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Bird Feeding Tips for the Winter Time

If you are a bird lover, like me, you worry about them eating in the Winter time.  During winter months, birds need more calories so that they can burn more energy to stay warm.  

The NWF has a list of 10 Simple Tips for Successful Winter Bird Feeding that is very useful.  It speaks about different types of foods that are helpful to birds including seed mixes with black oil, sunflower seeds, hulled peanut and white millet seed.

One of the brands of bird feed  that I like is the Kaytee Basic Blend Wild Bird Food .  It comes in 20 lb. bags that Chewy sells.  It attracts some of my favorite birds, including my sweet cardinal friend that loves to visit my home.  This seed is good all year long and is perfect for feeders, hopper, large-tube and covered fly-through feeders.  

You can make suet cakes with these seeds as well.  Suet is a mix of fats, and seeds that birds eat to stay warm.  There is a simple recipe on the Old Farmer's Almanac website.  I love to feed these to my bird friends.  They live in my bushes, and during the winter I hang them in a dormant bush for them to feed on that is close by. Here is the recipe:

  • You can use almost any seed or grain, mixed with beef fat, lard, or natural peanut butter. A basic suet combines equal parts of beef fat and assorted birdseed.
  • Put it in a tuna or cat food can to chill (or freeze) until it’s hard enough to hold its shape, then release it into a wire suet cage or sturdy mesh bag.
  • For a fancier suet, add natural peanut butter to the mix. You can also bind cornmeal or oatmeal with natural peanut butter and spread it into holes drilled in a post or log.
  • Birds also like dried fruits, so consider adding raisins, currants, apricots, or citron.


  • 2 parts melted fat (beef fat or lard)
  • 2 parts yellow cornmeal
  • 1 part natural peanut butter
  •  bird seed
Mix all ingredients together and cook for a few minutes. Pour into small containers (tuna fish cans are good), and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Mixture can also be stuffed into 1-inch holes drilled in small logs to hang from trees. The recipe can be made all year long as long as you accumulate fat. Fasten containers securely to trees or feeders.
Note: Suet should be used only in very cold weather so that it does not melt and become rancid. If you live in a warm climate, we do not recommend using homemade suet because it will spoil too quickly. In this case, it is safer to purchase commercial suet cakes (which are treated and won’t spoil).
You can also purchase suet cakes already made.

Here is more information about the Kaytee Basic Blend Wild Bird Food:

Key Benefits
  • Basic wild bird food blend attracts a wide variety of wild backyard birds like Chickadees, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Pine Siskins and more
  • A distinctive blend of grains, corn, stripped sunflower seeds and black oil
  • Added supplements such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D3 and Calcium Carbonate help wild birds with the stresses brought on by winter, breeding and migration
  • Great for year round feeding and all seasons
  • Seed mix is perfect for use in a hopper, large-tube or covered fly-through feeders
Disclosure:  I received product from Chewy to review for this post.