from the Northern Michigan Wildlife Rehabilitation Newsletter

For those of us who enjoy feeding the birds all year long, we thought you might like a few simple Bird Cake Recipes. Not only are these treats greatly appreciated during the cold winter months, but the birds (especially Woodpeckers) love these treats in the spring and summer when they're babies are being shown around the neighborhood. It's not unusual to see a mother bird fly over, grab a beakfull and share it with her offspring. Before you know it, the babies are just as eager to sample this new treat for themselves.

The one thing you never want to do though, is just put out peanut butter. Birds will choke on it! You always need to mix in some other seeds. We have listed some further suggestions at the bottom of this article. Have fun!

Bird Cake #1

    1 part Melted Beef Suet
    1 part Peanut Butter
    6 parts Cornmeal
Melt Suet then mix in Peanut Butter and Cornmeal. Spoon into paper-lined muffin tins and cool. Store in freezer till needed.

Bird Cake #2

   1 pound Suet in small pieces
   1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
   1 Cup Rolled Oats
   1 Cup Chunk-style Peanut Butter
   1 Cup mixed Wild Bird Seed
   1 Cup Sunflower Seed 
Melt suet over low flame. Stir in rest of ingredients to blend. Pour into paper-lined muffin tins. Chill until hardened. These may be frozen also.

Bird Cake #3

     2  Cups Bread Crumbs
     1  Handful Nuts (unsalted)
     3  Chopped Apples (seeds too!)
     2  Handfuls raisins
     1  Cup sugar
    1/4 Cup Cornmeal
    1/2 Pound  Ground Suet
    1/2 Cup Flour
     1  8 0z. Jar Peanut Butter
     1  Cup Wild Bird Seed
Mix ingredients and add enough bacon drippings to hold it all together. Shape into balls or press into pine cones. Freeze leftovers.

You may also make a simple Suet Feeder out of a milk carton. Just pour hot ingredients into the carton, let cool then cut the sides out. This is a fun project for the kids! Other ingredients that you can add or just set out on your feeder are: Ground eggs shells, fine gravel or sand (for grit), cheese, dry cereal, coconut (raw), cornbread, cracker crumbs, dog biscuits (chopped fine), ears of sweet corn and watermelon pulp. Don't forget the seeds from all of your veggies!

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