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Easy DIY Vegan Suet Bird Feeder

If you're on the lookout for fun ways to connect with nature, here's an activity that will keep you and the birds in your backyard happy!

Summer is in full swing once again! Although, slightly different this year, we can still make the most of it by spending time in our backyards and on our balconies, or in anywhere out in nature. If you're on the lookout for fun ways to connect with nature, here's an activity that will keep you and the birds in your backyard happy.

A Vegan Meal for the Birds

Personally, it always relaxes me to see birds chirping about. It makes me feel lighter and puts a smile on my face.


A good way to invite birds into your garden is to feed them. Feeding birds will not only make you happy, but will also give extra calories to nesting adult birds who need more strength to forage for their little chicks, and will give these chicks enough energy to grow.


Usually, a suet bird feeder is left outside during winter so that birds feeding on it could boost their calories and have more energy to survive harsh weather conditions.


Traditionally, suet is made of rendered animal fat. As an aspiring vegetarian, I opted instead for a vegan version of suet.

So here’s a simple vegan recipe for bird suet that you could all use this summer!


Ingredients

  • 1 Re-loadable suet feeder

  • 1 1/2 cups shortening (Crisco Oil is recommended since it is less likely to melt in summer weather)

  • 3/4 cups peanut butter

  • 3 1/2 cups wild bird seed- (Black oil sunflower seeds appeal to many birds)

  • 1 cup quick oats

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

  • 1 or more ice cube trays

To make this a low waste project:

  • Choose products that come in recyclable packaging material (paper, glass jars etc.).

  • If you don’t have spare ice cube trays at home, you can simply use any other container to mix in and store the suet, which you can then cut into cubes once frozen and load into the feeder.

Keep in mind during preparation that while solid suet is nutritious, melted suet can be dangerous to birds. If melted suet smears on the feathers of a bird, it can cause it to lose its natural isolation and waterproofing, making it vulnerable to poor weather conditions and temperature changes. Leaving only a small quantity of suet in the feeder at a time is a good way to avoid melted leftovers.


Steps


1. Mix the dry ingredients- birdseed, oats and cornmeal together in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, melt together the shortening and peanut butter. Stir until completely combined.

3. Pour the melted mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.

4. Spoon the mixture into the ice cube tray and smooth the top.

5. Freeze for about one to two hours.

6. Place the tray in your suet feeder and leave outside. Make sure to leave it in a well-shaded spot to avoid melting.

I wish you a suet bird feeder full of birds. Enjoy!

Savandhi Silva

Toronto, ON

(She/Her)

I was raised in Sri Lanka and moved to Canada just two years ago. As a child, I was drawn to nature and felt sensitively toward plants, trees and animals. But when I started studying Environmental Studies at York University, it took this passion to a whole new level. I learnt so many new things and was opened to so many new perspectives. A documentary we were shown about the impacts of single-use plastics on marine life was a huge eye-opener for me. Since then, I have barely used any straws and use a reusable mug whenever possible. I have also started the shift toward being a vegetarian. I believe that, in most cases, it is really easy to take action. But in order to do that, you have to cultivate a deep love for nature. I like spending time writing songs and playing the piano. My favourite thing to do is sipping tea while reading a book. Instagram: @_savandhi_ LinkedIn: Savandhi Silva

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