Saturday, December 4, 2010

Celebrating the Season; For the Birds

The holiday season has officially begun, and i find myself trying hard to embrace it. We do not celebrate on just one day of the month, we celebrate the actual season. One of my favorite traditions is putting out gifts for the wildlife. In the past we have made bird houses/feeder out of old milk cartons and made birdseed pinecones. The Birdseed seed pinecones is an easy craft for the kids. You just spread peanut butter on your pinecones and then roll them in birdseed. Attach a cord to the top and hang them in your trees. We Also usually put out a feeding table with fresh/dried fruits, seeds and nuts.

Yesterday i filled all of our bird feeder and made up some vegetarian suet/style cakes. i searched online for a 'vegetarian bird suet' recipe. i found a bunch here and then put together my own using suggestions from a couple of the recipes.

Homemade Birdseed Cakes.

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup cornmeal or cracked corn

1 cup bird seed/sunflower hearts/oiled sunflower seeds

1 cup whole wheat flour

* When using cornmeal and whole Wheat flour make sure it is NOT self rising, and does NOT contain baking soda.

Optional ingredients: chopped raisins, dried blueberries or cranberries.

Heat 1/2 cup vegetable shortening and peanut butter in a saucepan until melted. Add other ingredients and stir well until mixed.
Line an 8x8 pan with tin foil, and grease with shortening. Pour your seed mix into pan, and place in freezer till set.

After an hour or so, once set, you can cut into 4 blocks and use in a suet feeder.

Store the unused blocks in freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap/wax paper or in a freezer container.

My bird feeder has a built in suit holder on each side.

During the winter months, we offer these gifts to the bird and in return they bless us with the gift of color during the dark gray days of winter. Some common birds we see at our feeders during the winter are Gold finch, Purple finch, Cardinals, Blue jays, nut hatch, Titmice, chickadees, Pine-siskin, sparrows, Juncos and Wood peckers. We occasionally get a few others that are passing through, and stop for a snack.

During this season of giving, we like to give back to the birds and wildlife. Birds provide us with simple enjoyment, natural pest control and they help to disperse seeds. Providing them with food during the harsh days of winter is just one way for us to thank them.


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