I found this recipe for bark butter online. Our local bird shop sells several versions of it, and they call it “bird crack,” since the birdies snarf it up as soon as it’s put out. I forgot the honey, but the birds don’t care. I also learned that if I smear it in the tree bark, the darn pigeons get it. They don’t like anything that swings, so our good friends at Casa Cuma Bed & Breakfast in Santa Fe gave me a lovely piñion log. I drilled 5/8″ holes slanted down, about 3/4 inch deep, put in an eye screw at the top for hanging, and filled the holes with bark butter. Voila! The finches and woodpeckers love it, but the pigeons can’t hang onto it.
Here’s the recipe. See my notes below.
Bird Bark Butter
from Whitney’s Bird Blog
2 cups lard
2 cups peanut butter
4 cups cornmeal
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups unsalted sunflower seeds or mixed bird seed
1 tsp honey
In a big bowl, put in 2 cups of lard, add 2 cups of peanut butter and stir together. Then add 4 cups cornmeal, 2 cups rolled oats, 2 cups unsalted sunflower seeds or bird seed mix, 1 tsp. of honey. Stir thoroughly. Store in container at room temperature. Spread on tree bark.
Kathy’s notes: The lard I got is fairly soft, so I just put everything in my food processor and mixed it all together. You can also use nuts you happen to have, like the stale almonds I found in the back of the cabinet (just throw them in the food processor and chop) but make sure they’re unsalted, and maybe you don’t want to use the ones that have been roasted in oil.