The long awaited Big Garden Birdwatch has finally arrived this weekend – hooray! With this handy guide we will teach you how to make an irresistible bird feeder no sparrow could refuse!
Many of us may notice our little visitors in the garden, but do we really know what kind of bird it is? Luckily for you, our beautifully illustrated infographic may help you identify even the most exotic of species! Top marks if you manage to spot a Chabert Vanga…
The best way to entice any guests is of course with a free buffet, and in this blog we suggest a fantastic range of treats and scrummy dishes no bird could refuse.
Dangerous Food for Birds
However if you want to feed wild birds be careful that it is safe, the following cannot be used to feed wild birds:
- Spoiled seed – make sure the seeds you put out have not started rot. It should be dry without any strong odour.
- Large quantities of bread – although filling, bread does not contain any of the lovely goodness that wild birds need in their diet.
- Milk – Avoid leaving out milk for your birds, many experts claim this will make them ill.
- Cooking fat, margarine & vegetable oil – These are all unsuitable for birds.
Ingredients Needed for Your Bird Feeder
Now for the fun stuff!
It is SUPER easy to make your own bird feede, and it’s a fantastic activity to get the whole family involved and share in the joy when you spot a red breast in the garden.
Firstly, you will need to get your hands on some lard. This is a great glue that will bond all your ingredients. You want one part lard to two parts of your bird seed.
Next, you can pick and choose what treats you want to include for your birds. We suggest the following, with a brief description of what birds love this treat the most:
- Millet – sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings and collared doves
- Flaked maize – blackbirds
- Peanuts & Sunflower seeds – Tits and greenfinches
- Pinhead oatmeal – All birds love this!
- Nyjer seeds – goldfinches and siskins.
- Cooked rice – All birds lap this up
- Mealworms – excellent protein source for many birds
You can also add some grated cheese, dried fruit and much other variation of seed in your unique mix!
Now you have binded the lard and your bird seed you will be able to mould this into a variety of different shapes to catch the eye of birds or as a interesting activity for your children. This is a great alternative to shop bought fat balls that often come in nylon bags that are very harmful to birds that get their beaks or feet trapped in them!
Mould Ideas for Your Bird Feeder
- You can use a halved coconut shell to fill with your bird food; make sure there is no traces of coconut milk left in this shell however.
- Orange peel! Remove the fruit from the skin of the orange and, like the coconut, fill to the top with the food for a vibrant feeder.
- Pine cone – roll the pine cone in your lard and seeds for a more decorative feeding treat.
- Toilet roll – yes really! Once you’re left with the toilet paper roll you can roll this in the seeds for an innovative feeder for the birds. (Be careful in wet weather as the cardboard will begin to disintegrate)
- Cooker cutters – fill your cookie cutters with the mix and leave them to harden in the fridge.
- Or be creative and create a shape of your own!
Once you’ve made your treats place them in different areas around your garden to attract a range of birds, and remember to consider the little birds that will need low hanging treats.
Have fun this weekend, and be sure to send us your photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to see them!
Zoë works in the Marketing team at Primrose, and is passionate about all things social media.
After travelling across Europe and Asia, Zoë is intrigued by different cultures and learning more about the world around her. If she’s not jet setting, Zoë loves nothing more than curling up with a good book and a large glass of red wine!
She is an amateur gardener but keen to learn more and get stuck in!