The “Sibley Guide to Birds” Is Going On Sale – Soon!

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Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in bird food, Bird Identification, Bird Preservation, Bird Watching Tips, Events, Field Guides | Posted on 22-11-2013

©PowellsBooks
Author David Sibley

A Date to Watch! March 11, 2014. That’s when the long-awaited second edition of The Sibley Guide to Birdsgoes on sale. The second addition too approximately two and a half years to complete, from start to finish.

According to the publisher, almost every aspect of the book has undergone a remarkable makeover. Dozens of species have been added, most paintings have been revised, and hundreds of new paintings have been created. Maps have been updated, fonts have been tweaked, illustrations enlarged.

Author David Sibley is a Bird Watcher, whose useful ID tips and beautiful artwork appear in his books.

Sibley stated, “There have been many printings, but the only real change was a couple of errors corrected in the fourth printing. (The second and third printings were rolled together and happened just after the book went on sale, so I had no chance to make changes until the fourth.)

 

About David Sibley

Artist David Sibley is the author of Sibley’s Birding Basics (2002), field guides to the birds of eastern and western North America (2003), and The Sibley Guide to Trees (2009) as well as The Sibley Guide to Birds (2000). He is the illustrator and a co-author of The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior (2001). He’s been one of our contributing editors since 2007. He writes and illustrates the column “ID Toolkit” in every issue.

According to Sibley, there were a lot of many different sources of information were involved in the acknowledgments for the project. A few people took the time to write detailed critiques of the first edition, and those were very helpful, and quite a few people have emailed Sibley with specific suggestions or pointing out errors.

There are some changes that have taken place from the first addition. The way the text was arranged in one of the changes that you will see in his new book. Other changes, such as: the fonts, designs , aesthetics, and such like. He stated that other things are decided after lots of thought, consideration, and some discussion.

We look forwarding to viewing the second addition of the Sibley series and we hope that Bird Lovers from all across America will love it too!

Special notice to:  http://www.birdwatchingdaily.com

 

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DIY Backyard Peanut Butter Bird Feeder

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Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in bird food, Bird Preservation | Posted on 08-09-2013

Hey Bird Lovers! “Batman” Ken and I started getting some ideas on how to set up a peanut butter bird feeder to enhance the birds experience in our backyard network. We saved the tops off of the Simply Orange orange juice bottles to help us with our project. As you will be able to view the photos below, you’ll find that this is an easy way to make your own bird feeder to hold the treats your backyard birds love to eat!

 

©TheBackyardNetwork

First of all, you want to screw the orange juice caps to the 1 x 4. The 1 x 4 will be the base to hold the caps and to screw to your wooden fence, or another contraption that you may come up with! Just using a simple cordless drill and some screws will hold this thing together. Just make sure that your screws are short enough as to not go all the way through the board. We only want the screws to secure the caps which will hold that yummy meal worm peanut butter which your birds are gonna love! We gAronteeeeeee!

 

 

 

 

Now that you have that all together, your next step is to install the feeder on your wooden fence, or any other stand-alone unit you want to mount this to. Anything will do and you don’t have to screw the tar out of it to get it to mount. Anywhere from 2-3 screws should be sufficient. That’s “Batman” Ken in the photo. He’s one of the hosts of The Backyard Network Radio Program. He is quite the handy man!

 

 

 

 

 

Great Job! Now here comes the fun part. Mixing the good stuff that your backyard wildbirds will absolutely enjoy! In this mix, we used organic peanut butter mixed with dried meal worms. Sounds pretty nasty to you and me, but the birds love this kind of bird feed. Bird feeders can hold all kinds of great mix. If you don’t like this one, then just used your imagination and let the food source rip. Just make sure that you don’t confuse this peanut butter with YOUR peanut butter. You’d really be in for a big surprise on the next peanut butter and jelly sandwich you made. LOL!!!

 

 

 

 

Last, but not least you want to apply your peanut butter mixture into the orange juice lids on your bird feeder. If you make it a bit thicker, then it will hold a bit better. You can also put a piece of wood under the back bottom of the feeder, which will kick the bottom out a bit and guarantee that your mix will not drip out. Once that it done you are finished. You have now built, installed and stocked your very own DIY Peanut Butter Bird Feeder. Don’t worry, the birds will clean out your feeder in no time. So be sure to keep some extra mix handy. You’ll be glad you did!!

 

 

 

 

Gary Freeman aka “The Birdhouse Guy” hails from Cheyenne Wyoming. He is a bird watcher and backyard enthusiast who has a weekly radio program, along with Co-Host “Batman” Ken, which can be heard every Saturday Morning from 8 – 9am CST on AM 1480 KRAE or FM 94.7 KRAE and on the internet at www.1480krae.com. He can also be reached on Facebook right here: Birdhouse Guy or on Twitter right here: TheBirdhouseGuy

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Happy 1st Year Anniversary: The Backyard Network Radio Show!

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Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, bat houses, Bird Behavior, bird food, Bird Identification, birdhouses, Events, Uncategorized | Posted on 03-08-2013

It was August 2nd, 2013 when The Backyard Network Radio Show premiered on 1480 KRAE in Cheyenne Wyoming.

We just want to say that we appreciate our listeners and sponsors and the station management who have all helped to make this radio program a success, both on the local radio station AM 1480/ FM 94.7 KRAE and on the internet at The Backyard Network Radio Show Online!

For those of you that are not aware of the program, your hosts, The Birdhouse Guy & Batman Ken talk about everything from birding, wild bird food, bird feeding, backyard landscape designs, bird identification and bird cavities. They also explore the facts and fiction of having bats and birds involved with natural insect control and pollination. Butterflies, flowers, bird houses, plants, bushes, brush piles, binoculars, and much much more. Plus your phone calls when you call the show from 8 – 9 am  MST/ 10 – 11am EST every Saturday. They also have an occasional guest from all walks of life to educate and explore the ways to help you build your entire backyard network.

Thank you again as we celebrate our 1st anniversary on the radio and internet. We hope you will tell a friend and share your experiences with us on your great adventures that happen in your yard!

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Wild Birds And Ashes: A Great Relationship!

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Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, Bird Behavior, bird food, Bird Preservation, Bird Seeds | Posted on 15-03-2013

(©KyleLake)

Interestingly enough, there are some very strange relationships in our world. These are the types of relationships that supersede what we may deem as “normal.” It is no different in the wild bird kingdom. Feeding birds has always been a fairly popular past time for many people. Bird food of all kinds is at an all time high with the hobby of birding being ranked at about #2 on the charts.

Some of the foods that may really surprise you are numerous. Ranging from the Anna’s Hummingbird sand, to the Rufous Hummingbirds soil, to brown lemming bones which are a treat to the Arctic Sandpipers, there are all types of bird food that you and I may deem peculiar. If you have been camping, or are planning to soon, you may find some unexpected visitors at the remains of your bonfire the night before. No, I’m not talking about some wanderer looking for a piece of hot dog that fell in the fire, but I’m talking about wild birds ranging from Hummingbirds, to Wild Turkey’s to even an occasional Chickadee.

(SongbirdGarden.com)

Chickadees, Crossbills and Turkeys have been seen consuming ashes along with Hummingbirds, which usually can be found licking the powdery stuff from the surface of an old fire. This may sound VERY strange considering a Hummingbirds diet consists mainly of an overload of liquid. A typical Hummingbird will consume almost twice its own weight in nectar and urinates about 80 percent of its weight. That would be like you and I urinating about 20 gallons of liquid per day. WOW! That is a lot of liquid isn’t it?

(©Flicker.com)

A biologist from Alta Loma California, James des Lauriers, has noted that ashes are loaded with calcium and this is what is needed especially after a Hummingbird finishes laying her eggs, which are composed of calcium carbonate. So this depletion causes her to want more calcium. How to remedy this? Throw some egg shells out and watch the song birds and wild bird have at it. Ashes are loaded with calcium. Wood ashes produces a specific kind of lime rendering about 3/4 of calcium oxide. The ash also renders a good amount of sodium oxide as well. One observation showed that after a hummingbird laid her eggs, she went after the calcium found in the ashes.

As you may know, the mortar and brick on some of your houses also inhabit a certain amount of calcium that will attract other song birds such as the finches in your yard. All the bird seed in the world may not stop their activities of gnawing on your chimney’s, but egg shells may help to detour their activity.

I don’t want you to feel like you have to produce piles of ashes in your backyard network in order to help meet the need of these feathered calcium seekers. Egg shells will help to do the job after you sterilize them. Let the egg shells boil for about 10 minutes or you can put them on a baking sheet in your oven set at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes or so. Then crush the shells into small bits and scatter them about your observation points and patios. You can even mix them in with your wild bird seed in your backyard bird feeders.

I hope this will help you in your quest to make your backyard network the very BEST that it can be. For more information on how you can acquire tips and supplies for your backyard, simply visit: The Birdhouse Outlet or Edible Bird Feeders!

Happy Birding!!!

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Bird Feeding Stations ~ Healthy And Clean!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in bird food, Bird Preservation, birdhouses | Posted on 12-05-2011

(©H.WilliamTetlow/GettyImages)

(©H.WilliamTetlow/GettyImages)

Now that we are in full swing with our wild bird feeding stations and artificial cavities, it’s a good time to be thinking about how to maintain a clean and healthy area for your bird feeding station. Whether you have installed tube bird feeders or a wood bird feeder housing your wild bird feed, good area beautification and feeder maintenance is always a plus! Let’s take a look at some of the things that we can do to keep a healthy and clean bird feeding station.

Give Hanging Feeders A Good Shake Before Refilling: If bird feed or other bird seed like thistle and the like is compacted in the bottom, pour it out and thoroughly clean up your bird feeder. You can use anything from a spoon and spatula which is perfect for removing old seed from your platform, tube bird feeders and hopper feeders before refilling.

To Clean Bird Feeders, Remove All Old Seed: There is a nice skill to this one. Simply soak feeders in a light water/ bleach solution – 9 parts water to 1 part bleach and scrub well. You can use a bottle brush to clean tube feeders. After the cleaning, simply rinse and allow to dry thoroughly before refilling. This is big in glass bird feeders as well.

Contamination Issues : To avoid contamination, limit ground-feeding directly below the hanging bird feeders and/ or perches as well. Be sure to frequently rotate ground- feeding areas as well.

Rake Up Time: As you well know, when wild birds begin to really “dig in” at your feeding station, husks and hulls from the bird seed will accumulate below your wild bird feeding area. You want to keep an eye on this and ensure that you rake and remove these hulls and droppings. In the stead of these, after the raking is complet, simply spread bark or wood mulch below the bird feeders. These areas become highly soiled and the need to replace with new mulch is a must when endeavoring to keep and maintain a healthy and clean bird feeding station.

Weatherproof Feeders: Whether you live in the south where it can be extremely humid, or in the north west where the climate is soggy and wet, be attentive to what you weather situations are in your neck of the woods. In humid or wet conditions, you should consider only feeding from weatherproof feeders. You need to check frequently for mold. There are a few ways to prevent this. One is to only put out as much wild bird feed as will be eaten in one day. The other idea is that you can pick up some products on the market that can be put in the feeder, with the bird feed, that will control the mold content in the feeder. Please be attentive to this as it can make your birds sick and or they will not return to that feeder.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Personal Hygiene: Last, but not least, take care of YOU!! Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands, with soap and warm water, after handling and cleaning your bird feeders. This will help stop the propagation or spreading of potential disease that may be hidden in your feeder.

We hope great success for you and your avian friends this season as you feed and build up your backyard network. As of this writing, we are building a bird sanctuary with feeders, flowers, trails, artificial bird cavities, pond and brush piles. I hope to post some cool pictures of before and after when we complete this. Have fun, be safe and don’t forget your sun screen!

For more information on bird feeders and bird seed, visit www.wildlife-houses.com Happy Birding!

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We’re Glad You Asked!!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in bird food, wildlife | Posted on 09-02-2010

Rencently I had someone ask me about the feeding frenzie at their local feeder! Activity at the feeder, whether you are a bird, deer, fish or HUMAN, the behavior before a storm, whether conscious of it or not, tends to result in eating. We are thankful for the inquiry, as this gives opportunity to share great information on our feathered friends that like to hang out and EAT in your neck of the woods.

Enjoy – The Birdhouse Guy!cold bird

 

Q: Filled hummer feeder Sunday-it’s already half gone! what’s up? do they feed more before storms? babies? never happened before?

 

A: The increased number of birds at your feeder at this time of year during or before a storm likely pertains to migrating birds that have been forced to stop en route. Warm weather in the NE recently may have coaxed such birds as White-Throated and Song Sparrows north. Blackbirds such as Red-Winged and Common Grackles are also moving north. Stopping at feeders is a logical place to feed and wait it out until the winds again become favorable to their journey.

Insects seem to become more agitated as the atmospheric pressure drops before a storm; when the pressure is high on a “nice” day they move about more lazily and are easier to approach.

In addition, ‘many birds store food and have exceptional spatial memory to relocate it, even a month later.’ (from the on-line resource, Birds of North America)

Other interesting facts: 

  • Generally birds need more food in cold weather. Small birds need relatively more food than larger ones, and they generally eat smaller items, so they are more likely to be affected by a blizzard. A small bird’s survival may depend on how well it can conserve energy during a storm. A chickadee, for instance, will increase its feeding intensity during cold weather.
  • In general larger birds cope with the cold better than smaller birds.
  • Did you know that individuals of a species living in colder regions tend to be larger than individuals living in warmer areas!
    The Birdhouse Guy!

    The Birdhouse Guy!

* For more information on how you can help house and feed birds, whether local or migratory, visit: www.wildlife-houses.com

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BIRD SUET RECIPES ~ Made Easy Pt.2!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in bird food, Suet bird food | Posted on 02-12-2009

Miracle Meal recipe with variations

  • 1 lb. lard
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 5-6 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup dried currants

Warm lard to room temp, mix with peanut butter and currants (or finely chopped raisins).

Birds Love Suet!

Birds Love Suet!

Add flour and cornmeal until consistency of course pie dough.

May be divided into small plastic bags and frozen until needed. Not mentioned in the article is the addition of any nuts, coconut, dried fruit on hand which has been practically pulverized in processor. Note: Another recipe  called Miracle Meal calls for :

  • 4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lard, melted suet, or grease
  • 1 tsp. corn oil
  • Sunflower hearts, peanut hearts, chopped soaked raisins.

Melt lard and stir in sunflower and peanut hearts and raisins. Mix in corn oil, cornmeal and flour. Let this set up, and then cut into chunks. NOTE: If it comes out sandy, pour more melted lard over it so it will crumble or you can shape it into balls.

All Season Peanut Butter Pudding

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup lard (no substitutes)
  • 1 cup white/wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Melt lard and peanut butter. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into plastic freezer containers or forms (use previously purchased plastic suet containers). Freeze or refrigerate until use (if use is intended within a week – otherwise freeze). You can also add various dried fruit and sunflower “meats” to this basic recipe during winter months for woodpeckers, finches, and other grosbeaks of all varieties. Expect squirrel problems with this nutty, intoxicating stuff…hang the pudding in an “upside down” feeder, or location you can provide some squirrel patrol. Double or triple the receipt, but don’t forget to use heavy duty utensils, this stuff is thick and heavy.

* For more information on suet ingredients or if you’d rather purchase suet rather than make your own, check out the variety of different suet and feeders at:  http://www.wildlife-houses.com/index.php?cPath=17&osCsid=5ebadce31f27bd7df53d0e27e512dd44

The Birdhouse Guy!

The Birdhouse Guy!

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Tube Bird Feeder vs. Hopper Bird Feeder: Which Is Better?

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, bird food, wildlife | Posted on 09-11-2009

When considering a tube feeder or a hopper feeder, one is not necessarily better than the other. Hopper feeders, because of their ease of access to the seed, tend to attract a larger variety of birds. This sometimes include grackles, which can wipe out a supply of seed in a hurry. Tube feeders tend to discourage larger species. If grackles are a problem try using a tube feeder, maybe even shortening the perch. This will often leave the tube feeder available for finches, nuthatches and other smaller species. No matter what type of feeder that you choose, there are a few basic facts to consider.

 1.  Wooden parts of feeders should be made of weather-resistant cedar or be stained or painted to protect against moisture.

2.   Feeders should be easy to clean.

3.   Plastic feeders should be reinforced with metal around the feeding ports to discourage squirrels. Perches should be metal or a replaceable dowel.

4.   Look for durable construction to provide you and your birds years of enjoyment.        

Hopper Bird Feeder

Hopper Bird Feeder

Here are a few differences between the two feeders that may be helpful to you, when selecting the right type of feeders for the birds that inhabit your area or that you wish to attract to yer neck of the woods.

 

Hopper Feeders: There are a lot of different styles, but the basic style looks like a barn, gazebo or covered bridge:

  • Hopper feeders hold a lot of seed, eliminating the need to fill them daily.
  • The lift-off roofs make them easy to refill
  • The sides are usually panels of Plexiglas, so you can see when the feeder needs a refill of seed.
  • Hopper feeders can be pole-mounted or hung from a tree limb or hook
  • Look for a hopper feeder that can be disassembled and cleaned.
  • Any type of bird feed can be used in a hopper feeder.
  • Small and large birds such as doves, jays, grosbeaks, cardinals and woodpeckers can land and feed comfortably 

 

Tube Bird Feeder

Tube Bird Feeder

Tube Feeders long cylinders with perches at the feeding ports. Tube feeders are available in upside-down and seed tray models:

  • Tube feeders discourage squirrels.
  • Tube feeders are usually used for small woodland birds like chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, nuthatches and finches
  • Tube feeders usually have holes large enough for sunflower seeds to fit through. Some tube feeders are made especially for tiny thistle or niger seeds.
  • Make sure there is no dead space at the bottom port. Seed can collect, rot and mold.
  • The perches on tube feeders are small and discourage large birds such as cardinals, blue jays, grackles, blackbirds and doves.

  

Birdhouse Guy

Birdhouse Guy

*For more information on tube bird feeders and hopper bird feeders, simply visit: www.wildlife-houses.com.

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Bird Feeder Frustrations ~ Where have all the birds gone?

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Attract Local Birds, bird food, wildlife | Posted on 27-10-2009

One of the most frustrating things can be the purchase of a bird or wildlife feeder and nothing seems to bite. This can be a question of all of us, “Where in the World did all the Birds Go?” “Why aren’t they nipping at my feeders and inhabiting my birdhouse?” I  hope these facts will help alleviate some of the frustration and discouragement that many face after their feeder has been installed. Hang in there all, the birds will return.

 

Each fall and winter Massachusetts Audubon Society receives a number of calls from concerned citizens asking, in essence: “Where have all the birds gone?” Where there were once a lot of birds in the yard or at feeders, now there are almost none. How come? Unless there has been a significant change in the immediate area of a feeder, or in the local habitat, the answer will usually be explained by population dynamics. Populations of all songbirds are subject to natural fluctuations from year to year.nature021 These are usually associated with widespread success or failure during the breeding season, which in turn is related to weather, food supply, predators, and other conditions.                                                                                                                                               

BIRD POPULATIONS VARY WITH THE SEASONS
Many people are under the impression that the birds they see in their yards from day to day are, like the trees and shrubs, constant elements. In fact, however, bird populations are extremely dynamic. For instance, there are some years when most, if not all, of the summering chickadees, Blue Jays, and other “resident” birds are replaced by a different wintering population. Because individuals of a species look pretty much the same, shifts in feeding birds usually go unnoticed except when concentrations become unusually large or when the out-going visitors are not immediately replaced by a new group of hungry customers.

When struck by a worrisome disappearance of birds in the early fall, people may start searching nearby woodlots and their fears are confirmed. Where recently the woods were full of songful birds there is now a pall of silence and inactivity. This too is completely normal. Except for unusually loquacious species such as mockingbirds, bird song essentially ceases by late summer. Because bird song is such an integral part of our outdoor experience, on a nice day in September we often fail to notice its absence unless we’re listening for it. Once they have left their breeding territories, birds tend to coalesce into feeding flocks, and it is not unusual for extensive sections of the landscape to be birdless when such a flock or flocks are elsewhere. There is nothing alarming about a prolonged silence in the depths of an autumn forest.

BIRDS FIND FOOD IN THE WILD
Wild foods include berries, weed seeds, mast (acorns and other nuts), and invertebrate sources such as lace bug larvae. These foods are subject to fluctuating availability both seasonally and from year to year. Birds will concentrate in regions where wild foods are particularly plentiful, thus leaving areas where there is less bounty. The availability of food in the wild will affect the number of winter residents, for example, if there is a poor mast crop in Massachusetts, Blue Jays will migrate farther south to where natural foods are more abundant. When Massachusetts experiences an unusually open winter in the early part of the season, the fields remain open, and the weed seeds are available to seedeaters, especially Dark-eyed Juncos and Tree Sparrows.

FALL WEATHER INFLUENCES WINTER POPULATIONS
Weather during the fall migration period is another factor that determines which birds will winter in Massachusetts. Some understanding of the mechanics of bird migration helps explain this relationship. Although we all recognize that the general trend of bird migration in the fall is southward, it is probably less well known that there is a significant movement of mostly immature birds that fly north in the fall. Apparently birds take their directional cues from the weather, and when a strong spring-like flow of warm southwest wind is the dominant weather pattern, they fly north. Most of these misguided waifs eventually move south, but if the northward movement has taken place late in the season and the internal drive to migrate has lessened, then they may spend the winter in the inhospitable northland, some to perish, some to survive. The number of Brown Thrashers and Northern Orioles, etc., that linger is almost solely dependent upon the weather influences of the late fall.

FEEDER FRUSTRATIONS
Many who ask “where are the birds?” have just put up their feeders for the season or for the first time ever. No flocks have descended. The feeders remain full of seed. Even the cardinals that nested in the yard haven’t come. The worried birdwatcher becomes suspicious that the bird seed is at fault, undertakes a thorough cleaning of the feeders, replacing the seed or even buying brand new. It is normal for weeks or even months to elapse before birds recognize and frequent a new feeding station. There are some considerations in the placement of a feeder which will affect the number of birds which will use it. Proximity to a sheltered staging area such as a bush provides for quick escape from predators and increases feeder visitation.

Finally, day to day visitation at a feeder may be influenced by neighborhood predators. Birds make themselves scarce when threatened by predators such as cats and hawks. It is not uncommon for a sharp-shinned hawk to frequent a feeding station while there are abundant birds there as easy prey. This is usually a temporary situation, if the birds are scared away the hawk will soon move on to other territory. For more information on feeders refer to the Massachusetts Audubon Society publication “Attracting Birds with Food.” Feeding birds is an increasingly popular winter activity, therefore it is possible that there is local competition for birds at backyard bird feeding stations. We encourage people to persist in their efforts and, as always, patience will be rewarded.

(*Special Thanks To the Mass Audubon Society)

***For more information on edible birdhouses, feed and wild life room and board products, simply visit www.wildlife-houses.com or if you have questions, please contact me at freedomenterprises@bresnan.net  Happy Birding!

The Birdhouse Guy!

The Birdhouse Guy!

 

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BIRD SUET CAKE RECIPES ~ The Easy Way!!

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in bird food, Suet bird food, wildlife | Posted on 16-10-2009

For those of you getting ready for winter and wanting to try your hand at “home made” suet, here are some recipes that you may want to put together that would we yer local birdies whistle. As mentioned in the other article, birds love suet and it provides some good energy during those cold, winter months. Enjoy yourself as you put these together and make good suet like “mom used to make”.

Here are some folks that have steped out and have shared their successful recipes.       recipe-book-cover14

Bluebird Banquet (Linda Janilla Peterson)©

· MIX 1 cup peanut butter

· 4 cups yellow cornmeal

· 1 cup unbleached or whole-wheat flour

· ADD 1 cup fine sunflower seed chips

· 1 cup peanut hearts (or finely ground nuts)

· 1/2-1 cup Zante currants (or raisins cut in halves, or chopped dried cherries)

· DRIZZLE and STIR IN 1 cup rendered, melted suet

Cool.

Resulting mix will be crumbly and should have bean/pea sized lumps from the drizzling of the melted suet. If too sticky after cooling, mix in a bit more flour. If too dry, drizzle in more melted suet. Refrigerate any mix you are not using to prevent suet from turning rancid.

You can use a commercial pure bird suet cake, or render your own suet. Grind or cube butcher store suet. Melt over low heat. Watch carefully as suet is a fat and can start on fire with too high heat. A microwave can be used. Strain out the stringy bits (cracklings). Cool.

NOTE: This mixture is very popular with bluebirders. Some say you can use solid shortening in place of the suet and it works fine. You may want to double up on the amount of suet if the recipe is too crumbly.

Nutritional analysis: Protein 12.7%, Carbohydrates 45.9%, Fat 32.7%, Fiber 5.9%

High Protein Bluebird Suet Mix (Dan McCue)

  • 10 lbs of yellow corn meal with 5 lbs of plain flour.
  • Melt about 7 cups of lard and 3 cups of crunchy peanut butter.

Pour liquid mixture gradually over the dry mixture (ingredients), blending it and adding more liquid until it reaches a fairly firm consistency.

  • Add raisins, cracked peanuts, crushed eggshells, too.

Pack the mixture into pans (or wooden container) lined with wax paper so the depth of the mixture will fit your feeder. Place in freezer until firm (about 45 to one hour), cut with knife or pizza cutter to fit in your feeder, and place back into freezer until hard. Break apart the strips (about one inch thick x 1 1/2 inch wide x 6 inches long.) and place into gallon freezer baggies. return to freezer until needed. This should make about enough for a year. This sounds like a lot of work but you only do it once a year!! You will have flickers, all types of woodpeckers, as well as bluebirds. A friend of mine in McKenzie , TN has a photo that won a national wildlife award, showing 7 bluebirds all feeding off the same feeder in one picture. This was the recipe he uses. Oh, yes, you can save money by going to your local feed store for your corn meal. I buy up peanut butter when on sale or at these wholesale ‘bent & dent’ stores.

*(Special thanks to Sialis.com) *

The Birdhouse Guy!

The Birdhouse Guy!

***If you really don’t want to make suet and would rather purchse it, simply visit: http://bit.ly/37mzF9 or if you have any questions concerning the topic of suet or wildlife, contact me at: wildlifehouses@yahoo.com .

Happy Birding!

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