How to Make Wild Bird Food

How to Make Wild Bird Food
Attracting wild birds to your yard is a good way to learn how to identify local species, bird calls and bird behavior. This can help when you're trying to distinguish bird varieties out on the trail. Wild bird food can get expensive over a period of time, but can be made fairly cheaply. Use the freshest ingredients possible to get the most traffic to your feeders.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted peanuts 1/2 cup apples, pears, raisins or combination 2 cups bacon fat or peanut butter Small loaf pan or muffin tins Suet feeder
  • 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup apples, pears, raisins or combination
  • 2 cups bacon fat or peanut butter
  • Small loaf pan or muffin tins
  • Suet feeder
 
Step 1
Chop shelled nuts and fruit into fine, minced pieces. You can do this by hand or with a food processor. Smaller birds could possibly choke on larger bits of food, so grind the food well.
Step 2
Melt the fat or peanut butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on low heat until soft and in a fairly liquid state. You want to be able to mix in the fruit and nuts so the food is evenly distributed throughout the fat.
Step 3
Allow the fat or peanut butter to cool. If you're using bacon or beef fat, be careful--fat can get extremely hot when in a liquid state and can cause a serious burn. Cool to room temperature before the next step.
Step 4
Mix in seeds, fruit and nuts, using a wooden or metal spoon. Make sure the food is distributed evenly into the fat or nut butter base.
Step 5
Pour the mix into the loaf pan and set aside to cool until hardened completely.
Step 6
Take the food out of the loaf pan and slice off a piece that will fit into the suet cage.
Step 7
Place your homemade wild bird food into suet cage. When birds stop visiting the feeder, it's likely the food has started to go rancid and will need to be replaced.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Some people like to use a natural holder, such as a coconut hull, as a feeder. Add your food to the hull and hang from a tree in the yard. Other holders can include small yogurt containers or tin cans. Place a string in the middle of the container and pack the warm food around it. When the food hardens, tap the container away from the food and use the string for hanging.
 
Some people like to use a natural holder, such as a coconut hull, as a feeder. Add your food to the hull and hang from a tree in the yard.
 
Other holders can include small yogurt containers or tin cans. Place a string in the middle of the container and pack the warm food around it. When the food hardens, tap the container away from the food and use the string for hanging.

Article Written By Nikki Jardin

Nikki Jardin began freelance writing in 2009 and focuses on food and travel articles. She has been a professional cook and caterer for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in environmental science from Humboldt State University.

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