Make your own Suet
|Suet is actually the fat from beef or lamb, and is an important addition to many birds' diet. The fat helps birds survive the winter and is also useful in other months.|
Because real suet is often hard to get and goes bad very quickly, most birders use a suet-substitute for their birdfeeding. Store-bought squares are usually made of peanut butter and other fat-rich products. You can find these for under $1 each, but you can just as easily make your own!
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 cup shelled peanuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup cracked corn
Note that you don't have to use all of these! You can create the combination with whichever things you have on hand. As long as the mixture sticks together and stays in your container, you're pretty set. You can even mix in bird seed to give your avian friends a special treat.
Suet is loved by woodpeckers, nuthatches, and flickers. Other birds that will eat suet include chickadees, cardinals, and bluejays. I find the square mesh plastic-coated metal cage works very well. You can try using an onion bag, but these tear easily and only last one or two uses before they are unusable.
Put out some suet blend and see what arrives to eat it! You might find an entirely new group of birds that you'd never seen in your back yard before!
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