Wildlife gardening ideas: Food for the birds
There are loads of ways that you can help wildlife in your garden. With just a few minutes in the kitchen you can cook up a feast for your garden birds.
Lard: it's best to use animal fats as they have higher melting points...
Dried, unsweetened fruit
Leftovers e.g. Bits of coconut, cake, bacon rinds, oatmeal and cheese
A clean flower pot, yoghurt tub or plastic container. You can also use old coconut shells.
What to do:
Pop the lard in a pan over a medium heat. Once the lard has melted, pile in your ingredients and give them a good stir.
Pour the mix into your container and leave it somewhere cool to set.
Pop the container onto your bird table or hang it from a tree in the shade.
Keep an eye on your feeder in case it starts to melt or turns mouldy and be sure to replenish it if this should happen.
Fat feeders are perfect for the winter when birds really need the extra energy to survive the cold. In the summer there is a greater risk of the feeder melting in the heat so you must keep a close eye on them. Use animal fats in your mix as they have a higher melting point. Beef suet is a good alternative to lard. Do not use fat from cooking as the consistency of this is prone to smearing onto feathers causing birds no end of trouble. Fat from cooking is also a breeding ground for bacteria.
Check out our article for more advice on bird feeding.
Tell us your bird feeding tips and recipes below. What have you tried and tested? We'd love to know what you've discovered that works and doesn't work...