Saturday, January 8, 2011

Recipe for Your Feathered Friends

Migratory birds come through Texas each year on their way to vacations in South Texas, Mexico, Central and South America.
Here's a quote from a very interesting article on migration from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

"Of the 338 species that are listed as Nearctic-Neotropical migrants in North America (north of Mexico), 333 of them (or 98.5%) have been recorded in Texas. This means that of the 629 species of birds documented in Texas, 53% of them are Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. Texas is important to these migrants and these migrants are important to Texas."

The article also states that sudden changes in weather can greatly affect the outcome of the migration for the birds.
Tonight, we will be having one of those "sudden changes in weather". For the last week, it has been mild (70+* and sunny). Early this evening, a cold front will bring torrential rains, thunderstorms and high winds. The temperatures will drop into the mid-30s. Tomorrow is rainy and cold for this part of the world (45*/32* and very windy). Monday, it will be partly cloudy and 50* (maybe). It will also be very windy as well.
I would say that could be considered a sudden change.
Humans can bundle up and stay indoors. Birds can do neither.
It's at these times of the year that I offer them a little something to help generate heat in their tiny bodies.
My dear mother-in-law showed me the recipe years ago. I've altered it by adding wild bird food.

1 cup cornmeal (no additional additives--just ground corn)
1 cup wild bird food
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup margarine

Blend it all together until you can make a ball that will hang together. I ended having to add more peanut butter to mine.

You can put it in a suet feeder, on a platform feeder or in my case, an old log.
The 'old log' is my feeder of choice. I have a real problem with White Winged doves eating all of it, otherwise. I do put some for them on the ground, but I want the smaller songbirds to have a chance at it as well.

My sweet father-in-law taught me how to quickly make the log feeder. All you need is a dry piece of wood, a drill and 1 inch drill bit, and piece of wire to hang it. Put as many holes in it as you like.

Fill up the holes and wait for the birds.
Once the squirrels find it, you'll need to put some out for them as well. :) If you really, really want the squirrels to stay out of it, add a couple teaspoons of cayenne pepper. Birds have no "heat/spicy" receptors on their tongues. Squirrels do.


  1. I love the log feeder. We've been fighting with the squirrels and coons over bird feeders recently. The squirrels destroy every bird feeder we have, even the squirrel-proof ones. The coons take away the suet feeders and we never see them again.

  2. Thank you so much for this post, that is wonderful!! It's funny I was just thinking about this the other day, I remember doing this when I was a little girl but we put the mixture on pine cones and hung them in the tree. The log feeder is so much better!! I'm putting the DH to work on this today!!

  3. What a fascinating article - thanks for sharing the link. Now when I see my swallows this spring, I can ask them how they enjoyed their vacation in Peru.

  4. Great idea the log feeder. I just love the birds and it excites me to see those that we don’t have year round. Great recipe--I’m going to make some for my feathered friends. Those rascals the squirrels--I had no idea about the pepper-what a great trick!

  5. CeeCee,

    Guess what?!

    Don made me a log feeder yesterday - thanks to you!!! :)

    Now we just need to find a place for it out of Bernard's reach...

  6. nice blog with good posts and pictures.....

  7. RC, no kidding on the squirrels. I just gave up and started feeding them too. As for raccoons, I once put a butter tub with cat food in it, in a live trap. Next morning. No butter tub--anywhere. I still haven't found it.

    Babbs, I thought of the 'little girl, pine cone' thing when I added bird seed. My MIL's version is a lot less crumbly.

    Linda, I'm glad you liked the article. I enjoyed it too.

    Amy, word is, that you need fairly new cayenne pepper to make a difference. I guess as it ages in the spice jar, it loses some of it's kick.

    Justina, Is anything really out of Bernard's reach? :)
    Hooray for Don! Bring on the birds.

    Sunita, how are you! Are you still in India?

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