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Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Bluebird feeding - suet/recipes (Part 1)

In addition to Messages that have appeared in the Bluebird Mailing Lists on this topic, the following are on the Audubon Society of Omaha website: 


Subj: High Protein Bluebird Suet Recipe
Date: 9/18/99 5:58:07 PM Central Daylight Time
From: dmccue"at"usit.net (Dan McCue)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

For everybody's benefit on the 'List' Here is the recipe I use:

Start with mixing 10 lbs of yellow corn meal with 5 lbs of plain flour. Then melt about 7 cups of lard and 3 cups of crunchy peanut butter. Pour liquid mixture gradually over the dry mixture (ingrediants), blending it and adding more liquid until it reaches a fairly firm consistency. Then add raisins, cracked peanuts, crushed eggshells, too. Pack the mixture into pans (or wooden container) lined with wax paper so the depthof the mixture is one dimension that will fit your feeder, place in freezer until firm (about 45 to l hour), cut with knife or pizza cutter(this is the other dimension of your feeder), and place back into freezer until hard. Break apart the strips (about l inch thick x 1 1/2 inch wide x 6 inches long.) and place into gallon freezer baggies. return to freezer until needed. This should make about enough for a year. This sounds like alot of work but you only do it once a year!! You will have flickers, all types of woodpeckers, as well as bluebirds. A friend of mine in McKenzie, TN has a photo that won a national wildlife award, showing 7 bluebirds all feeding off the same feeder in one picture. I have a copy of this photo on my wall. This was the recipe he uses. Oh, yes, you can save money by going to your local feed store for your corn meal. I buy up peanut butter when on sale or at these wholesale 'bent & dent' stores.

Hope this is enjoyed by your bluebirds as well. Regards and happy bluebirding, Dan McCue


Subj: Re: suet recipe
Date: 10/22/99 12:37:20 AM Central Daylight Time
From: lviolett"at"earthlink.net (Linda Violett)

Linda Violett - Yorba Linda, Calif.

Sandy Pasquariello wrote:

I now notice that in Walmart, containers which are labeled "Bluebird Food". Looks kind of like rabbit
food. Has anyone seen this? Sandy, Myrtle Beach, SC

Sandy, those bluebird pellets you describe are probably similar to "Bluebird Delight" pellets I offer my mountain birds. These pellets are put in a bluebird feeder with plexiglas sides and holes at the end where bluebirds are supposed to be able to enter and exit. The bluebirds didn't enter the box, but flickers with those long tongues will lick out the pellets and now the pygmy nuthatches have learned to enter the box. During the winter, especially, insect-eating birds (such as flickers and woodpeckers) seem to relish these pellets.

When bluebirds are on the mountain during warmer weather, I put more of these pellets in a caged (squirrel-resistent) tube feeder. Chickadees enter the wire and selectively choose a particular pellet while discarding others (should all be the same, but who can figure). Anyway, the discards would fall to the bottom of the feeder where the bluebirds could cling to sides of the wire cage near the bottom, and snatch fallen pellets. Plus, they don't melt if it gets warm.


Subj: feeding bbs in winter
Date: 10/22/99 1:51:31 PM Central Daylight Time
From: hpandtl"at"crocker.com (Haleya Priest/Thom Levy)

Haleya Priest, Amherst MA

I am assuming Diane sent Linda Jamilla's bluebird food research website to everyone on the listserv. But if not, here it is: http://audubon-omaha.org/bbbox/ljrecipe.htm

It is very informative and well worth reading...If you don't read it, there is one piece of info worth sharing from it. I think it was Bruce who wondered if rancid suet was ok. Linda says it is just fine. That the bbs will eat it.....

I wonder if anyone out there has had experience switching over from mealworms to suet. So far today my bbs will have nothing of the beef suet or currants that I put out for them. They just want their mewos (mealworms).


Subj: Bluebird Banquet recipe request
Date: 11/17/99 1:49:52 PM Central Standard Time
From: hpandtl"at"crocker.com (Haleya Priest/Thom Levy)
Haleya Priest Amherst MA

Someone requested Linda Janilla's recipe for Bluebird Banquet:

1 cup peanut butter
4 cups yellow corn meal
1 cup rendered suet, melted
1 cup flour
1 cup Zante' raisens (small raisins)
1 cup small sunflower chips
1 cup peanut hearts
(If organic cornmeal is used, omit flour)

Mix the dry ingredients together, then the peanut butter, then the melted rendered suet until it begins to clump together. (I usually use more suet than is called for). Keep refrigerated. When you "serve" it, no pieces should be larger than pea size since bbs swallow them whole...


Subj: cotton seed meal
Date: 12/28/99 9:34:04 PM Central Standard Time
From: kridler"at"1starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)

Keith Kridler...

I know the last issue of THE BLUEBIRD had a good article on feeding cotton seed meal but cotton is a very highly sprayed crop and does not fall under the same restrictions for pesticides or herbicides as peanuts do. Since it is primarily a fiber crop they can use the long lasting systemic pesticides to kill the boll weevil. They use different herbicides to defoliate it just as the cotton matures and this can affect the seed. We had an organic gardener in our county who used cotton seed hulls and meal as his primary fertilizer and ended up with a toxic level of Grazon (herbicide) in his soil which ruined many of his vegetable crops. Some mills test for residues in the meal but many are passed along as feed for livestock but I would be cautious when using this meal unless it contains certification proving it has been tested for both herbicides and pesticides. It may not affect a 1,500 LB. cow but might not be good for the higher metabolism of the birds.....KK


Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 17:54:34 -0800
From: Maynard R Sumner m-r-sumner"at"juno.com
Subject: Re: Can Lard replace suet

Hi All,

I do not use lard in the Summer time. It will run too much and I do not think it is for the Bluebirds in the Summer time.. I do use suet cakes for the woodpecker and chickadees. My Bluebirds and chickadees love the Bluebird Treat in the Bluebird feeder.  They go in one hole and out the other hole.

Maynard R Sumner
Flint, Michigan

...

On Fri, 4 Feb 2000 23:52:01 -0500 "Elizabeth Nichols"
birdlady"at"netstorm.net writes:
Hi Good Bird People!
May I add a comment on feeding Bluebird Banquet lard -vs. suet.

The reason (which I learned just this winter) we have difficulty finding suet in the large stores is that they now receive the meat already trimmed, hence the lack of suet or any excess beef fat.

Your best source is as already mentioned -- try your local butcher. The ideal supplier would be one who processes beef carcasses -- the best suet is located around the kidneys of the cow. I just found
some and bought all the butcher had & stashed it in my freezer.

I do not feed this when nestlings are in the box as their feces were pure yellow once and I figured they must not be able to thoroughly digest the rich mixture of food so only stick to the mealies at
early spring nesting time. The Bluebird Banquet (which I call Miracle Meal)is also great for chickadees, and all those other little guys in cold weather. Yellow cornmeal is better than white c.m. as I understand it is higher in vitamins. Betty Nichols - near Frederick, MD ...


Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 19:24:59 -0800 (PST)
From: Stan Merrill stan_1_10"at"yahoo.com
Subject: Feed for Bluebirds besides mealworms???

As a beginning "bluebirder," I'd like to inquire what you feed your bluebirds--anything besides mealworms?

Last week, hopeful of attracting bluebirds, I bought a mealworm feeder (with end entrances), put in a few mealworms; still awaiting the bluebirds. Anything I could put out for the bluebirds, to have readily available upon their "flying by" that will entice their staying; then put out the mealworms again upon their arrival?

Locally, I've found mealworms for $7.50 for 500; started with $2.50 for 100. Hesitate to keep "stocking" until they're here and eating them.

Thanks! Stan Merrill, St. Paul, MN


Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 00:54:02 EST
From: RRCRLEP"at"aol.com
Subject: Fwd: Feeding Bluebirds Mealworms

Stan

Mealworms would be #1 choice. Besides mealworms, we also fed our bluebirds, Bluebird's Choice Suet and pet store crickets. From the Mealworm Fact Sheet (NABS) "Perhaps the biggest challenge is to try to attract bluebirds to your yard with mealworms. If you already have bluebirds and just want to insure they stay, mealworms can be an effective enticement. If you have never seen a bluebird in your yard, chances are they will not show up just because you have put out mealworms."

REL
Hayden, Idaho


Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 21:36:17 -0500
From: "R_C Walshaw" walshaw"at"gte.net
To: "Bluebird Listserve" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bret/Marizzz Barrier Feeding BBs

I have had good success with Bluebird Treat, but it was in cold weather when they had no insects to eat. They also come to suet blocks then and also I hang bushels of sumac heads on my back fence which they also clean up in the winter.

Bluebird Bob, NE Oklahoma.



Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 17:09:20 -0700
From: "judymellin"
Subject: Bird Grub

No- not in the traditional sense of grub but what was new to me in the Audubon Workshop catalog. Maybe those of you who feed are familiar with these but I wasn't. These are billed as "100% roasted caterpillar" ... that are more convenient than mealworms and don't move from the feeder. ... They are mess-free and can store up to one year in a cool dry place.

They are offered at 15.99 for 1250 or 28.99 for 2500. Now, I know mealworms are self perpetuating after your initial investment but these might be useful for those who don't have the space- or inclination!- to raise worms.

The new catalog also has a $20 coupon with no minimum purchase so it might be worth checking out!

Judy Mellin
Palatine, IL.


Date: 19 Oct 2000 02:04:57 -0000
From: "Stan Merrill, St. Paul, MN"
Subject: Grub vs. Mealworms

I would lose any debate of grubs vs. mealworms on the longevity and convenience of storage; however, I'll win "hands down" on the pricing difference!

Even for those of us who choose to buy and feed (rather than raising our own) mealworms, Nature's Way has the medium size mealworms for about half the price of grubs: 3,000 for $18.45, incl. shipping ($13,50 + $4.95) 5,000 for $21.75, incl. shipping ($16.50 + $5.25)

1-800-318-2611 or check their website:
http://www.herp.com/nature/nature.html

They ship on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, to avoid weekend layovers.

Only disadvantage is receiving ONE cloth bag of 3,000 mealworms, which I then re-package into smaller containers for storage. And, with practice, I'm getting more proficient at that. I shake out the newspapers of mealworms into a clean plastic gallon milk jug via a metal funnel; then pour the mealworms into one-half pint-size plastic storage containers with holes, adding carrot strips (for moisture) and oatmeal.

Happy mealworming!

Stan, St. Paul, MN
 


Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 13:26:52 -0500
From: "caren wagner" carenwagner"at"sprynet.com
To: "Bluebird-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

Here in Lewis Center, OH, had a little snow and ice overnight. But faithfully seven beautiful EABL's (possibly my last clutch of five babies and their parents) come to my yard for mealworms, currents and Bluebird Choice (suet). They have been spending the majority of their days in and around my yard for the past couple of weeks. If they are the last clutch from my nestbox, I guess the parents have been teaching them about life as a bluebird and now that winter has arrived came back to my yard. They are constantly going in and out of my nestboxes, but am not certain if they are roosting there or not. Put out a roostbox this morning and they are interested in it altough have not gone in it yet. I baked a corn bread mix and added suet and raisins and then cooled it and crumbled it up and placed it in a platform feeder. Was pleasantly surprised to see all seven EABL's at once enjoying this new feast.

Caren Wagner


Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 15:27:36 -0400
From: Haleya Priest mablue"at"gis.net
Subject: EABL feeding raw vs. cooked

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

Caren Wagner's method of a specialized corn bread mix for the EABL is interesting, since at least for humans, grains are more digestible when cooked (or baked) as opposed to eaten raw. What do folks think about birds? I realize there are those who think they shouldn't be fed period, - so - - - I realize I am already breaking the "natural law" by feeding them at all and such this post is ludicrous to begin with! :-)

H....


From: Okatsam"at"aol.com
To: carenwagner"at"sprynet.com
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 4:19 PM
Subject: Re: Backyard friends

Hi Caren-- would you be interested in sharing your cornbread recipe for the bluebirds with me? Mine eat mealworms--OF COURSE, and with the bad weather have also started eating peanut butter suet mixes. However, I am always interested in anything else that will keep the birds around here full. We have had over a foot of snow in the last 4 days, no school for three days, and are starting to get cabin fever. Thanks in advance-

Malinda M.
SE Michigan


Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 17:15:03 -0500
From: "caren wagner" carenwagner"at"sprynet.com
Subject: recipe

Malinda, Of course will share. Not difficult at all. I just use one of those inexpensive corn bread mixes, add raisins or currents, suet (I used about a half cup of almond delight suet today) or peanut butter, birdseed (more for the other birds who might join in) and anything else I have that I think they would like, add enough water to make right consistancy and then bake. Once baked, it easily crumbles up. Then cool and offer to your backyard friends. Mine just love it. I have been making it for the past couple of years during the winter and has been very popular with all the birds. Today was the first time I saw the EABL's enjoy it too. They have been in my yard most of the day today and regularly visiting that platform feeder as well as their own feeder. Hope you enjoy!

Caren


Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 22:50:19 -0500
From: "Katherine S. Wolfthal" kate"at"nirvana.weichi.com
Subject: Re: EABL feeding raw vs. cooked

This is not fact but speculation: birds, unlike people, have digestive systems that are equipped to digest hard seeds and grains: they have gizzards, we don't. So I would imagine that raw grains can be fed to birds and the birds will digest them without difficulty. It is also true that some nutrients are invariably lost in processing, and this may also be the case with baked foods for birds, although a given mixture may contain enough added nutrients to make up for any loss through cooking. I myself use peanut butter in my gorp mixture, so who am I to talk? :-)

Katherine
Weston, MA


Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 07:10:24 -0600
From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
Subject: Ice storm/ cooked foods

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

...Cooked foods: raw potato skins or a cut up potato will be ignored by birds but cook them and many species will eat it. Corn bread is more finely ground and softer than most cracked corns. Especially, very hungry birds can eat small bits of corn quicker than coarse cracked corn. Some of these birds have a limited amount of time at a feeder before another bird drives them away. Try spreading cracked corn just boiled in water (let it cool) cornbread, and then plain dry cracked corn and see what they prefer! Are there any other foods that the birds will eat cooked but not raw that you know of? What about carrots? KK


Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 21:10:42 -0400
From: Haleya Priest mablue"at"gis.net
Subject: Re: Ice storm/ cooked foods

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

KK, et al, Looks like some of our home fed bluebirds are less finicky than others. I also have a hard time experimenting because I've got a nasty Mr Mocker to contend with. But I would like to experiment now that I've got my EABLs eating way less mealworms. But, I always change my bluebird banquet recipe some - for digestibility sake. I always grind my peanuts and sunflower seeds up to fairly fine consistency and also my raisins.   I've always rolled up the banquet in little balls for my blues so they can just gulp and run. You are right KK, now that I just put out the crumbled banquet, they have to take a lot longer to get enough.   I will try potatoes when I can. Carrots? I don't want my blues to turn orange!!!! :-)

...

Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000 17:51:03 -0800
From: Linda Violett lviolett"at"earthlink.net
To: "bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: cooked foods

Linda Violett - Yorba Linda, Calif.

Anything with cooked eggs is relished by most birds; try bread pudding, rice pudding or my personal favorite . . . scrambled eggs with cheese (this is what got me hooked on bluebirds).

I had been feeding birds during the spring at my weekend cabin. We had a snow storm and a male bluebird landed on deck rail and looked at the seeds and looked at me (I've shared this with the List before). I caught on that he was hungry but my offerings weren't suitable. I spoke to him as I slipped into my kitchen, telling him not to go away (trying to remember what to give bluebirds). Mixed some butter and cornmeal and went outside. He was still waiting! He made multiple trips taking beakfuls of the mixture away. This gave me time to cook up some scrambled eggs for him and he kept coming back. Later, he brought the female and finally three fledglings a few weeks later. By the amount of food he took off my rail that weekend, I do believe those offerings made the difference for an early nesting caught by a storm. It was the quiet intelligent disposition of that little bluebird family that won my heart. The rest is history.

Northern flickers have the same pull on my heartstrings and I'm trying to think of a way to help them survive in suburbia (their boxes are too heavy to hang in public greenbelts). So for those of you lucky enough to have flickers in your area, do me a favor and buy a box of the sweet peanut pieces and fill up a squirrel-resistant feeder that has wire surrounding the tube and perches for your winter flickers. Don't purchase the bitter peanut hearts, get the sweet peanut pieces that we use for ice cream sundaes. The flickers can also reach peanut pieces (via those long tongues) out of the clear-sided bluebird feeders that have holes on the ends.


Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 09:07:58 -0500
From: "Elizabeth Nichols" birdlady"at"netstorm.net
Subject: Mealworms-Raisins

Hello All:

In response to queries on my posting 3/28, I will again give Miracle Meal recipe w/added variations. 1 lb. lard, 1 c. peanut butter, 5or 6 c. yellow cornmeal, 1/3 c. flour, 1 c. dried currants. Warm lard to room temp, mix w/p-nut butter & currants (or finely chopped raisins). Add flour& cornmeal until consistency of course pie dough. May be divided into small plastic bags & frozen until needed. Not mentioned in the article is the addition of any nuts, coconut, dried fruit on hand which has been practically pulverized in processor.

The article is entitled "Create Your Own Blue Heaven" by Connie Toops, in BIRDERS WORLD, April 2001, vol. 15 no 2. Connie's article addresses all three species of Bluebirds, excellent photography, and information. Connie lives near me in Maryland, is a Contributing Editor, well-known author, speaker and photo-journalist.

The magazine covers a wide range of wildlife management, is one of the best in its field. The web site address for Birders World is: BIRDERSworldonline - www.birdersworld.com or Customer Service & Sales "at" 800-533-6644. (hope I got that all right)! If any further info is needed, please e-mail me. I ordered some extra copies of Birders World from the publisher and will mail to anyone interested in reading this fantastic article (even has Bluebird on the cover).

Happy Bluebirding!
Betty Nichols, Middletown, Maryland


From: "Elaine Stayton" moron"at"a-znet.com
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 13:06:09 -0700
Subject: Re: [bluebird] First Sighting of Yr.

This is the first spring that my bluebirds are eating raisins and bluebird treat everyday--probably because we still have about a foot of snow in our area and they can't find anything to eat. I am considering getting the meal worms if the weather doesn't break soon.Happy Bluebirding!! Elaine from CNY


Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 16:13:36 -0500
From: "dottie price" yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
Subject: Re: Winter Feed Recipe for the birds

John, I'm putting this out on the list as I think others would also be interested. This is just the ticket! I just joined the Craft group at church and I am to put together the February craft project. I was going to have them all make suet cakes. This recipe will be great! Also, it would make really good Christmas gifts. Thanks again!! Dottie, Brown County, Indiana

-----Original Message-----
From: John Schuster John"at"KABAaudio.com
To: Dottie Price NABS Member yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 3:30 PM
Subject: WWC: Winter Feed Recipe for the birds

Dear Dot,

Here is something else you can add to your winter food source for your
beloved BBs.

Winter Feed Recipe for the birds

Lard, peanut butter (crunchy of course) then adding chopped up raisins, nuts and egg shells (after baking the empty shells for a hour), then adding extras. One time, I added chopped up Cherrios, boiled chopped up dates, and boiled chopped up citron fruits. chopped up I usually make enough to put 2 layers in 2 9x12" pans, chill, and cut each layer into 6 pieces.

My buddy, Fawzi P. Emad, of the North American Bluebird Society, really liked the "Winter Feed Recipe" and felt it was better than his. However, Fawzi thought that adding sunflower seeds would be a good addition.

Fawzi said that, "wild birds need the oil and fat in the cold season" which sunflower seeds provide. It is recommended that you crop up the sunflower seeds and mix them in with the rest of the ingredients....
John Schuster
FV & WWC


Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 18:59:38 -0400
From: "KimMarie Markel" kimmarie"at"doggotblues.com
Subject: Re: Winter Feed Recipe for the birds

Hi All,
sometime in April (???) someone else on this list had submitted a similar (detailed) suet mix recipe.. I still have it in hard copy at my country home... I'm sure it could be adapted to what John has described...

My recollection (and what I've been doing) slowly melt/soften the lard and PB together in a large pot on the stove, add dry igredients and "press" mixture into a mold (it's like working with cookie dough) our visiting chickadees, downy & hairy woodpeckers, and nuthaches choose it over store bought every time...

Who submitted the orginal "Blue Bird Suet Mix"? (I want to send you a big Thank You) If no one has it on file and wants a copy let me know off list and I'll send it to you next week (I'm off the computer for the weekend)

kimmarie :)
Buffalo/Varysburg - Western NY

John, if you are looking in, could you tell me how you mix all that stuff together? Do you soften it all in the oven or something, so it will mix easily and then pour it in the pan before chilling? VMS


Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 12:57:05 -0700
From: "Pam" wknight"at"erols.com
Subject: EABL treats

Saw something in Lowe's to put in EABL feeder, call BB Treats. Looked like small bite size nibbles. Don't know what was in it. Does anyone know anything about this and if BB like it. Where do I get mealworms and how do I offer to EABL? I am new to BB feeding. Thanks Pam in MD


Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 17:41:13 -0500
From: "lphunter" lphunter"at"skyenet.net
Subject: Re: EABL treats

Hi Pam,

I am seeing a number of nests here in NW, IN with earth worm disease and had just purchased some nuggets to use with meal worms. I wanted to prevent a nest by the pond from the disease if possible... it didn't work. Even with daily mealworms and the nuggets being available they got sick. They did fledge... and now that the rain has stopped and the sun is out... I hope they can find the proper diet.

I had to removed a badly soiled nest 5 days ago and the one left after fledging was equally soiled. As for the BB nuggets, the Bluebirds did not eat them... but the Red Headed Woodpecker thought they were great. If it were winter I think they might... but they don't seem interested now.

Pat, NW IN


Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 20:23:37 -0500
From: "Norrie Franko" nfranko"at"vaxxine.com
Subject: BB BLUEBIRD TEMPTER

Hi All,

Joking aside with this bluebird food bit, I got a recipe in the mail as part of an advertisement. It is called bluebird tempter:

1 cup peanut butter, chunky or creamy
1 cup suet, chopped
1 cup raisins, chopped or dried currants
1 cup peanuts, chopped  cornmeal

Combine first four ingredients. Add cornmeal, mixing by hand until it reaches the consistency of medium-stiff cookie dough. Crumble into an open tray feeder.

Has anyone try this sort of mix? I'd like comments. I had bluebirds year round last winter, would this be a good mix to put out for them? Should I add or delete items, I'm very creative with my bluebird fare! Thanks for any input you might have.

Norrie Jordan, ON 43.1159 degrees N, 79.3719 degrees W or there abouts) :0 )


Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001 14:41:40 -0400
From: "Werner Strohmaier" strohmaier"at"worldnet.att.net
Subject: feeding supplements

Years ago my brother-in-law made us a bluebird box. "Knowing" that there were no bluebirds around here, the box slept in the garage. This spring we finally mounted the box before throwing it away, and you all know what happened. We had two broods, and NINE little bluebirds fledged successfully!!!

Now we have the problem of how to encourage them to stay around. We haven't tried either mealworms or any of the bluebird recipes yet, and just received a catalog from "gardens alive" which is offering Bird Grub (dehydrated caterpillars). In reading the many posts here over the last six months, it would seem that mealworms have the most supporters. Should we concentrate on the mealies, or have others had better success with other supplements.

Werner, Lebanon, NJ (midway between New York and Philadelphia)


Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001 23:17:10 -0400
From: "Randy Jones" randyj"at"enter.net
Subject: Re: feeding supplements

I think the only thing accomplished by your putting out the special bluebird food will be the bottom line at the company that sells it to you.

People who succeed in having them around all year have woods nearby full of berries. Let them go and welcome them back next spring!

Randy Jones
Allentown PA
Lehigh Co. Coordinator, BSP
Lat. 40.559N, Lon. -75.541W


Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 13:31:15 -0500
From: Alicia Craig craiga"at"wbu.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: RE: feeding supplements

Birds need the right habitat to thrive. The 'right' habitat needs to have four things. Food, water, shelter and places for birds to raise their young.

If you had success with bluebirds using the nesting box, the 'right' elements of the habitat seem to be present. You can grow the habitat by providing the elements that specific birds need. Planting berry bushes and putting up nesting boxes can help the birds attracted to your habitat. Planting berry producing bushes, trees, etc. that have berries at different times of the year can help provide food for a longer time period.

Birdfeeding should only be considered a supplement for birds. Just because you put out mealworms doesn't mean the birds will stay around. It just means that you are supplementing their diet. Short distance migrants will move sort distances when they need to. Try not to think you can 'keep the birds'. They will move and do what they need to survive, you can help by creating the 'right' habitat and enjoy them while they are with you. They are part of nature and nature is not always predictable. ...

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc....


Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 15:21:27 -0500
From: "Bruce Johnson" bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com
To: craiga"at"wbu.com, "BLUEBIRD-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu, wlInst"at"yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: feeding supplements

The present subject brings to mind a bumper sticker that read;

If you love something, set it free,
If it loves you, it will return.
If it doesn't return, Hunt It Down And Kill It. ;-)

I can do without that kind of love, can't you?

There is no doubt that we can put the birds in harm's way with bad products or mounting. To think we can entice them to not heed their instincts, is to elevate ourselves to a state we do not occupy. It's like the proverbial, "Stick Your Finger Into A Bowl Of Water And Notice The Hole It Leaves When You Remove It."

The more I observe bluebirds closely it makes me more aware of what little a space I occupy in their lives and I'm glad it's that way. In time, I will pass from the scene, but they will go on without a hiccup.

As Alicia wrote and its worth repeating, "Try not to think you can 'keep the birds'. They will move and do what they need to survive, you can help by creating the 'right' habitat and enjoy them while they are with you."

Let's apply our energies to providing as safe of a habitat as possible, the rest will take care of itself.

Bruce Johnson ~ Life Mbr. NABS
2795 Long Oak Drive
Germantown TN Lat. 35.087N Lon. 89.810W


From: "Anne-Marie Palermino" ampalermino"at"msn.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: bluebird food
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 06:11:44 -0500

I have a few bluebirds that seem to hang around my home and I have tried to make suet food for them from scratch (cornmeal, whole wheat flour, peanuts, raisin, saflower seeds, suet.the recipe is from the NASB site) and they don't seem to be interested. Every other bird is feasting on it but the bluebirds are only watching. Am I doing anything wrong?

PS: I bought a bluebird feeder, have removed one plexiglass side and put the crumbled up suet.  I also make blocks of suet for woodpeckers.

Anne-Marie
Lincoln, RI



From: "Anne-Marie Palermino" ampalermino"at"msn.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 5:11 AM
Subject: bluebird food

I have a few bluebirds that seem to hang around my home and I have tried to make suet food for them from scratch (cornmeal, whole wheat flour, peanuts, raisin, saflower seeds, suet.the recipe is from the NASB site) and they don't seem to be interested. Every other bird is feasting on it but the bluebirds are only watching. Am I doing anything wrong?

PS: I bought a bluebird feeder, have removed one plexiglass side and put the crumbled up suet. I also make blocks of suet for woodpeckers.

Anne-Marie
Lincoln, RI


From: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com
To: ampalermino"at"msn.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: bluebird food
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 06:47:55 -0600

I give my Bluebirds stewed chopped raisins. I also make a big ball of chunky peanut butter with quick cooking oats in it and place on the feeder beside the raisins. They love it. They went through several of the balls last winter. The Bluebirds have already started eating the raisins. We have had some pretty cold mornings. Occasionally, another bird will come and take a raisin, but they don't bother it much. I also feed seed in a place not anywhere near the bluebird feeder.

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, La.
Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Society
Bluebirds along the bayous......where we lend a helping hand!


From: beabud"at"comcast.net
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 08:35:12 -0500
Subject: Feeding Bluebirds
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

Been giving raisins. Now i thought i'd chop up a C&S peanut treat suet cake and put that in(their feeder) as well, is that okay???Also what about the new Bird grub food that is out, i guess its freeze dried catepillars, hows that for them and others???
Thanks
Bea in Bethel CT


From: beabud"at"comcast.net
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 09:54:39 -0500
Subject: Bird Grub
To: bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

Posted something similiar but had no replies so will try aain. Has anyone heard of "Bird Grub"??? Supposedly its freeze dried Catepillars etc. Is that okay for feeding bluebirds in winter???Also is chopping up a peanut suet cake acceptable as well??/ Do give them softened raisins. Just looking to add other things. I'm not good with mealworms!! Thanks
Bea in Bethel Ct...


From: beabud"at"comcast.net
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 19:25:21 -0500
Subject: mealworms
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

Has anyone used ROASTED MEALWORMS for the bluebirds????
Bea in Bethel


From: "Talentino, Michael" MTalentino"at"OFFICEMAX.com
To: "'Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu'" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: roasted mealworms
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 14:20:30 -0500

I've noticed the two sets of Bluebirds in my backyard definitely prefer live mealworms to the roasted mealworms. I've tested both and the roasted definitely linger in the feeding tray. The live worms are the filet minon.

Mike Talentino, Twinsburg, ohio, 216-471-6298


From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"tds.net
Subject: Re: roasted mealworms
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 14:34:23 -0500

M Talentino, et al,
I have never heard of 'roasted mealworms.' Do you buy them that way, or do you roast them yourself? I would guess that the birds would prefer the live ones. There aren't many roasted mealworms in nature, I don't believe, at least not in New Hampshire. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: "Karen Harder" karenh"at"praxisworks.org
To: blueburd"at"tds.net, MTalentino"at"OFFICEMAX.com, Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: roasted mealworms
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 16:19:55 -0500

There aren't many roasted mealworms in nature, I don't believe, at
least not in New Hampshire.

Nor in Maine, I'm happy to say! I should have been more explicit. I would never suppose that any self-respecting bluebird would *prefer* to have his mealworms roasted! But having ventured into the world of mealworms last season when our papa bluebird was killed and the mother needed help feeding her five nestlings, I vowed I would never get caught without mealworms on hand again. But I'm not really in a situation where I can raise them myself and just always have some conveniently on hand.

In my emergency last summer, the local wildlife rehabber bailed us out until I could order a bunch, and then I gave our leftovers to the rehabber. This worked out well at the time, but I'd like to be able to meet emergencies independently if possible. So I'll probably order a few thousand early next spring to have on hand. I've decided I don't want to just feed them all the time, given our very natural habitat here and our attempting to keep it that way as much as possible.

But for the sake of finding a more convenient solution for me, as well as an acceptable solution for the bluebirds when and if they have a need in the future, I wonder whether they would settle for roasted mealworms even though they obviously would never *prefer* them roasted. Whether they would actually eat them and would they be able to feed them to their nestlings in an emergency.

Karen Harder--Cape Porpoise, Maine


From: beabud"at"comcast.net
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 17:40:41 -0500
Subject: Roasted Mealworms

Hi,
I read about roasted mealworms in a bird supply magazine/booklet that was sent to me. I want my blues to have the best to help them through the winter, but have been skittish storing live mealworms since i have never used them! Supposedly roasted ones do not need storage, but then i feel you still need to use them sooner than later. Just thought i'd throw the question out there to get pros and cons etc. Will stick with my softened raisins and suet for now. In regards to my bird grub question, which is dehydrated catepillars, no one has seemed to use them either. I guess my motto should be "go for the real thing or don't bother".
Bea in Bethel Connecticut


Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 12:20:59 -0500
From: Harry and Joanne Bartling hjbartling"at"comcast.net
Subject: bird grub

For the person asking about bird grub.....I've been using them for about two years. I didn't respond prior to this, because, as far as I know, bluebirds haven't eaten them. I've seen bluebirds in my yard, from time to time, but they don't seem to go near the feeders.

I usually try to add a small amount to my platform feeder, but they never last long. They are usually gone within a few hours. What birds are eating them, I do not know. As bird grub is expensive, I'm stingy with how much I put out.

Joanne


From: "fitz" smokem"at"chartermi.net
Subject: winter food
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 19:48:04 -0500

Can someone provide me with the recipe for the peanut butter--oatmeal ball? I read about it a while back and would like to try it. I ususally fix my own style of winter mix but it needs flour and I don't have any right now. Thanks.

Carol Fitzpatrick
Oxford, Mi


From: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com
To: smokem"at"chartermi.net,
"bluebirds and cavity-nesting birds" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: winter food
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 19:53:09 -0600

I use crunchy peanut butter and put quick cooking (dry) oats in it as it is smaller than the regular kind. I make it stiff. It gets even stiffer in the cold. Sometimes I pinch bits off and put it on the feeder. I also put stewed chopped raisins on the feeder beside the ball. They are sure fat and fine and very possessive of their feeder!!

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, La.
Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Society


From: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com
To: "Ruter" FourRuters"at"cinci.rr.com, smokem"at"chartermi.net
Cc: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: winter food - ???
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 21:15:02 -0600

I am blessed that I don't have Starlings nor Sparrows. I do see the Bluebirds running the Finches away and have seen them run a Cardinal off. It is sort of funny, they get their fill, but they won't let the others eat. The first year I started feeding, they were not as aggressive, but it seems they have learned to be. Maybe if you will just keep trying, they will learn to be aggressive.

The lady at the Wild Bird Center in Monroe, La told me we could put raisins in a dome feeder just like you can meal worms and I don't see why you couldn't put small bits of the peanut butter mixture. Like I said, I find that when it gets cold, it gets crumbly. Good Luck, Evelyn


From: "fitz" smokem"at"chartermi.net

Subject: Re: winter food - ???
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 00:38:56 -0500

The only way I have found to keep the Starlings out of the suet is to enclose the suet inside a feeder with 1 1/2'' holes on each end. Lowe's Home Improvement store has small cedar ones for around $20 but we made our own out of a plastic rural mailbox that's not only huge for filling alot at one time but also cost us only about $8 for box and drill bit. We drilled holes on each of the two ends using a 1 1/2" butterfly bit so they'd have an entry and exit. Only one end opens for placing the food inside. Make sure the plastic is warm while drilling or it will break.

For a window, we cut out a portion of the plastic on one side (about 6" long by 3" high) and screwed Lexan (clear plastic) over the hole to make light so that the birds could see inside. If you didn't want to do this part but you still would like to provide a little interior lighting, you might try drilling a couple more holes about half way up the sides, but maybe just on one side facing away from the weather. If you drill extra holes and you get them too low, Starlings can stick their heads inside and reach the food on the floor of the mail box.

If you don't have squirrels it can be mounted on a wooden 4'' x 4" post. We installed ours on top of a 3/4" piece of metal conduit with a stove pipe baffle below the mailbox. Also used a 3/4" flange...I'm not sure if that's the right description...to attach the box to the conduit. The flange screws into the threaded end of the conduit and then the other end of it sits on a block of wood and screws into bottom of the mail box. These are plumbing parts available at hardware stores or Home Depot. The flanges are available in cast iron (less expensive--last a long time ) or galvanized.

I think you've stated before that you don't have bluebirds yet but are trying. An enclosed box like the one I describe will also attract Chickadees, Titmouse, Nuthatches and smaller Downy woodpeckers, birds that I know of that will use an enclosed box but it will also keep out starlings. I've also had house finches go inside for the peanut butter mix. Hairy and Red-bellied woodpeckers will also try to stick their heads inside and get what they can but unlike Starlings, I don't mind helping them. Some days I would open the mailbox door for a while to let everybody in that wanted a bite but then of course the Starlings would eventually show up and I'd have to close the door before they cleaned me out.

A few years ago before I had a mailbox feeder, I left a bunch of winter mix inside a Bluebird nest box just before we left for Florida. It was a last resort but I didn't want to leave the blues without something to eat in case it snowed or iced up any leftover berries. I didn't think the blues would find it but they did and it was gone when we got back a week later. If your nest boxes are still out you might try that to keep the out the Starlings and maybe your Chickadees or other cavity nesters will investigate the nestbox sometime and find the food inside although the Chickadees around here are mostly crazy for black oiler sunflower seeds it seems. 

My husband also popped a few Starlings with the pellet rifle last year but they became so wary and skittish (and rightly so if you're a starling I guess) to do much good.

Well, I hope I didn't confuse you with my plastic mail box instructions.

Leaving for Florida in the morning for a week. Yay!!

Carol Fitzpatrick
Oxford, Mi


From: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com
Subject: Re: winter food - ???
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 06:17:40 -0600

When I stopped feeding seed anywhere near my bluebird feeder, it helped stopped the traffic of a lot of other birds. I have had so many of our members ask me this very question this year. Even if you feed seed in the back yard, and bluebirds in the front, it still brings the other birds close enough to check out the bluebird feeder. I am lucky that I can feed the other birds on another part of the farm. A lot of people have luck getting the Bluebirds to go through the hole, but the plexiglass sides are still off my feeder. Evelyn Cooper Delhi, La. Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Society Bluebirds along the bayous......where we lend a helping hand!


From: "Ruter" FourRuters"at"cinci.rr.com
To: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com, smokem"at"chartermi.net
Cc: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: winter food - ???
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 11:00:55 -0500

Thanks for your support.

I have a dome feeder too. The top part is almost completely down to allow the small birds to get in it. However, the small birds won't even go in it. The starlings try like made to get in and everyone once in awhile they are successful. The dome practically covers them. One will get in and completely wipe out the mealies and homemade suet.

Seriously, I'm really frustrated. The only thing they can't get into is the BB feeder. The only birds I have in that are a pair of Carolina Wrens ( love them). I'm thinking about going to Lowes and getting maybe 2 more of the BB feeders and only using them and my upside down suet feeder and of course the upside down thistle feeder.

I have two sparrow traps out (please hold on the hate mail....) and thinking about getting a starling trap too. The one on the Tomahawk site...not the $500 one! I drop my sparrows off at Raptor Inc. here locally who will take either, dead, frozen or alive sparrows.

I've had a juvenile hawk visit every morning on our fence post. My dog killed a squirrel and I hung it over the fence. For about three days he came and ate it. The squirrel is completely gone now. I'm thinking about leaving a couple sparrows on the fence for it - what do you think of that? Is it wrong to feed a hawk?

I'm feeling completely overwhelmed and downright hatred of the starlings. I've thought about taking in all my feeders but I know that the wrens, woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees and finches use the extra nourishment during the winter.

Signed - Frustrated....Tabitha


From: Afinechef"at"aol.com
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 11:52:13 EST
Subject: Bluebird Delight Recipe
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Hi,

I've noticed several requests for winter food for bluebirds. I haven't seen anyone post the recipe for Bluebird Delight yet, so I thought I'd send it to the List. My cavity nester birds absolutely love this recipe!

Bluebird Delight

In a big bowl, mix:

One bag of yellow corn meal
One cup of flour
Small jar of peanut butter (I use creamy)

Cut in until consistency of cookie dough

Add:
One cup of finely chopped peanut hearts
One cup of sunflower chips
One cup of currants (small raisins--some birds can't handle the large ones)

Now, melt a pure cake of suet. Stir in half of the melted suet to the mix and let sit. It will be clumpy and dry. Once it's dried a little, add the other half and stir. Your mixture will consist of some small and some larger clumps of recipe. It is now ready to serve! Store excess in tight-lidded plastic containers in freezer and it will keep for a good while.

This recipe contains ingredients that give our birds the extra energy they need to get through these rough winter days!

Donna in Marlborough, CT


From: "Larry A Broadbent" rockets"at"mnsi.net
Subject: Re: winter food - ???
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 12:35:46 -0500

Tabitha,
By all means, please DO Trap the House Sparrows and Starlings and permanently dispose of the ones you trap. I know of many people that will take the deceased House Sparrows and Starlings that they have caught in their live traps, and place them on Fence Posts for the Hawks and Owls to freely feed on. This is a fitting end to these "terrorist pests" ( House Sparrows & Starlings), by providing a readily acceptable meal for our valuable Raptors. As a former Raptor owner and trainer, I use to always feed my Hawks & Owls FRESH House Sparrow & Starling road kill. So go ahead and trap those House Sparrows & Starling buggers. Donating your deceased House Sparrows and Starlings to your local Raptor Rehab center is a excellent thing to do.

Regards,
Larry A Broadbent
Chatham, Ontario


Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 11:42:18 -0500
From: "Seward, Elizabeth D." Elizabeth.D.Seward2"at"usdoj.gov
Subject: Bluebird Gourmet (or Delight) recipe

Longstanding recipe, which appears on page 75 of the Bluebird Monitor's Guide:

4 cups cornmeal, yellow preferred
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup peanut butter (without sodium and sugar added)

Mix well. Add:

1 cup sunflower chips
1 cup ground peanuts (unsalted, of course)
1/2 to 1 cup currants or stewed and chopped raisins

Mix well again. Then, add: 1 cup melted lard (preferred), or suet. Mix again.

The mixture should be somewhat crumbly and not too moist. Store it in plastic bags or containers in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for longer term.

This is a very nutritious treat which many songbirds love, especially our bluebirds.

Diane Seward
Potomac, MD


From: Dolllady1125"at"aol.com
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 11:08:41 EST
Subject: bluebird food
To: Bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

Does anyone have any experience with GRUB (roasted caterpillars) for blue birds? I saw them in the Audubon catalog.

P H in Delaware


From: "Rick Hawkes" rhawkes"at"nc.rr.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: New Food
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 17:02:10 -0500

Well I discovered a food that Bluebirds seem to love. I have three Parrots that I feed a pellet diet from a company called Zu-Preem. My Green Wing loves to take and fling his food everywhere. I've been taking and putting the left over pellets in my wild bird seed thinking the Grackles should love it. Will they do, but so do the Bluebirds big time. There are three separate pairs from what I can tell visiting my feeders. Funny how sometime you just stumble upon thse things:-)

Rick Hawkes
Fayetteville, NC
rhawkes"at"nc.rr.com


From: "Paula"
Subject: Bluebird food
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 19:56:34 -0400

... The last batch of Bluebird Banquet I had, I made with meal moth infested flour.  I figured, why waste it?  I had stored the flour in the garage because if was the BB's flour and that is how the meal moths got in there.  After I mixed up the batch, I placed all the containers in the garage again (about a month ago).  A couple of weeks ago, I went to feed them the food and as an added bonus, there are now little white mealworms and webs in there.  It does not smell rancid at all and the birds are apparently loving it.  What do you think?  I know I definitely do NOT want these moths loose in my house, but kind of neat - added protein bonus for the birds.  These worms hatched out in totally closed containers, living off the meal and moisture from suet I imagine.  With careful handling, may have found a new use for pest infested meal. Paula Z Powell (Central) Ohio


From: "Fawzi P. Emad"
Subject: Re: Bluebird food
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 20:34:38 -0400

The moths coming out of bags of seed, flour and other feed, hatch from eggs deposited there by previous adults.  The best way to make sure the eggs don't hatch is to freeze the seeds or flour in original bag (or put in plastic bags sealed tightly if the feed came in paper.)  Freeze for a couple of days.  When you take it out of the freezer, let it warm up in the plastic bag, this prevents moisture from forming and allowing the feed to go bad. If you don't need the feed, keep it frozen... take it out a few days before you need to use it.  

Fawzi Emad in Laytonsville, Maryland femad"AT"comcast.net


From: Anne-Marie Palermino [mailto:ampalermino"at"msn.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 6:07 AM
To: Bluebird
Subject: Man made food for bluebirds and feeders

Just a passing note.  I make a version of the Bluebird food banquet (suet, cornmeal, flour, raisins, peanuts as I feel).  This summer I bought a feeder in the shape of a metal cone with holes and a cap for top (for about $8, I cannot remember if It was Petco or Lowe's) that is sold to attract  woodpeckers.  Well,  Bluebirds love it too and so do titmice, chickadees, even juncos try to go on it (they must ground feeders because they have a tough time gripping it). 


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ntact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis