Home-made bird cake

"DIY Bird Feeder" by Personal Creations

Harsh winds, colder temperatures and frost can make winter a tough time. The scarcity of food makes this season hard for most wildlife, as surprisingly few creatures hibernate. If you’re keen to start helping wildlife, setting up a bird feeding station in your garden can be a great way to start. Here’s some know-how on bird-feeders and a quick and easy recipe your garden birds will love!

3 tips to help with feeding the birds

Develop a routine


“Redhill Garden – July 2011 – The Sparrows Check Out the New Bird Feeder” by Gareth Williams

It’s important to maintain an element of regularity when it comes to your bird feeder. Birds can come to depend on garden feeders and will develop an understanding of your routine. Develop a feeding routine and stick to it.

Keep feeders clean

image by Kris

Don’t let any food accumulate around the bird-feeder. This can attract other, less desirable animals to your garden such as rats. Water containers need daily cleansing. Its also recommended that feeding stations are moved every month or so, to prevent the accumulation of droppings beneath. Feeders should be thoroughly cleansed regularly.

Variety


“Bird Feeder Garland” by OakleyOriginals

Different types of foods attract different types of birds; vary the selection on offer at your feeding station and see how many different birds visit.

A great recipe for home-made bird cake

“DIY Bird Feeder mixing” by Personal Creations

Making your own bird-cakes can be fun, especially for children who want to learn more about wildlife. Its also very rewarding to see the birds eating something you made for them!

You will need:

  • lard or suet
  • mixture of seeds, peanuts, breadcrumbs, oats, raisins*
  • old yogurt pot, thoroughly washed
  • garden string

How to:

  1. Melt the lard or suet in a large pan and tip in the seeds, peanuts, breadcrumbs, oats and raisins. Stir thoroughly to make sure it is all well combined.
  2. Put in a hole the base of the yogurt pot, and carefully thread the string through it, knotting tightly
  3. Pack the mixture into the yogurt pot, pressing down with a metal spoon as you go to make sure there are no gaps
  4. Leave the pot overnight to ‘set’. Carefully cut the pot, and ease it away from the mixture.
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Hang from a tree in your garden and watch the birds enjoying your hand-made banquet!

*Please note, omit the raisins if you have a dog. Raisins and grapes are toxic for dogs. Birds are messy eaters and often drop bits and pieces onto the ground below.
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