Bird Nerd: Downy Woodpecker

Photo Credit: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/id

The Downy Woodpecker is one of my favorite visitors to our feeder. We have a male and female that come visit. My photos aren’t as great as this one. The male has read on his head to attract a female. They love to eat suet cakes. We buy ours at the grocery store or at the pet store. You can also make your own by using a mold and left over grease.

Recipe taken from http://www.birdnature.com/suet.html

Suet: Facts, Feeders & Recipes
Red-breasted Nuthatch

    Suet is raw beef fat from around the kidneys and loins. Suet is one of the best foods to attract nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens, titmice, creepers, kinglets, chickadees, thrashers, cardinals and even bluebirds and unfortunately the starlings and squirrels! To discourage the starlings, purchase a suet feeder cage that is covered on all sides but the bottom. Only those birds that can hang upside down will use this feeder.

    If the temperature outside is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer, beef fat can turn rancid and melt. There are many commercial suet cakes that can be purchased and some of these are called “no melt”, “berry” and “insect” cakes.

    How to Render Suet:

    You can trim excess fat off beef cuts and store in the freezer until enough fat is achieved or you can purchase beef fat from the grocery store or your nearby butcher.

    Household Items that can be used to pour suet in:

    Nuthatch Suet Eggs!

    We use the “Jell-O Egg Jigglers” mold for some fun. These molds are given away at grocery stores during the Easter Holidays. You can also use egg cartons.

    Note:

    Suet Feeders:

    There are a variety of suet feeders that can be purchased or made. The popular commercially available suet feeder is a wire cage that holds one cake of suet. Some bird feeders have a hopper for seeds and suet cages on the sides of the hopper.

    Easy-to-Make Suet Feeder:

    We are providing you with instructions on how to make a very simple Suet Log Feeder. We use these every winter and have had great success. The birds that visit this feeder are: Common Flicker, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches and unfortunately the starlings! Please send us email at birdnature@birdnature.com if you have built this feeder and if it was successful.

    Suet Recipes taken from http://www.birdnature.com/suet.html

    1 Pound Suet cut in small pieces
    1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
    1 Cup Rolled Oats
    1 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
    1 Cup Mixed Wild Bird Seed
    1 Cup Hulled Sunflower Seed or Chopped Pecans
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet over low flame.
    2. Stir in ingredients.
    3. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    4. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Feathered Friends
    1 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
    2 Cups Cornmeal
    2 Cups Quick Cook Oats
    1 Cup Lard or Suet
    1/3 Cup Sugar
    1 Cup White Flour
    Preparation:

    1. Melt lard/suet and peanut butter together and stir.
    2. Stir the remaining ingredients.
    3. Pour the mixture into a square container about 1-1/2 inches thick.
    4. Allow it to cool, then cut it into squares and store in the freezer.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    It Must be Love
    1/2 Pound Fresh Suet
    1/3 Cup Black Oil Sunflower Seed
    2/3 Cup Mixed Wild Bird Seed
    1/8 Cup Chopped Peanuts or Chopped Pecans
    1/4 Cup Raisins
    Preparation:

    1. Follow instructions for rendering suet.
    2. While suet is cooling, stir ingredients together in a large bowl.
    3. Place the suet into the mixture and mix thoroughly.
    4. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    5. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Peanut Butter Sandwich
    1 Cup Fresh Suet
    1 Cup Peanut Butter
    3 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
    1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
    Preparation:

    1. Follow instructions for rendering suet.
    2. Over low heat, melt suet and add peanut butter. Stir until well blended.
    3. Mix ingredients together in a large bowl.
    4. Pour suet into the bowl mixture and mix thoroughly.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Captain Crunch!
    2 Pounds Fresh Ground Suet
    1/2 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
    1/2 Cup Shelled Sunflower Seeds or Chopped Pecans
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in a saucepan over low heat.
    2. Add peanut butter, stirring until melted and well blended.
    3. Stir in the sunflower seeds. Mix thoroughly.
    4. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    5. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Apple Dumplings
    3 Cups Rendered Suet
    1 Cup Whole Wheat Bread (dried & crumbled)
    1/2 Cup Shelled Sunflower Seeds
    1/4 Cup Millet
    1/2 Cup Chopped Dried Apples
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in a saucepan over low heat.
    2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    3. Allow the suet to cool until slightly thickened.
    4. Stir suet into the bowl of mixture. Mix thoroughly.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Back to Basics
    1 Cup Suet
    1 Cup Peanut Butter
    3 Cups Cornmeal
    1/2 Cup White Flour
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in a saucepan over low heat.
    2. Add peanut butter, stirring until well blended.
    3. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    4. Allow the suet to cool until slightly thickened.
    5. Stir suet into the bowl of mixture and mix thoroughly.
    6. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    7. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Healthy Treat
    3 1/2 Cups Oatmeal
    1 Quart Water
    1 Pound Suet
    1 1/2 Ounce Jar Peanut Butter
    3 1/2 Cups Cornmeal
    3 1/2 Cups Cream of Wheat
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in saucepan over low heat.
    2. Cook oatmeal in water for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
    3. Stir in suet and peanut butter and blend.
    4. Add cornmeal and cream of wheat.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Zesty Berry
    4 1/2 Cups Ground Beef Suet
    3/4 Cup Finely Ground Cracker or Bread Crumbs
    1/4 Cup White Proso Millet
    1/2 Cup Hulled Sunflower Seed
    1/4 Cup Dried and Chopped Berries, Raisins or Currants
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet over medium heat.
    2. Mix together remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
    3. Allow suet to cool until lightly thickened.
    4. Pour into bowl with other ingredients and mix well.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


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One comment on “Bird Nerd: Downy Woodpecker

  1. Pingback: Latest suet feeders news – TIPS FOR FEEDING SUET TO BACKYARD BIRDS

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