Long Winter Help: Part I

winterOne of the few problems I have with winter is the lack of something to do and to observe that is outside.  Having a bird feeder and keeping a bird bath through the cold months helps fill this gap. 

bird-feeder-closeupEach morning, I fill the feeder, add water to the bird bath, and make a peanut butter suet that I spread on the limbs of the tree near the feeder.  Spreading suet allows more birds to feed as well as keeping our little squirrel buds busy while others get a chance to eat.  Here’s an easy recipe to follow.

Main ingredients:

1 part-Non sugar/non salt natural crunchy peanut butter (Trader Joe’s brand)

1 part-Lard (I do buy this as an extra. Being a vegetarian, I usually wouldn’t have this on hand.) or Coconut Oil

1 part-Cornmeal or Oatmeal

1/2 part-Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 part-Raisins

Using equal parts Peanut Butter and Lard/Coconut Oil, place in small microwave safe bowl.  Melt for 35-40 seconds or until soft.  Add cornmeal and whole wheat flour and stir.  Mixture will be soft and spreadable.  Add a half portion of raisins.  Stir in.  All the portions are variable to how much you make and how the “feel” of the mixture is.  You want it to stick to the limbs or branching limbs.  Even if some falls off, the wildlife will find it.

This recipe is an adaption from a little more involved recipe at Birds and Blooms.  Take a look at their version and others to make!

birdbathNow, to keep a bird bath available in winter is as easy as an amazon purchase and an extension cord.  Heated “rocks” are available to place in the bottom of baths to keep the water from freezing.  I say “rock” since mine looks like a blob of white plastic.  I put a rock on top to keep it in place and allow more birds to perch. 

bird-feederUsually sparrows and finches visit, but often there are juncos, cardinals, and even chickadees.  Chickadees are a first to my feeder this year.

 I love having my morning coffee and watching the nature that lives around us in the city.  I hope you try out your own suet and enjoy your mornings with a little more wildlife and joy.

More than occasionally, the squirrels finds pizza.  It's hilarious.  But to give them a balanced diet, I put out the suet!
More than occasionally, the squirrels find pizza. It’s hilarious. But to give them a balanced diet, I put out the suet!

 

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