Tag Archives: birds

Spring Nesting

I consciously strive to be as low-impact as possible. I reduce, reuse, recycle and re-purpose whenever I can. I purchase second hand; everything that can be composted is. I would use public transportation and bike more often if it weren’t for being in the middle of nowhere. I’m miles from everything and would have to ride my bike into town, then catch a bus. If I lived in a major metropolis that would be another story. So instead, I save all my errands to be ran at one time and I plan my travel route. I also make it a habit to stop on the way home from work, since I’m right across the street from a shopping center.

Typically, once the new year has begun I stop composting my dryer lint. Yes, I am guilty of using my dryer in the winter. Line drying inside is just not conducive to my living space. However, you bet your sweet bum that when we have those lovely pseudo-Spring days, my laundry is outside soaking up some rays! So Jan-April I collect my lint (and not in a Congressman Dilbeck kind of way) and save it for Spring.

Now, what do I do with this saved lint you ask? Why I give it to the birds in the form of nesting material, along with saved threads and serger clippings. I place them into a baggie and once nesting time rolls around I stuff it into my empty suet feeders. You can also use those green plastic berry baskets found in food stores. Just place the nesting material into two baskets and secure them shut with a twist tie. Really any small slotted box type container will do. The birds will simply pull out the stuffing with their beaks and the small holes helps them to grab just enough! Makes for a cozy nest to hatch and welcome those little baby birds!

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When Baking is for the Birds

Last month, as a solstice gift for my feathered friends, I baked up a batch of bird muffins. I’ve been wanting to make these for years but seeing as how one of the ingredients is bacon drippings, something I never have since I rarely eat meat,  the recipe has been hanging out on my fridge every winter for as long as I can remember.

When I first placed the muffins on my holly tree, the birds favorite hangout, they weren’t sure what to think. After realizing my gift was food, they were all a twitter with excitement! If you don’t have a tree to hang the muffins on you can always place them on a tray.

Bird Muffins

(from Birds & Blooms Aug/Sept 2001)

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup plain bread crumbs

3/4 c raisins

1/2 cup bacon drippings

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sand

1 cup water

Combine cornmeal, flour, bread crumbs and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add raisins and sand and mix thoroughly. Then add the bacon drippings and water. Stir well.

Spoon the dough into muffin tins and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool the muffins to room temperature before serving (to the birds). Store leftover muffins in the refrigerator until it’s time for a refill.

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