By: McKenzie Fox, Conservation Program Assistant
With February being National Bird Feeding Month, it serves as a reminder to put out a little extra food for the birds as they come to the end of their long winter. Many birds stick around in Michigan during this time of year including cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, and nuthatches! From suet to peanut butter to fruit and seeds, there are many food sources that can be provided by humans to give birds a little extra support. At this time of the year, suet is an ideal food for birds as it provides lots of energy and will not go bad in the cold weather. See the very easy recipe from Audubon that I tried out below! It will take less than 20 minutes, and many of the supplies are common to the kitchen pantry.
- 1 ½ cup shortening/suet
- ¾ cups nut butter
- 3 ½ cups wild bird seed
- 1 cup quick oats
- ½ cup corn meal (or oats, bread crumbs, etc.)
Instructions (see the pictures above):
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix the shortening/suet and nut butter in a microwavable bowl and melt. Alternatively, you can also melt it in a pan on the stove.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir.
- Put the mixture in a container, such as an ice cube tray, a pan, etc. I used a square pan and put wax paper in it to make it easier to take out. Another good option would be to use an old suet cake container.
- Freeze for 1-2 hours.
I cut the recipe in 1/3 and it made a suet cake about the size of one you would buy. I learned that the squirrels also love this recipe so place it out of reach to them if desired. Happy National Bird Feeding Month!