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28 October 2014

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Bird cakes
Birdcake hanging in a garden. Help may be at hand for birds struggling to survive the winter season.

Baking a simple bird cake can help prevent birds starving and can also let you see nature close up.
Birds will visit regularly if they get supplied with food


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Lincolnshire Bird Club

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What do you do to help animals in the winter?

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Booming bittern pays a flying visit
Bullet point. To survive, most birds must eat at least half their own weight in food each day
Bullet point. Ravens are reputed to be the most intelligent species of bird; they can even count
Bullet point. A golden eagle can spot a hare up to 2 miles away
Bullet point. 90% of all species that have become extinct have been birds
  The modern world and climate change have combined to make the winter season a hard time for animals. Birds in particular are finding it increasingly difficult to survive the cold weather.

The number of deaths from starvation is rising and birds are becoming increasingly reliant on the food left out in gardens.

Many people try to help by throwing out scraps of food for birds but why not try baking a tasty bird cake full of the right foods for birds?
Child making a birdcake.
It's fun making a birdcake

All birds need protein and fat or oil. Bread (soaked to avoid swelling in a bird's stomach), seeds, cooked rice and fat balls are popular but birds should not be fed leftovers which have gone stale.

Making ingredients into a bird cake is a great way of feeding birds correctly and is also a way of encouraging nature into your garden.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is keen to promote helping birds in the winter and has come up with three recipes for bird cakes.

In severe weather birds can be fed twice a day and it is good to establish a regular feeding routine.

Horace's Hanging Bird Cake
Monkey Nut String
Dish Of The Day

Horace's Hanging Bird Cake

Old yoghurt pots or a plant pot
Lard or other solid fat
Food scraps


1. Pierce the bottom of the yoghurt pot. Thread through some string and tie a knot at the bottom, so it hangs upside down like a bell.

2. Break up food into small pieces and mix together in a bowl.
3. Melt 150g of fat in a saucepan until it is runny and pour over your mixture until all the food is coated with fat.
4. Fill the yoghurt pot with the mixture and press it down well. Leave it in the fridge for about 1 hour to set. Repeat with other pots.
Hang your bird cakes outside, out of reach of cats.

NB. Do not use margarine or oil. Food scraps should not be salty, mouldy or alcoholic!

Monkey Nut String

Unshelled monkey nuts
Thin string
Large darning needle

1. Make your string of nuts by tying a knot in the end of the string, threading through the middle of each shell.
2. Make up a necklace and hang it outside on the branch of a tree.

Horace's Dish Of The Day
This requires special food from a pet shop.

75g of maize meal
Chopped nuts
Canary and millet seed
2 beaten eggs

Stir maize, nuts and seeds together with boiling water until combined. Add the two beaten eggs. Tie tightly in a cloth and bake for about 50 minutes at 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4

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