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Clever Ways to Feed the Birds

The harsh winters raise havoc on both man and beast. With so many searching for a meal we may need to find ways to make these treats last a bit longer. Especially when squirrels, raccoons, deer, or other critters invade your bird feeders. Our feathered friends reward us ten times over with their beautiful appearance in our views.

I love to feed the birds. They are so enjoyable to watch and a great subject for pictures.

Woodpeckers can't get insects easily in winter. These Birdseed Freezer Cakes will do.

Woodpeckers can't get insects easily in winter. These Birdseed Freezer Cakes will do.

Besides from just pouring out loose birdseed and corn into an open tray type feeder, try adding some variety to their diet.

Toast, bagels, tortillas, pancakes, waffles, or graham crackers spread with peanut butter, sprinkled with seed is a favorite for most of our feathered friends as well as those walking on all fours.

Birds also love fruit, both dried, and fresh will lure them to your feeding stations. Nuts and suet attract the insect eaters like woodpeckers.

Seed Bowl

Just a simple plastic chip bowl makes a good feeder. Add some string and duct tape to keep it secure and hang it on a hook. Watch how well the chickadees flock to feed.

Chip Bowl Birdfeeder

Chip Bowl Birdfeeder

Cornmeal Seed Cakes

Cornmeal Seed Cakes

Cornmeal Seed Cakes

Cornmeal Seed Cakes

Combine cornmeal, flour, and oatmeal in equal parts. Then add desired amount of birdseed and 1-2 eggs. Add enough water to make a moist batter. Mix well. Grease baking pans. Fill baking pan half full. Muffin tins work well because there is no need to resize cakes to fit your feeder. Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes. Let cool, then fill cage feeders.

Birdseed Freezer Cakes

Warm coconut oil until melted. Double boiler works well for this. Add peanut butter, stir well, remove from heat, then add birdseed. Can also add raisins, dried cranberries, and/or chopped nuts. Use plastic mold that store bought suet cakes come in. Fill to the max. Place in freezer until well set. At least an hour, then fill cage feeder. Can also use lard in place of coconut oil. It is best to use natural ingredients to keep our feathered friends healthy.

To see a pretty red cardinal against a pure white snow is a splendid sight to see.

To see a pretty red cardinal against a pure white snow is a splendid sight to see.

Cardinals are so pretty. Winter snow brings out the brightness of their dress as they fly into our view. They prefer sunflower seeds. But they are not picking when food is hard to fine.

Blue Jays will visit your feeder with a vengeance. They will devoir whatever they can often scaring away smaller birds. Known for the Bully of the flock they are surely beautiful and are welcome as their loud call gives warning of either predators or new food supplies to their fellow wildlife friends.

Coffee Can Feeder

Coffee Can Feeder

A simple coffee can make a good feeder. Turn it on its side and add a metal coat hanger to attach it to a tree. It is like a feeder on a swing. Cut out hole in plastic cover so they can access seed without spilling it out onto the ground. Squirrels love these feeders. Throw a few peanuts to your mix of seed. With their own feeder it greatly helps lure them away from the feeders you have for the birds. Cheap entertainment to watch them maneuver these swings.

Blue Jay is getting his share of whatever treats he can find.

Blue Jay is getting his share of whatever treats he can find.

Just a swinging......

Just a swinging......

When spring comes our migrate birds will come home ready for a handout. Orioles love oranges and grape jelly. If any are in the area, they will find your feeder within minutes. You will be surprised how many other species will enjoy this special treat as well. But beware raccoons like jelly, too.

Oriole with his favorite treat of grape jelly served from a jelly jar.

Oriole with his favorite treat of grape jelly served from a jelly jar.

Just a flat surface will do to feed the birds. No need for fancy store bought feeders. As anyone in bear country will soon discover, these feeders can be destroyed in an instant when a hungry bruin awakes from its long winter nap. They certainly have discouraged many people from feeding the birds year around. It is not a good idea to leave the feeders out overnight when warm weather comes as these prowlers feed at night.

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