Recipes for the Birds
Readers share some of their best recipes for homemade bird treats.
Northern mockingbirds aren't the only birds that love my "Mockingbird Muffins." They're a hit with many feathered friends.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup grated bread crumbs
- 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup currants or raisins
- 1/2 cup bacon drippings
- 1/4 teaspoon sand
- 1 cup water
Combine cornmeal, flour, bread crumbs and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add currants or raisins, bacon drippings, sand and water. Mix well. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Serve on a tray feeder or spear onto tree branches. —Mildred Unruh, Ambler, Pennsylvania
I make "Bird Baubles" as Christmas gifts for my bird-loving friends. Mix 3-1/2 cups oats, 1 quart water, 1 pound lard or suet, 1 jar peanut butter, 3-1/2 cups cornmeal and 3-1/2 cups uncooked Cream of Wheat.
Cook oats in water for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lard or suet and peanut butter until melted. Add cornmeal and Cream of Wheat. Cool and shape into balls. As you're forming them, add a ribbon near the top for hanging. —Dianne Koebke, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Make these simple bells in your kitchen with just a few simple ingredients. First, combine two eggs with 2 tablespoons of honey. Mash together with a fork and add birdseed until the mixture holds its shape.
Take a small plastic dairy container and line it with plastic wrap. Poke a small hole through the bottom of the container, and then pull a loop of yarn or string through the hole, leaving about 2 inches outside the container.
Fill the container with the seed mixture and let it sit for about 5 days. Remove the hardened seed from the plastic container and hang the treat from a tree branch. —Nin Neil, Munhall, Pennsylvania
Mix and Serve
This simple mix and serve treat attracts a lot of woodpeckers. Mix 1 cup each of shortening, peanut butter and flour. Then add 4 cups of cornmeal. Stir until it's the consistency of putty.
Press the mixture into the bark of trees and in the corners of your bird feeders. —Harold Weppler, Atlantic, Iowa
You can shape this easy, no-bake mixture into balls and serve them to backyard birds right away!
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup birdseed or peanut hearts
Mix all the ingredients (except the water) in a large bowl. Add water slowly until the mixture is workable, then form into 1-inch balls and serve on a tray feeder. —Matthew Corfsmith, Big Bear City, California