The chickadees love it.
The downy woodpeckers will cling to the basket for ages and peck away at the bird cake.
The pileated woodpecker comes back to fill up on the bird cake.
The slate coloured junco is deciding if it should try some.
The white crowned sparrows just love it and visit several times a day.
Have a go at making some bird cakes, your birds will thank you.
Be sure to check out my all season suet recipe too.