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Banana Split Recipe for Backyard Birds

Celebrate the birds in your backyard with this Banana Split recipe from Adele Porter’s book Homemade Bird Food: 26 Fun & Easy Recipes to Feed Backyard Birds.

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  • 1 peeled banana
  • Two small scoops of suet base, suet-fruit combo, or nutty suet
  • Half an orange, peeled and cut into pieces
  • Handful of grapes, halved
    2 cherries
  • Shelled peanuts or other seeds
  • 1 crushed eggshell
  • 1⁄4 cup grape jelly
  • Live mealworms (optional—but the warblers and bluebirds would say required!) 

Ice-cream scoop
Banana split dish or recycled container 


Slice the banana in half lengthwise and place both halves in a dish that can be kept outside. (Secondhand stores often have banana split dishes for sale, or be creative and recycle a leftover container.) 

Place two scoops of suet base between the banana halves. (Hint: Warm the scoop in hot water to allow it to scoop and release the suet more easily.) 

Heat the jelly until it is melted. Drizzle the jelly over the mounds of suet. 

Place the fruit pieces, nuts, and seeds around the suet. During winter in northern regions, substitute peanuts and other nuts and seeds for the fruit. 

Sprinkle the crushed eggshell and squirmy mealworms on top. 

Banana split recipe

Just as dessert is only one part of a meal, the food eaten by backyard birds is only a supplement to their full energy requirements. Research indicates that just over 20% of the winter energy needs of chickadees are gained from food sources at bird-feeding stations. Fill the water glasses (bird baths) all year too. Birds fulfill their water needs from direct sources like puddles and bird feeders and from indirect sources such as the moisture content in foods and from respiration. Mourning Doves must visit a water source at least once per day. Bring on the feast! 

GOOD TO KNOW: Black-billed Magpie; Tufted Titmouse; Red-breasted Nuthatch; Eastern Towhee; Yellow-bellied Sapsucker; Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied and Red-headed Woodpeckers; and Mountain Chickadee will all love this banana split recipe.

Place the banana split on a tree stump or another elevated stand near tree branches (but not accessible to roaming cats and squirrels) in the spring and fall when warblers are migrating. Eastern Bluebirds will eat from this protein-packed meal during the summer nesting season. 

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Liliane Opsomer
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