There has been plenty of evidence to suggest that watching birds twittering in the trees and flying and swooping about is good for us and helps to relax and feel better. So it’s no surprise that we love to feed them especially when it comes to those chilly autumn and winter months.
We are so lucky that we’ve such a great selection of woodland and garden feathered friends, and what with loss of their habitat they need all the help they can get. Now is the perfect time of the year to start putting out food for them (unless you’ve got cats – might be best to give it a miss in that case), so here are some of our favourite ways to feed the birds.
Home-made fat ball
Although the idea of eating it might make us queasy, birds love fat balls and they are a great and economical way to keep them going through those cold and dark winter months. You can buy these in places like garden centres, but why not cut down the cost by having a go at making your own. All you’ll need is one part fat either from some you’ve saved from cooking (avoid turkey fat though since it won’t set and can stick to their feathers preventing them from flying) or lard, to 2 parts dry mix in which you can include things like oats, wild bird seed, bread crumbs, old grated cheese and raisins. Melt the fat in a pan and mix in the dry ingredients; roll into balls or put into old yoghurt pots with string threaded through them and leave them to set in the fridge overnight. And voila you’ll have some home-made fat balls that use up kitchen scraps and which will have the birds flocking to eat.
Thanks to Pinterest you can easily inspired to make your own home-made bird feeder and our favourite design has to be the fizzy drink bottle one. All you’ll need is a thoroughly clean and completely dry 2L plastic bottle, some bamboo skewers, a pair of scissors and a hook. What you’ll what to do is skewer the bottle at internals with the skewers around the bottle at different levels and from different sides. A little bit above each skewer perch, you’ll want to cut a small square shape, leaving the bottom edge attached so you can fold it our as a feeding station. Screw the hook securely into the bottle and use a tiny dot of glue on each side to seal it. Then carefully and slowly fill the bottle up with seeds and hang it up outside.
One of the most ecologically friendly bird feeding ideas out there, the coconut shell feeder is also one of the most traditional. Not only can you simply pop an opened coconut on the bird table for them to feast on, but once the shell has been pecked clean, you can thread the halves on a sting and then pack each of them with the fat ball mixture that we’ve already talked about. Natural and cheap, the birds are going to love it!
So help support your garden birds this winter with some of these handy bird feeding tips.