I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment,
while I was hoeing in a village garden,
and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance
that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.

— Henry David Thoreau

I discovered this idea in a newspaper years ago when my oldest son was in the Boy Scouts and had to do a birding project. After many trails at getting the more aggressive birds such as the cactus wren and gila woodpecker to stop running off the shyer vireos and hummers we came up with the idea to put out suet in the tree, but still they would go after the seeds in the feeders. Marvel Meal seemed ideal since it had the seeds they wanted and we could smear it on the trunk of the tree to keep them occupied. It's more nutritious than suet, relatively inexpensive, easy to prepare and squirrels like it too!

It comes from the book Songbirds in your Garden was created by John Terres who knew that birds loved peanut butter, but also knew that they could choke themselves to death on it because it was so sticky.

It's made up of:

  • One part Peanut Butter
  • One part Shortening
  • One part Flour
  • Four parts Cornmeal

    Combine the dry ingredients first then add the peanut butter and shortening. It should be the consistency of cookie dough when done. Store it in the refrigerator. It can be cut into small squares and put into feeders or even pressed into pine cones and hung from a tree.
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