Bird Feeder Recipes
Bird enthusiasts can provide much more than the standard and commercially available treats that are purchased at pet stores and food markets. Once the basic likes and dislikes of bird species are known, it is very easy to put in some personal modifications to offer some variety to the invited birds. This would encourage more variety of visitor birds as well.
Suet is either pure fat or has high protein content and warm temperatures may cause them to soften. It is best to place suet in the shade. One alternative is to switch to a more dough-like consistency. This will attract many birds while ensuring that the suet will not melt or become rancid.
A no-melt suet recipe that is very ideal for summer has peanut butter, quick cook oats, white flour, suet or lard and cornmeal as its ingredients. One simply has to melt the suet and peanut butter and after which, all the other ingredients will be stirred in. More flour can be added if the mixture seems runny. The mixture will then be placed in small plastic margarine containers to about half full and then frozen. Once it is frozen, it should be removed from the container, wrapped and kept in the freezer to be taken out when needed.
A recipe for artificial nectar syrup for nectar feeders would require one part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water. It is not necessary to boil the water as microorganisms that causes fermentation does not come from the water. They are transported to the feeder through the bills of birds. The unused syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. This mixture approximates the average sucrose content of the flowers favored by North American Hummingbirds without being too sweet as to attract too many insects.
When distilled water is used instead of tap water, it would be prudent to add a pinch of sodium-free salt. Sugar should not be anything else than white. Artificial coloring, sweeteners and additives can kill the birds.
Refrain from putting in honey, brown sugar, raw sugar and red food coloring. Honey ferments rapidly while raw sugar, although refined in the same way as white sugar has not been removed of molasses and other non-sugar components. The effects of red dye have not been scientifically tested in relation to birds thus it need not be added especially since it is possible to attract birds without the red color.
Remember that most birds would eat regular food consumed by humans. When there is absolutely no time to prepare specially made treats for birds, foods such as breads, nuts, doughnuts, pancakes and cakes are relished by almost all species. Fruits, such as raisins and pieces of apple and pear are most welcome for fruit-eating birds.
Nothing beats natural food like fruits and flowers. Bird feeder owners should take the effort to plant the desired trees, shrubs, vines and flowers in the feeding station area. Flowers should be chosen for their ability to produce nectar. The nectar volume as well as the blossom shape influences the attractiveness of flowers.
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