Friday, December 13, 2013

Food for the Birds

The wild birds are always visiting the Back Forty Garden and Park although we have never made an effort to feed them but we try very hard to provide a safe place for them.

I don't wish for the birds to become dependent on our feeding them because we are not always going to be here and feed them on a regular basis.

The birds seem to have enough natural foods available for them with a variety of seeds, fruit, insects, and grub.  They don't bother the garden, not even the sunflowers.

The cardinals are my favorite birds because they mate for life.  What a commitment!  The bright red male is so protective of his mate.  He seems to be scanning the area to check if it is safe for her to join him.

If you live in a cold climate and want to feed the birds, here are a couple of recipes that kids may even want to create:

Melt two (2) cups of Crisco or any other fat such as bacon grease and add three (3) cups each of cornmeal, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds.  Place in a container and when cool, remove from the container and place in your bird feeder.

The following is another recipe that does not involve any heating of fat.  Here it goes:

Collect a few pine cones and fill them with peanut butter and roll them in oats, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds.  At this time of the year, tie bright red ribbons around the pine cones and hang them up in the trees.

It is easy to make your own suet balls or squares by using Crisco or any other fat from your cooking.  Rolled oats, cornmeal, dried and crumbled bead will adhere nicely to the fat.  Furthermore, chopped nuts (crush them with your rolling pin or a hammer but use a towel to catch the bits and pieces) and chopped raisins fill out the making of the suet balls or squares.  Sometimes food is hard to find in real cold weather so our winged messengers will love the extra food for them.

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