Time to Make Some Suet and Birdcakes

posted in: Birds | 0

The cooler weather is approaching, probably more rapidly than we will admit. Winter bird visitors to the garden are beginning to arrive. So it’s time to start making my homemade suet for the feeders.

white breasted nuthatch at craftygardener.ca

My favourite recipe for all season suet came from our favourite bird store, The Birdhouse when it was in Wooler, Ontario. The store is now in Brighton, Ontario.  


  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter,
  • if plain nut butter add your own peanuts 
  • 2 cups oatmeal,
  • 2 cups corn meal,
  • 1 cup lard (not shortening),
  • 1 cup white flour
bluejays at the coconut suet feeder at craftygardener.ca

The bluejays love it in the coconut feeders.

a birch log suet feeder at crafty.gardener.ca

A suet feeder was made from from a birch log.  Holes were drilled into it and then filled with the suet.The birds loved it, especially the chickadees and woodpeckers.

pileated woodpecker enjoying some homemade suet at craftygardener.ca

I also use a similar bird cake recipe.  This goes into square molds to make bird cakes for the basket feeders.

making bird cakes at craftygardener.ca

I melt a couple of tablespoons of lard.  Don’t use vegetable shortening as lard is more preferable as it has more nutrients for the birds.  You can do this on the stove top or in the microwave.  While it is melting I add a tablespoon full of peanut butter.  This will also melt into the lard.  Let it cool just a bit and add another tablespoon full of peanut butter and mix in the bird seed and nuts.  It becomes quite a sticky mess.  Then press it all back into the mold.  If you think the seed is a  bit loose or there are gaps you can pour a bit more melted shortening over the top.  Pop it into the freezer so it all solidifies. Then pop it out and put into your basket feeder.

I use either recipe to make muffins for the birds too.  Just press the mixture into muffin tins and freeze for a little while.  They fit nicely into the coil feeder and this attracts lots of birds.

a pileated woodpecker at craftygardener.ca
pileated woodpecker on bird cake

The birds just love the all season suet and won’t touch the store bought varieties anymore.

chickadee at the coil feeder at craftygardener.ca

A great little projects for the kids and grandkids is to take the suet mix and put it all over a pinecone.  It makes a great little feeder without going to the expense of buying a special feeder for the suet.

a pinecone suet feeder at craftygardener.ca

If you feed them, they will come!

a pinecone feeder at craftygardener.ca
pinecone feeders

We get a large variety of birds over the winter – juncos, nuthatches, sparrows, goldfinches, woodpeckers (hairy, downy, red bellied, pileated), house and purple finches, chickadees, doves and more.

Nature never fails to amaze me.


Have a look at some more of my lens friends photos.

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