It’s cold, it’s rainy, and the natives are restless. Did I just describe your current situation, too? Whether the “natives” are kids home from school, house guests from out of town, or even yourself, I’ve got a project to keep even the antsiest among us entertained. It’s a birdseed suet wreath that anyone can make, and a fun way to share the Christmas spirit with your feathered friends.
For this project, I decided to team up with my seven-year-old, who had a great time helping me.
Let me start by saying that I did not come up with this recipe myself but found it on Martha Stewart’s website in the form of a video. (You’ll find the link to it at the bottom of this post.)
We made our wreath a little differently than Martha did. While she used rendered lard and birdseed, I used shortening (melted in the microwave) and added crunchy peanut butter, oats, cornmeal, and an extra helping of black oil sunflower seeds. Also, I did not have cranberries, so I used raisins, instead (not pictured).
Here’s my young birder helping to mix everything together.
(Need birdseed? Check out Wagner’s Songbird Supreme Blend.)
When you’ve got it all blended, begin filling your Bundt pan, pressing it down as you go. (But first place your cranberries in the bottom of the pan, if using them. You know how birds like their food to be aesthetically pleasing.) I used a springform pan with a Bundt insert, which made getting this thing out very easy.
When you’re done, it will look like this. The next time I make it, I’ll double the recipe so it fills the pan. Mine actually turned out somewhat thin.
I popped the pan into the fridge for a couple of days to make sure the wreath was good and set. I was very pleased with the result. It looks great, don’t you think?
After a quick selfie, I left it for the birds…
…who were on it literally within just a few minutes of my going back into the house. (Be sure to hang it using a wide ribbon for better stability.)
This wreath drew more than just chickadees. Spotted Towhees, Dark-eyed Juncos, Song Sparrows, finches, and nuthatches all gobbled it up. Unfortunately, they ate from the top of it first, and within days it had broken and was lying on the ground in pieces. No worries, however — I simply put the pieces where they could get to them more easily, which for me was on an old wooden bridge near our feeders, but a tray or pie pan set on the ground would work just as well.
Here’s a link to Martha Stewart’s video: Birdseed wreath on MarthaStewart.com.
If you make this wreath, please post a picture on our Facebook page!
Learn more about your backyard birds in Birds of the Pacific Northwest: How to Identify 25 of the Most Popular Backyard Birds. Get it for your Kindle (which you can also read on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet with this free reading app), Nook, on Smashwords, or in the iTunes bookstore.