Friday, March 1, 2013

DIY Suet Wreath


Male and Female Downy Woodpeckers
Tufted Titmouse
I recently conducted a class for the Master Gardener chapter that I'm a member of on making bird-feeders utilizing natural sources, recycled materials and re-purposed items. Of course the best bird-feeder is what nature provides: nuts, seeds and fruit from native trees, shrubs and wildflowers (and native insects)... Here's my hand-out for my "bird" talk I give:  Creating a Bird Garden

But - this class was all about creating bird-feeders and I came up with a few originals and I experimented with several I found on the Internet. For this DIY suet wreath, here the link to one of the best tutorials I found: Create a Suet Bird Seed Wreath

I've been making my own suet for years and I am sure the birds prefer my homemade version over a purchased suet cake... In fact, I've never had a bluebird visit a suet feeder at my property unless it contained my homemade recipe! In addition to coating pine-cones with my suet mixture, I've been experimenting with some other options to offer this food supplement. Here's my recipe and the link to what I've came up with so far... DIY Suet Feeders


Suet Recipe
1 cup lard  ~ You can render your own suet from beef fat (it's an all day process), but I prefer purchasing lard, which is pork fat.
1 cup chunky peanut butter
Melt the lard and peanut butter together, then add:
3 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
4 cups birdseed

For the suet wreath, I added the following to the basic suet recipe:
1 package unflavored Knox gelatin dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water

Add the prepared suet mixture to a greased Bundt pan. I also picked up a helpful tip from the tutorial above and added a wire ring insert. - Place half of the suet mixture into the pan, add the wire ring, then the remaining suet. Pack the mixture down thoroughly into the pan with the back of a metal spoon. Refrigerate overnight. Allow the wreath the return to room temperature and it should be easy to remove from the pan. I added braided strips of burlap to use as a hanger. This wreath holds up much longer than you would expect and the wire ring insert helps to keep it from falling apart.

Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse


Outdoor Wednesday
I'd Rather B Birdn'
Wild Bird Wednesday
Nature Notes




26 comments:

  1. Fabulous! I made the other suet recipe you posted and the birds are loving it. I will try this one too because the recipes I've tried in years past for hanging type suet always fall apart.

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  2. What a great recipe. Thank you for this. I'm going to make it as soon as I can.

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  3. Thank you so much!!! We just moved to a fabulous place in the country and my daughter (9) is obsessed with feeding 'her' birds. We have some fantastic birds that come in to our feeders. I think they would absolutely love this! (as we speak, I'm looking out over our yard and seeing 3 types of woodpeckers, cardinals, blue birds, tufted titmouse, chickadees, robins, eastern meadowlarks, and a ton of others that I have yet to identify.)

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  4. Great post,especially the suet wreath. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  5. Cool, a great recipe! I love feeding my birds, they would probably love having this homemade suet. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. A suet wreath!!!! What a stylish way to feed the feathered friends. You always come up with some of the niftiest ideas. I just put out some suet blocks from your recipe. They're crazy over it.

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  7. We can't put bird food out...the bears love it!!!

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  8. What a GREAT idea!!!! LOVE this!

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  9. The birds really like that creation of yours!

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  10. what a lovely idea and they make a great backdrop for bird captures!

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  11. I once bought some suet, and a squirrel ate eat. He hung upside down to eat it. Whatever. Wonderful titmouse.

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  12. Great post! I wonder if they would work with Australian birds.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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  13. Lovely post. Great idea for bird feeder.

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  14. Oh I like this and how nice one of your visitors made their own suet. I keep telling myself that I should as I buy a good locally made peanut butter flavor that all the birds love, but it is expensive..but at least local.. Thank you for linking into this week's NN Rebecca.. Michelle

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  15. Great idea, thanks for sharing. It looks like your birds are quite pleased with your efforts.

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  16. Yet another wonderful idea! Thank you!

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  17. Replies
    1. I haven't tried using Crisco, but the consistency would be the same and I would assume that it would work fine.

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  18. How do I make or where do I buy the wire inserts?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe a craft store?

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    2. I simply purchased picture hanging wire from Target, then twisted a few strands to strengthen it.

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  19. Hi - we're on NZ and have different gelatine brands. What's the measurement for this recipe? Thanks

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