Homemade Bird Feeders

Despite living in a noisy little town, our house resides on a hill that backs on to a steep bank filled with trees, a haven for wildlife. It was the perfect setting to take part in the RSPB’s big garden bird watch over the weekend.

I ordered our free pack some weeks back which, coupled with a few ideas from Pinterest, gave us all the ammunition we needed to get started.

Bird Feeder #1
For this we needed;

  • twine
  • cardboard toilet roll inner tube
  • peanut butter
  • wild bird seed

Using a butter knife we coated the tube with peanut butter until completely covered. Under close supervision from Enid, Neiva then rolled the tube in the wild bird seed. We then  threaded through the twine and hung outside.

To make the second bird feeder below, we needed to first make the suet cakes which ideally need to be done the night before so they can set completely in the fridge. It really was so simple to make and the finished effect looked lovely.

Suet (Lard) Cakes
For this we needed;

  • a packet of lard
  • an old baking tray
  • wild bird seed
  • twine
  • cookie cutters (we used hearts and stars)

Melt a full packet of lard gently. Add enough bird seed to coat thoroughly. Thread through the twine and ensure the two ends meet at the top. Transfer to the cookie cutters packing them down nice and tight. Leave in the fridge overnight to set. In hindsight I would have not used stars as they were quite difficult to remove once set. I would have also laid them on grease proof paper as they did stick to the tray.

Bird Food Garland
This was a little bit more complex but Neiva did love making this. For this we needed:

  • a bamboo stick (or a dry twig)
  • twine
  • two apples
  • suet (lard) cakes
  • small heart cookie cutter

Slice the apples into thin slices and use the small heart cutter to cut a hole in the middle. Thread the twine through the hole (we did rows of three) Remove the suet cakes from the cutters and tie to the bamboo along with the apple slices.

We did enjoy counting the different types of birds on the sheet and look forward to reporting our findings to the RSPB. Poor Enid not so much. Not only did she have the local squirrel to contend with, she had to deal with extra visitors to her garden this weekend.

If you want more information on why the RSPB carry out an annual survey on local birdlife, please click here.


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