Feeding birds in the wintertime not only helps them find food when it's scarce, but has other benefits too, and what better way to do it than to get down & squelchy making your own bird feeders.
According to *research undertaken by the University of Exeter and Queen's University Belfast, birds that are provided with extra food during the winter helps to ensure a more successful breeding season the following spring.
It's also much more economical making your own fat feeders than buying them, and great fun if you don't mind getting your hands dirty (just wear rubber gloves if you do).
So with that in mind this morning a group of twenty of us made enough feeders to keep our local bird population full for months!
So what do you need?
Lard (at room temperature)
Coconut shells, yogurt pots or small disposable cups
I deliberately haven't added quantities here as we made lots (the picture shows a 2kg bag of peanuts). However, I would estimate that one pack of lard would be enough to fill four half shells, with the other ingredients added until the mixture 'just looks right'.
A friend donated some empty coconut shells, pre-cut & holes drilled (thanks Pat!) to tie the string to. We left the coconut inside, just scoring it with a blade to give the mixture something to stick to although I'm not sure that was necessary. Then we added all the ingredients to a bowl and squished and squelched it between our fingers until everything was combined (which caused great amusement & delight!)
The mixture was then packed into the shells. Once we ran out of shells we made holes in the bottom of yogurt pots, poked & tied string through them and filled those. When they were filled we used plastic drink cups!
Once the containers were full they were placed in the fridge for an hour or more which allowed the lard to set. Once set they're ready to hang outdoors as they are.
Have you ever made your own bird feeders and do you use any other ingredients/method?
* Source: Science Daily