The Feeder Feed: freeeeezing cold edition

TwitterIt is cooooold here and all the visitors are doing their puff-ball imitation.  They fluff up their feathers to hold in their body heat.

They need a lot to eat in this sort of weather, and they are eating!

Some shots.

As I type it is -18°F (-28°C) and there is a fairly strong breeze.

Vote for Fr. Z!Think about it.

Here is a candid shot of Cardinal “Ray”.

Mr. Red-Breasted Woodpecker is fluffed-up and looking for the nuts, which have a higher fat content.

Chickadees galore.  They are my favorites.

The food bin is starting to get low.  I will have to get more soon.

Feed the birds!

Here is a Chickadee gnawing on something or other, probably a peanut.

Downy Woodpecker hanging hacking away at some very hard suet.

A note of thanks to those in the past who have contributed.   I feed them solely from donations.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. southern orders says:

    All I have to say is “YIKES!” Who the hell wants to live in temperatures like that. God made the south for a reason!

  2. AnnAsher says:

    My daughter, Samantha (15) has been feeding our local birds (MO) for about 2 years now. She has fun identifying all her new friends. On Christmas day, she says, she received a gift from St Frances who sent her a Purple Finch to look right at her and say hello. He doesn’t ‘belong’ in these parts in the winter and she’s never seen one before. She would like to know, Father, how you make suet?

  3. wanda says:

    I would add ‘YOWZER!’ We were 18 a bit ago on the east coast but above the zero mark! Winds are picking up here as well. Do they make feet warmers for the birds? Lovely photos of your intrepid birdz, Fr. Z. Thanks for posting them.

  4. yatzer says:

    I am amazed that creatures that small and easy to freeze can stay alive in those temps! It seems that they would quickly turn into little feather ice cubes.

  5. AnnAsher: Frankly, I buy it in blocks. It has goodies in it that birds like. You could “make” your own, but the process would be… messy.

  6. I marvel at the fact that these critters live through winters. But they do.

  7. Incaelo says:

    Excellent photos, as usual, Father. Those poor cold birds…

    By the way, shouldn’t Cardinal Ray be wearing his cappa magna in those temperatures? ;)

  8. Iconophilios says:

    Well, two days ago, here in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, we were well below -30 °C . The only birds we still have are thuggish flocks of sedentary sparrows.

  9. kwooding says:

    Father, the “donate” button led only to a PayPal error message. Help!

  10. kwooding: I fixed it. Thanks for the note about that.

  11. irishgirl says:

    It’s cold here in Upstate NY today-wind and blowing snow! Don’t want to stay outside for too long!
    Your birdies are cute as usual, Father Z-even in their little ‘puffball’ state!
    Cardinal ‘Ray’–oh, that’s very funny! ‘His Eminence’ is doing his best ‘you lookin’ at me?’ impression.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    southern orders,

    I have made suet. It is not hard. If you are homeschooling, it can be a project. Here is a recipe, but I did not use peanut butter, as we could not have it in the house owing to severe allergies. The little suet cages can be found sometimes in second-hand stores. My dad made some out of screening
    .•Melt 1 cup lard in a saucepan on very low heat.
    •Add 1 cup peanut butter and stir until melted. (I used more lard-not peanut butter)
    •Add 1 cup plain flour and 3 cups plain cornmeal. Mix thoroughly.
    •Add whole rolled oats, seeds, raisins. Use the seeds the birds like for whom you are making the suet.
    •Pour into a 8 inch by 8 inch pan and cool.
    •Slice into quarters to put each into a suet cage
    •Store remaining squares in the refrigerator. We also put some in the freezer in plastic bags until we needed them. The downy woodpeckers really love the stuff. If you make it in the summer, you can keep the squares until winter in the freezer in separate bags.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    P.S. I heard chickadees yesterday morning, when it was minus 9 outside. And, there are many eagles in the area. It has warmed up to a balmy 19.

  14. Maria says:

    Thank you for the photos Fr. Z.

    I particularly like the Chickadee with the nut. All fluffy and cute.
    We do not get these birds over here and the Cardinal is a lovely colour.

    My husband is a bit of a twitcher and he collects his photos together in an album.
    We go all over the place to spot birds in Britain, and we too feed our birds in winter in our garden.

    Supertradmum, I will try your recipe out for our birds, it looks good.

  15. AnnAsher says:

    Thank you for the tip Father! I shall take Samantha to a real pet store so she can buy some suet (next time we are in the city).

  16. MJ says:

    Over the weekend it was warm outside (60-ish), so I hung a hummingbird feeder, a block of suet, and a bird feeder with lots of birdseed inside. Yesterday as I was cooking breakfast after Mass, I looked outside and saw a squirrel make a stretching leap from the tree the birdfeeder platform (quite a funny sight to watch). He proceeded to nibble away at the birdseed. I need find a better place / way to hang the feeder…otherwise the squirrels will eat all the seed! Fr. Z, how do you keep the squirrels away from your birdseed?

  17. RichardT says:

    That’s very cold.

    Is this the leftover suet from your Christmas pudding that you’re feeding the birds?

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