One brazen bird

by Joanne Bilecki
(Red Deer, Alberta, Canada)

I was wondering why my suet was disappearing so quickly- my husband and I live on a small acreage outside of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. I prefer to make my own suet, as I don't like to buy the stuff that's been sitting on the shelf. I don't know exactly what's in it, or how long it has been sitting there. By making my own, I am assured that the birds are getting delicious and nutritous suet.

I purchase beef fat, render it down, strain it, and mix with bacon fat (if I have any), peanut butter, wheat germ, oatmeal, cornmeal, chopped raisins, chopped apricots, chopped nuts (if I have any) and a couple handfuls of bird seed. I pour the mixture into suet containers and freeze it till ready to use. I have been doing this for a couple years, and have a beautiful assortment of birds from chickadees and nut-hatches to downy and hairy woodpeckers eating the suet as well as lots of other species of birds eating at the other feeders.

I happened to be looking out my kitchen window a couple weeks ago to see a spectacular female balanced on my post, eating the suet. I grabbed my camera immediately, and took a few pictures. She has returned every day since. As I was able to take some good pictures already, I decided to see just how close I could get to her. I opened my back door, and walked outside. I was able to approach her to within 2 feet. I have done this several times.That's one brazen bird!

Comments for One brazen bird

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Apr 13, 2011
Pileated woodpeckers feeding times
by: Anonymous

I think it is a pileated woodpecker like Susan said.
I have 2 pairs and they come daily. They do warn you before they arrive by a loud 'Shemp' of the three stooges sound. I LOVE these birds and they are given top priority at my house. I go through a suet cake a day, especially in the summer when they bring their young and feed them suet at the feeder.

fred ohio

Apr 09, 2011
Pileated Woodpecker
by: Susan

Looks like a Pileated Woodpecker to me.

Apr 09, 2011
what kind?????
by: Anonymous

what kind of bird is this one. Looks a little fishy to me.

Apr 09, 2011
Ivory-billed woodpecker
by: Anonymous

You said that you had a hairy wood pecker but I believe this bird is really called the Ivory-billed woodpecker.

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