Wow, wannabe, that's a great help - thanks! I must look up the difference between suet and lard, because I do think they're both animal products. But all the recipes I've seen so far say suet or lard. The detailed information makes me want to try your recipe.
The vegetable vs. animal issue is intriguing, indy. I rather think, though, that birds will peck at carcusses, etc. - especially crows and the like, of course. I must ask the wizards at Wild Birds Unlimited what they think of veg vs. animal for the suet; in particular, I'll ask what the good stuff they sell is based on. They're so bird savvy, I do tend to trust what they tell me (mind you, I've spent a small fortune in their store as well!
- not that they discriminate when it comes to advice, because I've asked them questions over the phone when I was anonymous and they never hesitated to take the time to talk to me).
Wannabe, what did you mean by "not the Flickers favourite feeder?" I know they prefer a tail rest, but I thought they were fine with hanging upsided down. I've just devised my own upside-down-cage suet feeder by hanging it sideways with a chunk of cardboard on top. The starlings have definitely slowed down, but I saw a flicker hanging their happily earlier. Mind you he didn't tell me whether he preferred the cage tied to a trunk vs. the upside down feeder.
I've just got to stop the extremely
As an aside, being somewhat of a newbie, I just implemented a birdbath for the first time about 2 weeks ago. The birds are going nuts! And I'd never seen one drink before - they look like they're gargling!