It is important to remember our feather friends year round. Birds play a vital role in the life of an organic gardener. Once birds find a good food supply they will return regularly. A single bird may eat more than 10,000 caterpillars, flies, snails, and other pests during a single breeding season. Some birds are vegetarians and other are omnivorous. If a bird stops for a seed snack, it may remain for an insect dinner.
You can encourage birds to your garden with planting bushes and trees for their protection, providing a water source, and by growing plants that have seeds they like to eat. My favorite is growing sunflowers for the birds. Now that it is winter, I like to make special treats for the birds. My mother always saved any kind of grease left from cooking dinner for the birds. She always poured it into grapefruit rinds and placed them around the garden. I continue the practice at my own house, but add extras to the grease.
I make homemade suet for the birds. I take leftover grease, add birdseed, nuts, raisins, oatmeal, and peanut butter. I mix the ingredients together, pour in a pie tin, and place in the refrigerator to harden. Next, slice off sections and place them on bird feeder plates and in grapefruit rinds. The birds really love it and devour the treats quickly. If you are interested in purchasing a bird feeder plate, let me know. My friend makes beautifully handcrafted wooden bird feeders and bird feeder plates like the green leaf plate pictured above.
Take a few moments of silent to observe the birds.
I look forward to continuing this tradition for a very long time. I hope you find the time to make this special treat for the feathered friends in your garden. They will thank you for it!