are the preferred foods of feeder birds, both because they contain
concentrated nourishment and they are often available for extended
periods when other foods may be difficult to find. Commercial seed
mixtures are an uneconomical way to feed birds. Mixes that contain
sunflower seeds are often wasted because birds preferring sunflower
seeds pick through the other seeds and drop them to the ground where
they rot. It is a good idea to place sunflower seeds in a separate,
millet and cracked corn on the ground for sparrows, doves, and quail;
and place sunflower seeds, mixed grain, fresh fruit such as apples and
bananas, and dried fruit such as currants and raisins, at tabletop
level for cardinals, grosbeaks, and finches. Place feeders on tree
trunks or hang them from the lower tree limbs for woodpeckers and
Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher
Robert Burton and Stephen Kress
Thunder Bay Press, 2012
The majority of birdwatchers are the backyard variety who put
a feeder or two and maybe a bird bath of sorts. Unlike serious birders
who may travel long distances to add some rare birds to their life
lists, home-based birdwatchers take enjoyment from watching the species
that come to visit and return year after year.
This guide serves the backyard variety with sharp photos and
descriptions of the 100 most common birds found in home
North America. Field guides to the other 8,900 species of birds
worldwide are available elsewhere, but this one provides detailed
instructions for setting up backyard feeding stations, building ponds
and windbreaks, and choosing plants for the landscape that will attract
birds to the yard.
Nutcracker at feeding station
Make Your Own Suet
Suet mixtures, which are sometimes called bird cakes or bird puddings,
are a collection of ingredients set in melted fat.
Many people experiment with making up their own recipes for mixtures,
and it is an ideal way of using up kitchen scraps.
Melt enough suet or fat to bind the ingredients together into a thick
pudding. Stir the ingredients into the melted fat, pour the mixture
into a can or other container, and leave it to cool and set. You can
then turn out the sold mixture, and put it in a suet holder or mesh
bag, or you can hang the container as it is or put it in a holder.
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