Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Treat the Birds

House finch enjoying our homemade bird treats
In cold winter months birds need extra fats in their diet to help keep them warm. These homemade bird treats are a great way to give them the nutrition they need and I whenever I've made these the birds have really loved it.

Caleb and I made these the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we're seeing more and more types of birds every day: two types of juncos, house finches, magpies, a downy woodpecker, rufus sided tohees, scrub jays, vireos, flickers, chickadees and a couple new types that we haven't looked up yet.

These make great Christmas gifts if you want to give a little something to your neighbors.

My little mad scientist in his bathrobe mixing bird treats. I'm not entirely sure why the 3D glasses were necessary.

1 1/2 lbs beef lard (cooking oil section of the grocery store)
2 1/2 lbs peanut butter (one large jar)
2 1/2 lbs corn meal (can find 2 1/2 lb boxes--often in the Mexican food aisle)
2 1/2 lbs corn grits (or substitute part bird seed mix)
plastic sandwich bags or waxed paper

Melt the lard on high and then turn down to medium. Add peanut butter and melt it. Mix in corn meal and corn grits (or part bird seed). This will resemble no-bake cookie mixture.

Fill plastic sandwich bags up to 1 1/2 inches from the top, seal them and lay flat on a cookie sheet and place in refrigerator to solidify.  Store in frig or freezer. This size fits pretty well in most of those little black cages for suet cakes you can buy for birds--you may have to trim the edges a bit, but then you just put the trimmings in the cage too.


Line a baking pan with waxed paper and fill to about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch deep. Put in refrigerator to solidfy and then cut into pieces to fit into a suet cage. Store in frig or freezer.

Yield 9 lbs (5-6 large cakes). Can be doubled, but then you may need to divide it to stir.

Downy woodpecker

Magpie--they are so big they have trouble getting to the feeder cage, but they are determined!
Chickadee who thinks he's a bat.


  1. Speaking on behalf of the birds.............Thank you very much, this is much appreciated, we'll keep coming to your yard and entertaining you all winter, then in the summer we'll pollinate your flowers and verggies for you, and keep bugs off your patio.

  2. I love the pictures, Sue! Caleb is adorable!

    I am going to try this with Noah after Christmas.