Bird Cookies

We have TONS of birds and squirrels that eat at our bird feeders year round. Every winter solstice we have a tradition of making bird cookies. Just like decorating Christmas cookies, we decorate bird cookies which are apple and orange slices, slathered with sugar free peanut butter, dried fruits, and seeds. Usually there is a lot extra toppings and seeds from making bird cookies, I like to use leftovers from the bird cookies to make suet feeders. Suet is an excellent source of fat to give birds needed energy during the cold winter months. We hang the bird cookies and suet feeders outside for the winter birds and squirrels, the treats disappear very quickly.

Bird Cookies
*sunflower seeds
*bird seed mix
*dried orange slices and pieces
*peanut butter
*bamboo skewers (you need something to punch a small hole through the apple slices, a pencil could work as well)

Suet Feeders
*metal heart mold or alternative
*vegetable shortening or animal lard
*bird seed mix
*cranberries, almonds, dried orange slices, etc

Bird Cookies

Step 1: To make bird cookies, cut apples into circular slices; chop almonds, cranberries, and oranges into small pieces.

Step 2: Punch small holes into the apples and thread with string.

Step 3: Cover one side of an apple slice in peanut butter. Add toppings of your choice, make special designs such as faces, or just cover in seeds.

Suet Feeders

Step 1: To make suet feeders, lay half a strand of string into the mold, leaving a lop sticking out of the top. Fill the mold with seed and other ingredients of your choice.

Step 2: Melt vegetable shortening into a liquid form using the double broiler method on the stove top (I use a large pyrex measuring cup sitting in a hot bath of water).

Step 3: Place bird mix into the molds then pour vegetable shortening into the mold, fill to the top. Place suet in the freezer and let them sit for 2-3 hours.

Hang the bird cookies and suet feeders outside on trees. Watch and see what birds come to the feeder.

Curiosities- Feeding Birds
*The seeds that attract the greatest number of bird species are black-oil sunflower seeds. Black-oil sunflower seeds are popular with most birds because they have a high meat to shell ratio and are easy to crack open as they have thin shells.
*Peanut butter and suet attract insect eating birds like woodpeckers and nuthatches.
*Thistle seed attracts birds in the finch family such as pine siskins.
*Peanuts and mealworms can be fed to birds, the blue jays in my yard love peanuts.
Why should you feed birds in winter?
Feeding birds in the winter increases their winter survival rate. Feeder fed birds are in better physical condition at the end of winter than those without assess to a bird feeder. Feeding birds can help them survive through tough times in their lives such as after a harsh winter, when they are young adults, or birds living in habitats lacking abundant food sources (source).



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