watching_birds-photo Watching, Attracting and Feeding Birds in New York
with Sam Crowe

Tried and True Suet Treat

Suet is my favorite food offering.  It is inexpensive, clean and attracts a variety of species. Here is a simple recipe to make your own.

  •     1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  •     2 cups quick cooking oats
  •     2 cups cornmeal
  •     1 cup lard (no substitutions)
  •     1 cup white flour
  •     1/4 cup sugar

Melt lard and peanut butter together, then stir in everything else. Pour mixture into containers to about 1 1/2 inches thick. Freeze. Cut into squares to fit your suet feeder.

An easy alternative is to mix peanut butter and cornmeal, then spread on a tree branch or trunk.  Easy peasy and inexpensive.

suet cake

You can also purchase a simple wire suet feeder for a couple of bucks and feed pre-made suet cakes, about a $1.00.

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Meet the Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of our most common and widespread warblers.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler (affectionately known as the butter-butt) is one of our most common and wide-spread warblers.  Nesting occurs throughout much of Canada, across Alaska and in large sections of the western United States. It can be found in every state except Hawaii during part of the year.  It winters across the southern U.S. and into Mexico.  It is probably our most common warbler in the winter.

Two races were previously consider the same species. The Myrtle Warbler of the east has a white throat; while "Audubon's" Warbler in the west has a yellow throat.

Audubon race of the Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Audubon race of the Yellow-rumped Warbler. In breeding plumage.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are believed to be nocturnal migrants, but much remains to be learned about their migratory behavior.

Territories are maintained during the nesting season, but in winter the Yellow-rumped Warbler often occurs in loose flocks with other yellow-rumps as well as other species such as chickadees. Yellow-rumped Warbler nests are regularly parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Breeding males can be quite colorful, but become very drab in the winter.

Because of its ability to digest berries, the Yellow-rumped Warbler winters farther north than most warblers.

Will visit suet feeders.


Birding Quick Hits

Take down hummingbird feeders about 2 weeks after the last observation. Leaving your feeder up too long will not prevent healthy birds from migrating.  More hummingbirds are over-wintering in the U.S.  If you live in Gulf Coast states condor leaving your feeder up all year.

Learn about the Cape May Warbler.
cape may warbler

Frequently Asked Questions

What is sexual dimorphism?

Sexual dimorphism exists when the plumages of the male and female birds of the same species are substantially different in appearance.

male and female rose-breasted grosbeaks

Bird identification

Learning to identify the birds you see is a fun and rewarding experience.  If you are a novice at identifying birds we have several options for you. 

50 common New York birdsNifty Fifty Guides:  Our Nifty Fifty Guide to the Birds of New York is available on-line and in print.   It contains 25 common backyard birds and 25 additional common birds found in New York.  Purchase the print version.

The online version is shown below. Click on a corner to turn the page. has multiple resources for identifying a bird you have seen as well as information on improving your identification skills.   You can also send us an image on the web site and we will try to identify it for you.