Just look at this platter of fine food. Look close enough and you will find sumptuous delights such as cheerios, raisins, oatmeal, eggshell, and bird seed in rendered beef fat all gorgeously spread upon french bread.
Are my sparrows spoiled or what?
Since the woman I work for is a birder I couldn't help but get started too. As soon as it gets cold I am making suet and getting out early in the morning to feed them. It's either being dedicated to my feathered friends or crazy.
I don't even have a fancy heated water dish. I just take out a kettle of warm water, dump the ice in the pie tin from the day before and fill with nice warm bath water. Yep, I'm going for the crazy part.
Suet is so easy to make, birds are definitely not fussy if you at least have the basics. I nicely ask my butcher for a couple pounds of beef fat. I put half of it a large Pyrex container and microwave it for about 15-18 minutes in all stirring at 5 minute intervals. When the pieces of meat left in the bowl are nicely browned, take them out and what you have left is your base. It's best to do this when you're the only one home because it stinks up your house and your spouse and kids will complain.
I just let it cool a little and then add about a cup of peanut butter and stir well. Then start dumping in things; corn meal, wheat flour, sterilized broken egg shells, raisins, oatmeal, sugar, and odds and ends of old cereal or crackers and some bird seed if you want.
You can put this in cup cake molds or be lazy like me and put it in a cake pan. Stick it in the fridge until firm, cut up and then bag it and put it in the freezer.
My Fox Sparrow is back this year although I have only seem brief glimpses of him. There are just too many regular sparrows to be able to see him in the midst of the crowd. This morning I saw a pair of house finches and a female flicker the other morning. Of course you can't forget the Starlings, I guess they need to eat too.
I complain every morning as I trudge out in the cold to feed them, but it's fun to watch them. They almost knock me over when they see 'their crazy bird lady' come out the door.