We were reading about Tommy Tit the chickadee in Burgess's Bird Book, and it talked about how he appreciated the suet that Farmer Brown's boy put out for him, and so we decided to make our own suet feeder.
To start with I got a log from where we had cut down a wild cherry sapling. I clipped off all the little off shoots, and then my husband drilled four holes through it with a 1" butterfly drill bit. A 1 1/4 " one would have probably worked better, but this was all I had on hand. The holes are placed: one at the top drilled through the side, two in the middle drilled through the front, and one in the bottom drilled through the side. I was thankful that Dave did the drilling for me.
Next, I drilled a hole in the top to screw in the eye bolt. I already had the twine strung through it. Anna helped screw it into place, using the drill bit for leverage.
Then, I drilled holes right below the feeder holes to insert perches. Using the twigs I had cut off the log in place of dowels, I dropped a bit of glue down in the holes, and Anna hammered the twigs in.
Next step, making the suet. Here is the recipe I used:
1 cup shorting
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup pure corn meal
1 cup sugar
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup bird seed
Melt the shorting and peanut butter until creamy. ( I set a metal bowl directly on my burner, over low heat) Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
When it's all mixed up, it will be thick enough to smush it in the holes by hand, if you don't mind being a little messy.
All finished, and waiting for the birds to discover it! The left over suet was frozen in a zip lock bag to use for refills. I can't wait to see what kinds of birds we get!