I've had Pileated Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, and Sap Suckers on my suet feeders along with more common Juncos, Chickadees and Towhees. I've developed this recipe for the birds in my local area. It's a money saver with suet cakes running anywhere from $1.25 to $3.50 per cake!
Here's my recipe:
- 3-4 Lbs rendered pork fat *you can use lard or fat trimmings from beef also
- 1 C Blackoil Sunflower seed
- 1 C peanuts
- 2 C woodpecker mix bird seed *this mix usually includes corn pieces
- 1 C rolled oats
- 1/2 C craisins
- 1/2 C dried fruit mix
- 1-2 C crumbed dry cereal *I use the left overs of our cherios, honey bunches oats, cornflakes etc
- 1/2 to 1 C peanut butter
- 1 C cornmeal
- 1 1/2 C corn masa mix * masa de harina* you can leave this out but increase cornmeal to 2 C
- 1-2 C frozen blackberries
- 1 C rosehips
Allow the mix to cool down to a temperature that you can work with. Then pour or spoon into your recyced suet molds. If you don't have molds, reuse a clean paper 1/2 gallon milk carton (when suet cools cut into 1" wide slices)
Once the suet is hardened and cool, reuse a bread bag and wrap the suet cakes inside.
Store in freezer until needed. Frozen this suet will last indefinately. If you keep it outside of the freezer it will only last for about 4-5 days. Don't worry though, it's usually eaten up in about a day once the birds find the suet feeder is full.
Place suet in a cage feeder and have fun watching your own backyard birds!