Butter for the Birds

Feeding the birds is probably not as much for the birds survival as it is for human entertainment. I put a lot of thought and money into placing feeders and certain types of bird food in just the perfect locations to attract the most species. The more the merrier in my backyard. 

I had noticed recently at that really nice wild bird supply store where I enjoy shopping way too much ($$$), a product called bark butter. It’s sort of like a spreadable suet that’s supposed to attract a record number of bird species. The store suggests that you can spread the butter on a tree, but they obviously live in a bird-only bubble without squirrels if they can get away with that. I toyed with the idea of purchasing the small tub of the bark butter and the hanging feeder there, but then I decided to do a little research. 

Google to the rescue! Apparently people have been making bird butter for years and especially as a winter project. You may already have all but one of these ingredients and if you decide you want to try this, let me know. I have a pound tub of the lard, and despite the fact that I’m a southern girl, have no other use for lard and would love to share. If you have children or grandchildren close by, this is the perfect afternoon activity as you can get your hands really messy! 

Bark Butter 

Ingredients (Purchase the least expensive products available)

  • 1 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter 
  • 1 Cup Lard
  • 1 Cup Flour 
  • 4 Cup Corn Meal
  • Mixed bird seed – optional 


Add all ingredients in large bowl. Blend together with a spoon or knead it in the bowl with your hands until the dry ingredients are completely blended into a dough. Store in an airtight container. All ingredients are shelf stable. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That’s it! Children can spread this into pine cones and hang it with a ribbon in a squirrel-proof area. Since I am not handy, I purchased the Kettle Moraine Peanut Butter Feeder with Perch. Another option would be to make or purchase a suet plug log feeder. My feeder has been up for several weeks and is frequented by Carolina Chickadees, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, and occasionally a Downy Woodpecker.  

Just another way to attract birds and entertain yourself! Enjoy!

Submitted by:  Joleen Ardaiolo


Author: sibirders

SEABROOK ISLAND BIRDERS / “watching, learning, protecting” Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC who have an interest in learning, protecting and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

7 thoughts on “Butter for the Birds”

  1. I’ve been using bark butter for years. I have taken fallen tree limbs, trimmed them down to about 2 1/2 feet in length, drilled deep holes in them and hung them on two of my three poles after filling the holes with bark butter. Currently, I have four deployed and need to refill them about every four days. Oils from melted bark butter soak into the wood and preserves it. Here is a list of birds feeding at these logs: Red-belly and Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Bluebirds, Mockingbirds and Yellow-rumped Warblers. At first I had trouble with Crows, but took measures to discourage their visits and they’re no longer a problem.
    I also have bark butter balls in a house-like feeder that attracts Bluebirds, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Blue Jays and Brown Thrashers. Heavy consumption during breeding season.


    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and information on how to DIY. I’m replenishing mine once a week now and it seems to be attracting more birds so your comment about breeding season might be the key.


  2. Thanks, Joleen! I made it today and it appears to be a hit! I cannot remember the last time I bought lard…LOL!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: