Quick link to Recipe
(thanks to DavidSuzuki.org)
Each December, the urge to CREATE sweeps into our home. C looks forward to taking a few days off before Christmas to play in Santa’s Workshop.
This year the project idea came from a store-bought gift we’d given C’s mum this summer. It was a bird feeder – a Suet Log to be more specific. It’s just like a tree branch with holes drilled & filled with a suet mixture. The birds, especially the woodpeckers, flocked to her 3rd-floor deck. They LOVED it
The fellow at the store said many birds find their food inside the bark of trees, so these feeders attracted more birds than those looking for seeds. Customers had reported over 110 different varieties of birds using this feeder.
C had to make some himself. His Santa’s Workshop project plan was in place early.
All summer & fall, we put commercial ‘bark butter’ into Mum’s feeder each time we were at her apartment. After a while, the cost added up, so I figured it was time to try making the birdfeed from scratch, too.
A year or so ago Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary gave me instructions for pine cone bird feeders. They were stuffing homemade bird suet into open pine cones. The idea intrigued me. I figured the fat should work just as well inside the drilled holes of C’s logs as it would inside the pine cones. Although I came across those instructions this summer & put them ‘somewhere safe,’ do you think I could find them now?
In the end, I found a recipe from Garden Wise magazine that would do the trick.
Procuring most of the ingredients was straight forward. Peanut butter, dried fruit & breadcrumbs were already in the kitchen. I washed eggshells & stored them frozen until needed. The sunflower seed & millet was sourced in the bulk section at Buckerfields, a local feed store.
The rendered fat (suet) was a little tougher. I looked around for plain suet blocks that could be melted down & converted into this pliable recipe for the logs. Even on sale, these wouldn’t be cost-effective.
Once I’d collected all of the ingredients for our bird suet, it didn’t take long to put it all together.
For packaging, it was important to me not to be wasteful. So I decided on canning jars. I had lots of them, & they can be reused or recycled.
We’re pretty happy with the finished product. Now we’re waiting to see what kind of bird will be the first to find the new feeder in our garden.
Check out the recipe:
or there’s an easier option: