Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Please, Feed the Birds

It gets really cold, snowy and windy in this lovely state of Iowa.

Because of our harsh winter weather, I like to feed the birds and other furry critters.

However, the antics of these two delinquents is not exactly what I have in mind:

This morning I read the forecast for 3-6 inches of snow, so I refilled all the bird feeders. Today is the day they will load up on calories to help them keep warm when the snow flies tomorrow, and our temps hit the deep freeze on Thursday and Friday. Feeding the birds can be as easy or complex as you'd like. A board or piece of cardboard on the ground makes a great place to dump a scoop of sunflower seeds. Many of the birds that hang out in Iowa during the winter like to eat off the ground and love sunflower seeds. (So do the squirrels.)

I recently made a batch of homemade suet for my feathered friends. It's super easy to make and young children would love to help stir this up.

Superb Suet Cakes
1 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 c. water
1 c. sunflower seeds, cracked corn, or wild birdseed
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. raisins

Mix everything in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir.
Layer in a square container to match the size of square suet feeders, separating layers with waxed paper. Cover and freeze until solid. If you don't have a square suet feeder (see mine in the picture, hanging above the deer), freeze in a 2 cup plastic bowl. When frozen, place the suet in a mesh bag (like clementines or oranges come in) and hang outside. 

It's really fun to do backyard bird watching in the winter, and the critters will be so grateful they'll show up often to see what's for lunch.

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