On most warm summer days, you’ll find me happily puttering among my plants, listening to the birds sing their sweet songs. I make my feathered friends feel right at home in my backyard by creating a birdscape they find irresistible.

But during the long, hot days of summer, birds are super-thirsty and quick to dive into a welcoming birdbath. That means that housekeeping is extra important now—algae grows quickly in hot weather, and mosquitoes are always looking for a place to lay their eggs. So empty and scrub the basin every two days with warm soapy water, then rinse it thoroughly several times, and you won’t have a buildup of either pesky problem.

And every now and then, I like to give the birds a little extra treat. Here’s a recipe for Summer Suet Pudding that won’t melt in warm weather:

Melt 1 cup of suet over low heat and strain the hot liquid fat through cheesecloth. Then return the suet to the heat, and add 1 cup of peanut butter. When the peanut butter has melted too, remove the pan from the heat. Add 2 cups of yellow cornmeal, 1 cup of flour, and 1 to 2 cups of chopped fresh or dried figs or plums, and mix everything together. Spoon the mixture into the cups of a muffin tin, filling each cup about half full, and put the tin in the refrigerator. When the mixture has hardened, pop the “puddings” out of the muffin tin, and place them in zip-top plastic freezer bags for storage in the freezer. Take individual puddings out as needed, and set them on tray feeders for the birds to eat.

For more quick and easy ways to turn your outdoor spaces into bird-pleasing places, check out my Backyard Birdscaping Bonanza book—FREE for 21 days! With this treasure-trove of bird-smart garden tips you’ll have the bird-buslin’est backyard in town.