If you are doing a bird study in your homeschool, making a suet bird feeder is a great hands on activity to do with your kids. It gives you a great opportunity to talk about what birds need to survive, the different types of food each bird eats, and teaches children to care for creatures especially during the slimmer times of fall and winter.
This suet block feeder is easy to make and provides your backyard feathered friends with the nutrients they need. You can make yours in a mold, a paper cup, or create a mold in the suet basket as I did. This recipe makes enough to fill two standard suet baskets and has a lot of ingredient variety that will attract a wide range of birds to your yard.
Use the bird feeder as a way to identify what bird species visit your yard- woodpeckers, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, and more are likely to be seen. Sketch them as new birds appear, make a chart to keep track of them, or teach your child some simple nature photography skills.
Suet Bird Feeder Supplies
- ½ cup lard or bacon grease
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup dried fruit- raisins or craisins
- 1 ½ cups songbird food
Suet Bird Feeder Directions
- If you are using the suet basket you can easily make a mold to create a square suet block that fits perfectly inside. Line the inside of the basket with aluminum foil, double the layer to be sure it doesn’t leak through, set aside while you prepare the filling.
- Melt lard and peanut butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Remove from heat and stir in cornmeal, birdseed, and dried fruit.
- Pour quickly into your “mold”, you can also use small paper cups, a squat wide mouth mason jar or mini bundt/doughnut pan to create a ring that you can hang on a string.
- Pop your suet block into the freezer until it is solidified.
- Remove from freezer, peel of aluminum foil and place block inside basket.
- Hang in a shady spot after the cool weather hits, summer temps will melt your block.
Some of our favorite books to use with our bird studies
National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Backyard Guides)Backyard Birds (Field Guides for Young Naturalists)Birds, Nests & Eggs (Take Along Guides)National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America