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Suet Recipes for Feeding Birds

Commercial suet cakes are inexpensive and many people find they are a favorite of their backyard birds. Try these simple recipes for making your own suet cakes.

Birdie Granola
    •    1/2 cup chopped rendered* suet
    •    1/2 cup peanut butter
    •    2 1/2 cups cornmeal
    •    1 cup mixed birdseed

Combine ingredients and press into a jelly roll pan. Freeze until firm enough to crumble. Put the crumbles in a large bowl with some peanuts, birdseed, chopped apples, raisins and more chunks of suet. Mix well, then divide into single-serving containers and freeze until needed. To make even more substantial “granola,” you might add uncooked oatmeal, bran or pumpkin seeds.

Homemade Birdie Treat
    •    1 1/2 cups peanut butter
    •    1 1/2 cups corn meal
    •    3 to 4 cups wild bird seed – black oil sunflower or mix
    •    3 cups rendered* suet

Add the first three ingredients into the rendered suet. Freeze in a cake or pie pan, cut into serving pieces as needed and put in a suet basket.

*To render, melt suet over low heat in heavy pan, cool, reheat and cool again. While it’s in its melted state, add other ingredients.

If rendering suet is not your cup of tea, it can be omitted from the above recipes. The mixture will not form a cake but can be spread on trees or placed in holes. Simply take a board or section of a dead branch and drill holes into the wood. Fill the holes with the peanut butter mix and watch the birds flock to it.

Tried and True Suet Treat
    •    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.

Birding Quick Hits

Blue Jays do Johnny Appleseed one better.  After the retreat of the last ice age, oak trees spread back north faster than might have been expected.  There is speculation that Blue Jays helped the process by caching acorns underground, some of which grew into new trees.