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Animals        < Previous        Next >

 

Fast Food for Wild Birds

 

Today's Snack: Mix a handful of M&M's and a handful of peanuts in a couple of cups of unbuttered popcorn, and you have yourself some tasty fast food, too! Try it with tomato juice with a tall celery stick in the glass.

 

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Suet or vegetable shortening

Peanut butter, peanut halves or whole peanuts

Cornmeal or flour

Wild birdseed

Raisins or tiny squares of cut-up fruit leather

Chopped peanuts

Recycled yogurt cups

Plastic netting saved from the purchase of onions or fruit

Bits of yarn, string and twine, and shredded paper

 

What's missing in winter and early spring? Insects! What do birds eat a lot of? Insects! How do birds feel in the winter and early spring? Hungry!

 

Well, they do pretty well all on their own with berries and seeds they find. But you can provide a delicious and nutritious treat for wild birds with the fat content that they need to keep warm, plus do your part with some recycling.

 

In a large bowl, mix suet with a few spoonfuls of peanut butter and shortening. Add cornmeal or flour 'til it's not too sticky but will hold together in one ball or piece. Add the other ingredients, including short lengths of twine, string or yarn for them to use in building their nests. Mix like cookie dough.

 

Drop into plastic yogurt cups, smoosh down to "mold" in the cup, and place in the freezer. When it's somewhat frozen, unmold the suet treat from the yogurt cup, put it in the netting, and tie the top with twine.

 

Birds will perch on a branch or the netting itself to reach in and feed. Cut off and discard excess netting. Leave a foot or two of twine on the top to tie this goodie to the tree. Sprinkle a handful or two of birdseed on the ground underneath for the ground feeders to get in on the feeding action.

 

When the "suet casserole" is gone, take the netting down, open it up, replace with a new suet treat, and re-hang! And in the spring, clean for re-use or discard the netting, and remember to do it again next year!

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Animals 10 2009

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