One of my favorite times of year is the spring songbird migration. I always make sure I have my special peanut butter home made suet ready, as well as the oranges, jelly, and nectar feeders. I try to get them out early so I can catch a glimpse of unusual visitors that I don't get to see otherwise. I have photos of various warblers, tanagers, and even northern parulas! One year I had several scarlet tanagers visiting for my suet. They are amazing little birds. Before I started putting out my suet, I'd see them pass through, but at the tops of the trees - so all I'd see were little tiny dots of bright red here and there.
My peanut butter suet recipe is as follows:
-In a microwave safe container, melt 1 cup of peanut butter (I use creamy, but you can use whatever consistency peanut butter you want) and 2 cups of white vegetable shortening until they are liquid. I set the microwave for three minutes but take the oil mix out every 30 seconds to stir it as it melts.
-Once melted, pour the fat mixture into a large mixing bowl.
-Next, start slowly spooning all purpose flour into the oil, mixing as you go adding a little bit of flour at a time. You will eventually need around 3 cups of flour, maybe more. Keep spooning and mixing flour into the oil until the batter begins to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
-At this point, the suet is soft and should be spreadable. I use my suet at this stage. I spoon it directly into suet cages and feeders, and sometimes spread the suet by hand on a tree trunk or log before it cools the rest of the way off and hardens. You can also spoon it into molds if you wish and set it aside to harden.
I've tried many kinds of suet over the years- from whole beef suet chunks, to putting out chunks of refined beef lard. There are pork fats that work too - I've even set out some forgotten duck fat that was in the back of the freezer. Many birds of many kinds love them all but by far, their favorite is this home made peanut butter suet that I make. It goes fast and they love it!
Also, check out our birdhouses and birdfeeders.
Greenwood Nursery Team