Recipes for the Birds
Recipes for the Birds at Palmetto State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.
|Texas Pocket Maps|
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE Recp i es for the Birds � PALMETTO STATE PARK • GONZALES, TEXAS Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds The following recipes have something special for all the guests who will visit your feeders. Your visitors will be delighted with their favorite menus, no matter the season. Ingredients Information Seeds & Grains The following can be bought at your local feed stores: mixed wild bird seed, millet, cracked corn, peanut hearts, thistle and sunflower seeds. Grit Grit is necessary to grind and digest the coarse foods that birds eat. You can purchase commercial bird gravel, or if available, coarse beach sand will serve the purpose. Raw Beef Suet Suet provides energy and warmth during the cold months. When prepar ing suet, to make a smoother liquid, put it through a meat grinder before melting. To make a solid suet cake, reheat. For those concerned about spoilage of beef suet in our summer heat, a reasonable alternative is a mixture of equal portions of shortening and peanut butter. Kitchen Scraps Keep cake, doughnuts, pie crust or anything with sugar in a covered con tainer. Use a separate container for crusts and stale breads. Granola Treat One cup of each of the following: wheat germ, peanut hearts, white millet, raisins, crushed dog bones and sunflower seeds. Heat 1/2 cup honey separately. Add to dry mixture. Mix well, bake at 375° for ten minutes. Refrigerate. Mixture can be fed as granola treat or mixed with suet. 1 Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 2 Nesting Season While nesting, birds will not need to depend on humans for food. Providing them with nesting materials and housing will entice visitors. Houses should be made out of natural materials, well ventilated and hung on the shady sides of trees. Cut nesting materials such as wool, twine and string into 3-inch lengths and put into your suet containers. String Foods se ee h c rn co p po ins s i ra s be u c pe an ut si n sh ell do ug hn ut s dr ied fru it Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 3 Feeding Station A feeding station is any area that has a bird feeder set up. These may consist of a platform mounted on a pole, commercial plastic feeders or something as simple as feed scattered on the ground. Feeding stations can be designed to attract certain types of birds or a wide variety of feathered friends. Seed Dispensers Use at least two seed dispensers, one for wild bird seed mix and one for sunflower seed. If House Sparrows are a problem, mixes that contain millet should be avoided. If possible, locate these near brush or trees to provide a place to perch and preen. Once you begin feeding, it is impor tant that you continue through the winter. Check your feeders early in the mornings and again before dusk. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 4 Ground Feeders To complete your feeding station, be sure that you provide at least two ground feeders. These can be wooden or plastic, approximately 3 inches deep with drain holes in the bottom. Add parakeet gravel or clean sand as needed to provide grit. Do this espe cially after a rain. Suet Containers All your feathered guests will eat suet during the cold weather to provide energy and warmth. You should pro vide several types of containers. Small clinging birds use netted bags and wire baskets. Woodpeckers prefer logs with holes at various points, and coconut shells are used by all. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 5 Winter Warmth Your guests are creatures of habit. Once you begin feeding, it is important to continue through the winter. Check your feeders at least twice a day. Ideal times are very early morn ing and again before dusk. Birds will take shelter for the night and do not feed again until dawn. Return of Spring By mid-March there will probably be fewer birds at your feeders. Sprouts, insects and worms are pushing through the warm moist ground. It is now time to stop suet feeding and continue seed feeding until the end of April. Summertime Summer season provides all the natural food that your yard guests need. They thrive on insects, weed seeds and grains. However, water is essential. A birdbath can be a wonderful addition to your yard. For an added treat quarter fresh fruit (leave the skin on) and either hang from branches or put on feeding trays. Soon the migration will begin and the resident guests will return to your feeders. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 6 Hummingbird Punch � 1 cup sugar 4 cups water Boil four cups water and remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until disolved. Let cool and feed. Store remaining syrup in covered container in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Boiling water is not necessary but may extend the shelf life of the syrup. TIPS: • Red food coloring should not be used. Feeders have enough color on them to attract the birds. • Make sure your feeders are clean. • Hang feeders in a shady area near windows or around patio. Your guests will provide many happy memories. • Keep feeders active year-round. Waxwing Wedge Raw beef suet 1 large apple 2 cups kitchen scraps � � 3/4 cup raisins 1 tsp. sand Peel and core apple. Put peel through meat grinder and cut apple into small cubes. Put peel and apple into 8” x 8” foil pan. Steam raisins in small amount of water until plump. Add kitchen scraps and raisins. Put suet through meat grinder and melt down in a double boiler. Set aside to cool and harden slightly. Reheat and pour over first mixture. Add sand and refrigerate until firm. Cut to fit suet feeders. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 7 Nuthatch Nibbles & Bits Raw beef suet 1 cup popcorn 2 cups bread crumbs � � 1 cup sunflower seeds 1 tsp. sand Mix popcorn, bread crumbs and sunflower seeds. Set aside. Run suet through meat grinder, melt in a double boiler and set aside to cool and harden slightly. Reheat, and while in liquid form pour over dry ingredients. Sprinkle with sand. Stir until all ingredients are well coated. Pour out onto wax paper. Bring sides of paper up around mixture and press to form a ball. Refrigerate until firm. Serve in netted bag. Junco Jelly Raw beef suet 1 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup millet � � � 1 cup cracked corn 1 tsp. grape jelly 1/2 tsp. sand Loaf-size foil pan is ideal to mix this in. Mix cornmeal, millet and corn. Set aside. After putting suet through meat grinder, melt down in double boiler. Set aside and allow to cool and harden slightly. Reheat and stir in grape jelly. Pour suet over dry ingredients and add sand. Refrigerate until firm. Serve on feeder tray. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 8 Mockingbird Muffins 1 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup currents 1 cup flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1 cup bread crumbs 1/4 tsp. sand 1/2 cup bacon drippings 1 cup water Combine cornmeal, flour, grated bread crumbs and soda in a medium bowl. Add currents and sand. Pour in bacon drippings and water. Mix well. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Serve on feeder or attach to branches. Wren Wrolls 2 cups bread crumbs 1/2 cup coconut 1 cup raisins � � � 1 cup peanut hearts 1/2 tsp. sand 1-1/2 cup raw beef suet Combine bread crumbs, shredded coconut, raisins, peanut hearts and sand. Run suet through meat grinder, melt down in a double boiler. Remove from heat and let set until slightly hard. Reheat, and while in liquid form pour a small amount at a time onto other ingredients that have been placed on a piece of wax paper. Bring sides up, pressing suet into a ball. Refrigerate until firm. Dress up serving table by serving “wrolls” in a coconut shell. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 9 Robin Robust 1 medium apple � 1/2 cup raisins � 1 cup cooked noodles or spaghetti 1/4 tsp. sand 1-1/2 cup raw beef suet In an 8” x 8” cake pan, put diced apple (do not peel or seed), raisins, noodles and sand. Set aside. Put suet through meat grinder, then melt down in a double boiler. Allow to cool and start to harden. Reheat and pour over other ingredi ents. Refrigerate to harden, cut into pieces and serve on a tray or in a ground feeder. Chickadee Crunch Raw beef suet Pine cones Sunflower seeds Millet seeds Put suet through meat grinder and melt in a double boiler. Let cool and start to harden. Reheat. Attach wire or string to pine cones. Cover pine cones with warm suet mixture. Sprinkle with millet. Push sun flower seeds under scales of pine cone. Spoon warm suet over cone again, building up suet and securing sunflower seeds. Refrigerate. Hang from branches. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 10 Finch Fries 1 cup millet � Sand � 1/2 cup American cheese, cubed 1/2 cup bread crumbs Raw beef suet Mix millet, bread crumbs and cheese. Pour into four tuna or cat food cans. Sprinkle with a pinch of sand. Put suet through meat grinder and melt in double boiler. Let cool and start to harden. Reheat. While in liquid form, pour into cans. Refrigerate to harden. Attach to post. Downy Delight 1 cup grape nuts cereal 1 cup raisins 1 cup peanut hearts � � Into an 8” x 8” cake pan, put grape nuts, raisins, peanut hearts and sand. Set aside. Run suet through meat grinder, melt down in a double boiler and cool until slightly hard. Reheat and pour over dry ingredients. Refrigerate until firm, cut in pieces and serve in plastic-coated wire basket. Best located on a tree trunk. 1/4 tsp. sand 1-1/3 cup raw beef suet Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 11 Cardinal Casserole Raw beef suet 2 cups bread crumbs 1/4 cup birdseed mix 1 cup green grapes 1/2 tsp. sand Mix bread crumbs, bird seed mixture and green grapes. Set aside. Put beef suet through meat grinder and melt in a double boiler. Remove from heat, allow to cool and start to harden. Reheat and while in liquid form, pour 1-1/2 cups over dry ingredients. Add sand. Mix well. Put in a 5” x 3” x 1” small, foil loaf pan. Refrigerate until firm. Place on feeder tray. Jay Jambalaya Raw beef suet 1/4 cup meat scraps 1 cup corn meal � � � 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1 cup peanut hearts 1 tsp. sand Save your meat scraps; if you leave the fat on scraps, it makes your feathered friends happier. Put scraps through meat grinder. Set aside. To this add corn meal, bread crumbs, peanut hearts and sand. Put suet through meat grinder. Melt in a double boiler, let cool until hard. Reheat. While liquid pour over dry ingredients. Put into suet container and refrigerate until firm. Rec i pes fo r t he B i rds 12 Bluebird Betty 1 cup sugar 1 cup raisins 1/2 cup shortening 1/2 cup water � � � � 2 cups flour 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1/3 cup nutmeats Mix flour, baking powder, soda and nutmeats. Set aside. Boil sugar, raisins, short ening and water for 5 minutes. Add liquid to dry ingredients. Spoon onto well-greased 8” x 8” cake pan. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into pieces and place on feeder tray or ground feeder. Dove Divine Cracked corn Peanut hearts Kitchen scraps � � � Crushed dog biscuits Sunflower seeds Thistle seed In plastic container (2 to 3 inches deep), pour sand and gravel. Add any amount of the above mixture. Replace as necessary, especially after rain. PALMETT O PALMETTO � STATE PARK 78 PARK ROAD 11 SOUTH GONZALES, TEXAS � 78629 (830) 672-3266 WWW.TPWD.STATE.TX.US For more information on birds and backyard birding, contact Wildlife Diversity Program Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744 (512) 389-4644 www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/huntwild/wild/species/nongame/ 4200 Smith School Road Austin, Texas 78744 In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. ©2007 TPWD PWD BK P4505-049K (6/07)