As the year slowly draws to an end, and colder weather sends us indoors during the darkness of Winter, getting outside to get any birding in sometimes has to wait till the weekend. However to satisfy my thirst for bird activity, myself and thousands of others across this country get our bird feeders prepped and ready for our birding fix.
Now my feeders have been up for over a month (I normally don’t feed the birds during the warmer months, except Hummingbirds) and I’ve added 2 new birds to the yard list, and I just love watching as they feed. But sometimes I get bored with feeding the birds the same old stuff. So I start to experiment, and look for different recipes for my little friends. And being someone who is always up for a challenge, I set upon myself the task of finding a good recipe for a bird seed block. So you may ask yourself, why would you go to such trouble in making them when you can find them on-line, or at your local store that may specialize is items such as this?
They can be pretty pricey for starters. One of my favorites web sites where I have gotten plenty of inspiration over the years is Duncraft. And if you visit their expansive site, and locate the page where they display their seed blocks you to will see what I mean. Click “HERE” to take you to the seed block page.
Now don’t take this the wrong way, I love Duncraft, really I do. My next suet feeder I’m buying will come from them, just not their seed blocks. So without further ado I’m going to lead you into my secret laboratory, and share with you a super simple recipe for seed blocks.
2- 1/2 oz. unflavored gelatin packets.
1 1/4 cup of bird seed
1/4 cup water
Dissolve the gelatin in the water over low heat till water becomes clear. This won’t take long.
HINT: I use a old pot that we used for camping that has a non-stick surface. Helps with the clean up. It gets real sticky.
Mix the seed into the gelatin mixture and coat the seeds thoroughly. Then pack the mixture, pressing firmly, into whatever container you wish to use. I coated one of my hands (the one that was packing the seeds into the container) with some cooking oil so the seeds wouldn’t stick to my hand. This stuff is real sticky!
To clean the pot I soaked it in hot tap water for several minutes till the remainder of the gelatin dissolved and seeds loosened up. Then washed it with dish soap afterwards.
Then put your creation into the chill chest for several hours to set the mixture.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can double it, and shape it into any configuration you like. And you don’t have to stop at just using seeds. This block that I made for this blog post had some stale raisins in it. They were a little hard for human consumption, however the birds will love it.
Remember that gelatin is one of the main ingredients, and if it does get wet due to rain, that could dissolve the gelatin and the block will become mushy. A covered platform feeder works well, or wait till it gets real cold and the threat of rain is behind us. Whatever you do have fun with this recipe, and try some experimenting. And if you come up with a neat idea that can improve on this, let me know. Remember I’m always up for a challenge.