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Nov 10

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Cold Weather Bird Food Recipes and the Woodpecker


The red-shafted flicker woodpecker in my garden.

Now that the temperatures are starting to drop and a lot of the work has come to a hault in my garden, I’ve turned my attention to attracting feathered critters into my landscape with the use of bird feeders.  Birdwatching may sound mundane and boring but once you start attracting birds into your cold weather garden it is far from dull and is often called a free ticket to the theater of nature.  Once you add fresh water and some bird seed you are guaranteed to always have a show. 

With the cooling temperatures birds need an extra addition of fat to help them survive so adding suet cakes is an important accompaniment to their fall and winter diet.  I am  so happy to have the ilusive red-shafted flicker woodpecker (shown above) frequently visit my garden since I’ve set out out the fatty suet cakes and bird seed.   If you’re not one to use animal products (most suet is beef kidney fat) you can easily make a big batch of vegetarian suet cakes and store them in the freezer for future use.  I found an easy recipe at

Wintertime Vegan “Suet”
The birds won’t miss the meat and your kitties will love to watch the action!

2 cups peanut butter
2 cups vegetable shortening
2 cups flour
6 cups cornmeal

Melt peanut butter and shortening in a large pot.
Stir in flour and cornmeal.
Turn dough onto a waxed paper lined 13×9″ pan.
Cut into rectangles for use in a suet feeder.
Suet can be stored in a freezer.

Here’s another easy project that I’m going to try soon.  All you need is a toilet paper roll, some peanut butter and bird seed!  Easy right? I’m sure the birds will love it.

View tutorial here>>>

Have you heard of peanut butter bird seed balls?  I made a bunch last year and they were gone in no time.  Hopefully I kept a lot of birds alive with all the fat I fed them! Click on the image for the Bird Seed Balls recipe…

 I hope these recipes and tips have inspired you to attract birds to your fall and winter garden.  What birds to you attract to your yard in the colder  months? I’d love to hear from you and even see photos.  You can share them with over on my Facebook page or via Twitter.  Tweet tweet!

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  • @nativegardener

    Thanks for the clever winter bird food recipes. I am tempted by the seed balls w/ peanut butter, yum!
    I have these huge winter birds now that have just arrived. Going to find out their names. I’ll let you know :-)

    • Anonymous

      Hello Kathy! It’s funny you say “yum” with the peanut butter ball recipe because they smell good enough for human consumption, however, I would not suggest it, haha!

      Yes, please share the birds that are visiting your garden this winter. I’m doing research myself on some little feathered that keep showing up at my feeders.


  • Themoffattgirls

    Thanks so much for the link back to our blog:).
    Annie Moffatt

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely my pleasure!!! Love your blog :)

  • Pingback: How To Get Birds To Visit Your Bird Feeder « Can You Be Sure….

  • Tonicooks

    We have the pleasure of a pair of pileated woodpeckers in our woods in Connecticut, USA. Big beautiful birds with a brilliant red head.