During colder months when insects and fresh berries are scarce, offering high-protein treats to your feathered friends gives them the energy needed to withstand inclement weather during the breeding season.
Peanut Butter Suet is a popular treat to provide, and a wide variety of wild birds enjoy it. The following quick and easy recipe will attract Bluebirds, Chickadees, Blue Jays, Titmice, Nuthatches, Wrens, Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Towhees, Warblers, and Thrushes.
Easy Peanut Butter Suet Recipe
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup lard or shortening
1 cup plain yellow cornmeal (not self-rising)
1 cup plain uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup plain flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Other dried fruits may be added or substituted. Chopped nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, or pecans may also be added for variety.
Melt together peanut butter and lard/shortening in a microwave. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, oats, flour, and dried fruit until well blended. Add more flour and/or cornmeal as needed to reach a crumbly consistency. Allow mixture to cool and harden. Scoop and roll into ¾” balls. Store in a covered container in the fridge or at room temperature.
Eastern bluebirds have addictive personalities and may overdo a good thing so take care not to overfeed. The Mosaic Birds Hummble Basic Bird Feeder is great to ensure your birds receive a healthy portion but are not overfed. While suet is a good source of quick energy, it is not a nutrient-rich food for long-term dietary needs. Offer in small portions in the AM and a bit more during bad weather when typical food sources are scarce.
If your Bluebirds need coaxing to come to a feeder, add a few mealworms or extra berries to the dish along with the suet to capture their attention and assist them in sampling their new snack.
Enjoy preparing your homemade suet and watching your feathered friends enjoying their treat!