Tag Archives: DIY Bird Suet

Birding New Year’s Resolution #1 – DIY No Suet Bird Treats

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One of my Birding New Year’s Resolutions this year is to learn to make a new bird food, like suet or hummingbird nectar.  Since I already know how to make nectar, I decided to give the suet a try.   And, I have to admit, I have a new appreciation for the suet artisans who take the craft to heart.  Bravo to you!

Because I live up in the mountains, going into town for supplies is not always convenient.  So I decided to see if I could find a recipe that didn’t require lard.  I had plenty of peanut butter and bird seed on hand and I wanted to see what could work with just those two ingredients.  I found a few suggestions and here’s what I did:

  1. I melted the contents of a 16 oz. jar of peanut butter in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl and covered with a paper napkin, on high for about a minute.
  2. I poured 1 ½ cups of wild bird seed into the bowl, including black oil sunflower seed (a bird favorite!)
  3. After mixing the bird seed into the peanut butter, I spooned the mixture into silicon molds; I had a rosette mold that I had purchased from Amazon and I thought I’d use that to create rose-shaped treats for some added interest. J
  4. I covered the filled molds with saran wrap and placed them in the freezer overnight.

It was really that easy, and here’s what I learned:

  • Peanut butter alone doesn’t harden well enough to hang the treat with string or ribbon (as I had hoped); as a result, I placed two rosettes in a wire suet cage, which worked really well but defeated the purpose of the decorative rosettes.
  • Peanut butter alone will melt in warm weather, so this project really only works when it’s cold outside, (below 40 degrees F.)
  • I placed a few of the rosettes on a rock out back and the birds STILL loved the treat; they didn’t care if it was hanging from a tree or laying on a rock.
  • My treats attracted many birds, including chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, Steller’s Jays, and a Northern Flicker!

All in all, the project was a lot of fun!  And next time, I’m going to try adding lard to the mixture!

DIY Suet Your Backyard Birds will LOVE!

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One of the many things I love about my various speaking engagements, book signings, and library events is the people I meet who share a similar passion for their backyard birds! Last week I had the pleasure of meeting DeAnn Zwight, who shared with me her DIY “Boid Goo” recipe. It sounds fantastic and here’s all that’s involved!

  • Bring 6 ½ cups water to a boil, while heating up ADD 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix together these dry ingredients: ½ cup flour, 2 cups cornmeal, and 1 cup sugar
  • After the water has come to a boil and the shortening has disintegrated, WHISK in the dry ingredients
  • If you like, add seeds, nuts, raisins, etc.
  • TURN OFF HEAT, cover and cool
  • When cool put into containers (use old commercial suet containers, but round cottage cheese containers partially filled will work too).
  • FREEZE overnight, then put out for the “boids”.

Wow! Doesn’t that sound yummy? And it’s simple enough for even someone like me to try. LOVE THAT! And the birds love it too; take a look at the pictures here (all taken by DeAnn) of her backyard birds eating up her “boid goo”.

And, if you need some ideas for household items that can be used to pour suet into, try some of these:

    • Baker’s Tin Foil Bake Cups
    • When you purchase a suet cake, reuse the container that it came in
    • Small bread loaf pans lined with plastic wrap or foil for easy removal
    • Margarine containers
    • Any size baking/pie pans (when suet cools, cut into squares)

Easy peasy, as my husband likes to say! Lol. Thanks for sharing this DeAnn!


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