Suet Visitors

I have never used bird feeders before.  On the spur of the moment I bought a suet feeder and put some suet in it, to see if I could interest some woodpeckers.  There have been no woodpecker visitors yet, that I am aware of.

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The weather has been so cold that for quite a few days there were no bird visitors.  Then one day I noticed black-capped chickadees exploring the suet feeder.

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It was a bit of a puzzle to get at the frozen suet.

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A male northern cardinal was among a group of birds checking it out on Friday.

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I love the bright red bird’s contrast to the winter scene.

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Sparrows and starlings came by to try their luck.

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A house sparrow looks for a snack.

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I noticed a hawk fly into one of the large trees in the neighborhood.  I suppose this is a good time to find a bird meal at a bird feeder.

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The dark-eyed juncos looked at the suet briefly, but then went off to look for seeds on the garden plants.

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The dark-eyed juncos are winter residents that are always fun to watch as they hop around on the ground looking for seeds

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We have had snow on the ground for 2 weeks and temperatures have remainder below 20 degrees Fahrenheit since December 26th, which is apparently a temperature record in Chicago.

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Last Saturday morning, with a wind chill well below zero, we took a walk at the Little Red Schoolhouse forest preserve.  There were lots of animal tracks, especially deer tracks.  We were okay with the weather, except for our feet, which seemed like ice blocks.  This morning we had a good walk inside the mall instead, so we were a little wimpy!

Food: Our son is on a two-week 1500 calorie meal plan suggested by his doctor, before he gets his annual blood test.  You can find the meal plan on the Eating Well website.  I have been cooking all kinds of interesting and delicious meals and though it is a bit of work it has been generally tasty and enjoyable.  It is one way to stay cozy in the cold weather.

Current Reading:  I am in the middle of reading several books at once – Being Mortal by Atul Gawande; Jungle of Stone: The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya by William Carlsen; Disunity in Christ by Christina Cleveland.

13 thoughts on “Suet Visitors

    1. Not really much feeding going on most days, but I am experimenting to see how the birds take to it. I generally don’t use feeders, but thought I would give it a try to see how it goes.

  1. We are fairly new to using suet and also our primitive method of a birdfeeder. An aging wooden ladder with dilapidated birdhouse. The birds here in Oregon love it. I am not familiar with all of the birds but it’s neat to see different ones that stop to eat..

  2. It sounds like you’re keeping busy this winter. I looked at the diet, it sounds do-able and tasty, but I’m more a eat out of one pot all week and far too lazy for the prep!
    I think you’l enjoy the suet, it does seem to bring in the woodpeckers and starlings, but I’m surprised you don’t already have a feeder. I always assumed by the number of bird photos that you did and it says something about your wildlife-friendly gardens to know you have already attracted so many visitors.

    1. We eat out of one pot for three or four days, but I am trying to be creative some days of the week and my husband cooks at times, too, to split it up. As far as bird feeders – never used them before, but decided to give it a try. I also got rid of all bird houses, because they seemed to cause more problems than they solved. I am trying to make the yard a good habitat for food and shelter in a natural way.

  3. scribelady

    I always enjoy your photos.
    We used to have 2 bird feeders. One hung under the side porch, facing the kitchen window. One day I looked out and saw a huge rat feeding on the fallen food. I thought, “Yuck!” So, I took the bird feeders down and now walk a “route” around the house and towards the woods. I simply throw the black-oil sunflower seeds on the ground, and the birds love it (plus the rabbits and squirrels). I get exercise during the winter, and the birds get food.

    1. I really like your approach. Our main attraction for birds has been the birdbath, which is often very busy. Since the one day the birds came to the suet feeder I have not seen any more visitors. Maybe it was a cheap variety of suet that the birds are not interested in…

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