Kids who enjoy learning about birds they spot in the outdoors–in their backyards and beyond–will love this fun activity from Little Bigfoot’s new book Look at That Bird! by Karen DeWitz. Even though it’s normally a winter activity, birds enjoy Suet year-round and it’s perfect for the family to do together this weekend!
Here’s what you will need:
- 5 empty and clean half-gallon milk cartons or other square molds (see Note)
- 2 cups squishy fat (shortening, lard, or rendered fat)
- 1 cup crunchy nut or seed butter (I use peanut butter)
- 3½ cups birdseed
- 1 cup uncooked quick oats
- ½ cup cracked corn (it’s in the pet food section)
To make your Suet:
- Cut the bottom inch or so off of each milk carton to make a shallow open box. Set these aside. You will use them as molds after you’ve mixed your suet. Recycle the scraps.
NOTE: You can also use plastic or silicone lunchbox sandwich containers, the empty trays from store-bought suet, small pans, or even old ice-cube trays as molds. You just want something you can freeze that will make a shape that fits into your suet feeder.
- Put the fat and nut butter in a large glass mixing bowl. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes so it melts a little and gets soft. It doesn’t need to be totally liquid.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients. Stir well so everything is coated in fat and nut butter.
- Scoop the mixture into the milk carton molds. Smooth it down with the back of your spoon until the top of the suet is mostly flat.
- Put the filled suet molds in the freezer for a couple of hours. You can even store them there if you don’t want to put them all out in your yard at once. When you’re ready to feed the birds, peel the suet out of the mold and place it in a suet feeder basket.
- Wait and watch!
You can download a PDF of the You Can Do It: Suet! activity here.
Look at That Bird!
by Karen DeWitz
This full-color guidebook is filled with fun and interesting kid-friendly facts and photographs of over 50 birds that Northwesterners are most likely to see every day and encourages curious kids and their adults to go outside and learn more about nature. Kids will find basic information about what makes a bird a bird, and specific information about each bird species, all of which can be used to help identify birds. Look at That Bird! also includes projects kids can do to attract them to their backyards.