Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Feed the Birds!

One of our favourite things about winter is feeding the birds and placing the feeders where we can watch them. Hubs modified a feeder by placing a shingled roof and mounting it to our front porch rails. Occasionally, we'll get special visitors like these beauties. It's such a treat!

Evening Grosbeaks. I was so fortunate to catch a shot of them as they are rather shy.

Pine Grosbeak. This makes me really, really want a better camera. My photography skills could use some help also. I suck at getting the right settings.

This year, I made my own suet. I'm fortunate to have a local butcher nearby that will give me as much fat as I want. It stinks up the house when you're rendering the fat but it's a worthy cause and the smells aren't permanent. This batch has dried apple, dried blueberry, chopped raisin, cornmeal, ground oats (from large flake oats), chopped peanuts, pumpkin seed and walnut. It was easy to make and I learned that the fat has to be melted a second time in order to set firmly. After slicing 2 inch thick pieces, I placed a couple in a suet cage and have them hung out amongst the trees in the back yard. I should add that there are many recipes to be found online.

While the fat was cooling, I occasionally stirred the mixture so that all the goodies would be evenly dispersed instead of just sinking to the bottom. At this stage, I just let it finish cooling. My stupid mistake was placing them in the freezer too long and then impatiently trying to slice them before they thawed out. Bad idea as they were too crumbly.

In a feeble effort to keep my posts from being too long, I will end here with a photo of the sweetest little suet feeder I found on a craft site.
I can't find the link but will try so I can give credit where credit is due. I copied the step-by-step directions so I could try my hand at making something like it. This was before I started blogging so I didn't think to bookmark the link, but these are too cute not to share so my next blog will have the instructions should anyone be interested.


  1. We definitely will, but for the moment they have plenty to eat in our garden. We've had a gorgeous autumn and there are still apples left on the trees for them and various other berries to consume.

    When the weather turns I promise they will be well fed.

    Thank you for your visit. That was lovely.

  2. Tish! Thank you for the reminder.... I must get the instructions posted for the suet ball.