By Capilano resident Terri Lynn Perron - Wildlife Biologist & Master Naturalist for the City of Edmonton
Last month my toddler said at the breakfast table “Bacon is perfect!” Many folks, particularly of the male persuasion, would agree that there are two ingredients that make just about any food delicious: butter (fat) and bacon. Many birds also agree.
Terri’s Favorite Summer Suet Recipe:
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup bacon drippings or lard
2 cups oats
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat or white flour
Melt the fat and peanut butter at low heat on the stove top. Stir in the other ingredients. (I also throw in cracker crumbs, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds or cheerios that are “littering” my pantry shelves). If the mixture seems runny, add more flour. Cool the mixture till it feels like stiff cookie dough. Roll into large balls, wrap with tinfoil and store in the freezer till needed. Hang the suet balls in an old onion bag close to a tree trunk as most birds that like suet are cling feeders (they cling to trees in search of insects). Suet mainly attracts nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens, creepers, kinglets, chickadees, as well as bluebirds.
Now is also the time to clean out bird feeders. Dirty bird feeders can harbor mold and bacteria from spoiled seed, feces or diseased birds. These can easily spread to other birds in the communal feeding area. Cleaning and disinfecting (mild bleach solution) bird feeders is an easy way to avoid spreading diseases among birds. Happy birding!