You know how hard it sometimes is to get toddlers to try new foods? I was having the same trouble with our wild bird life and something "new" I've slipped into their hanging log feeder.
I've had some rendered lard that has celebrated several birthdays in the bottom of my freezer and I was about to toss it when I wondered if the birds would like it in this cold weather.
I went to the handy-dandy, know everything Internet and checked to see if feeding them lard would be sending them to an early grave and was pleased to find that it's just fine for them and shouldn't clog their little arteries or do other deadly damage.
I did remember that long ago, in a different place and time, I used to fill the peanut butter hanging feeder with half peanut butter and half melted beef suet. This lard I have is from butchered pigs and it's lovely, pure white stuff but has just enough of a "flavor" that I don't care for when I use it to make pie crusts. So it has languished in my freezer for long enough and that's why I decided to offer it to the birds.
Well, said (ungrateful) birds cleaned out all the holes I filled with peanut butter twice now, but didn't seem to get the idea that the white stuff is good for them. I even mixed some sunflower seeds in with the lard thinking that would entice them to try this new taste treat.
But, now, I think I've finally (possibly) found a solution to get them to dip their little beaks into the lard and give it a try.
The last time I had the feeder in to fill, I smeared a light peanut butter coating over the holes filled with lard. And look!
See those little beak marks on the lard? And the fact that nearly all the peanut butter is gone so they've started eating the lard?
And even though some holes still have plenty of peanut butter for them to eat . . .
This hole that was full of lard is well on its way to being devoured!
Now if they continue to clean out the lard filled holes, I can consider myself smarter than the average chickadee. (It's the little things in life that count, right?)
the quotidian (12.11.17)
8 hours ago