Feeding The Birds

For the past couple of years I’ve been collecting, trialing, and evaluating various recipes for suet and bird seed blocks. When it comes to suet I realize that it’s not too expensive, so my efforts in making some homemade suet blocks is more or less just a fun thing to do. I don’t think I’m saving all that much money by doing it myself. The recipe I follow is a combination of other recipes that has resulted in a pretty favorable suet block that holds up to the weather and the birds like it.

However seed blocks are a different animal all together. Past attempts have resulted in very poor quality seed blocks that never held together in the elements. All the failed attempts used un-flavored gelatin as the binding agent. I varied the amount used countless times which still resulted in either too soft or too hard blocks.

Recently I discovered a new recipe that added a few new steps with the gelatin that was never tried before. By combining honey with the gelatin and bringing the mixture to a boil, then adding it to the seeds has created the desired consistency. However it is so sticky to work with that it’s almost impossible to  get off your hands, let alone get it in a mold so it can be baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Here’s my seed block sitting in my gazebo feeder. As you can see it’s holding together pretty well. But the true test has yet to come.

An with results just coming in from my field researcher Phil, birds are scarfing it up from the following species: Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Hose Wren, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, and House Finch devouring the small test block.

So hopes are high here at the seed block proving grounds, so if everything works out I’ll post the recipe for all you do-it-yourself types.


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