We make them with melted suet or lard with the other ingredients mixed in, like seeds and such. Are these ok to feed while there are young birds around? Thanks :)
Hi Lil Wren.
I make my own too with peanuts and sunflower hearts finely crushed in a food processor and mixed with lard, the birds love them and take some for the chicks.
The only thing i should say you have to watch is the size of the bits.
Large chunks of peanuts can be a choke hazard to baby birds so if you do add these as Alan says make sure they are small particles. Sunflower hearts and porridge oats added to homemade fat foods are fine, add some raisins and dried mealworms as well to give a bit of variety in terms of nutrition. These types of food come into there own during cold spells and over the autumn and winter months.
Parent birds will be looking for live insects to feed their young during the summer so live mealworms in a shallow tray is an ideal extra treat.
Hi LW. I put out home made (uncooked) pastry for the smaller birds (although the whole gang will gladly scoff the lot!). If you break off little pieces and place them on twigs or small branches in a bush or tree, the smaller birds are the only ones who can reach them and they have the added security of not being out in the open. They will peck away at it endlessly. Just make sure it isn't too moist, or it will stick to their beaks. The sparrows also love very finely grated cheese in the pastry. Red Leicester is the most eagerly consumed by my lot, but they are like feathered vacuum cleaners and will devour anything given the chance. Oddly enough, they wouldn't go near the seed feeder when it was part of the main feeding station, but as soon as I moved it to the tree (as seen in the photos) they were all over it and I went from one pair of occasional visiting sparrows back in April, to the rampaging horde that has set up camp in the garden full time! Cockney Sparras are making a comeback!
Thank you doggie :) I'll bear that in mind
Thank you both very much for your kind advice :)
Hi monkeycheese. Great idea with the pastry in the trees, I'll definately give that a go, thanks! Haha, it's great you've got so many of the sparrows, watching their antics and personality must be great. You aren't alone with the 'feathered vacuum cleaners'; I quote my sister in saying that our sparrows are literally the size and shape of tennis balls.
I do enjoy watching them. I even find myself talking to them when I go outside to replenish the food. They all fly back into the tree and shuffle about, twittering and scrapping with eachother as they wait for me to fill up the seed feeder. I keep telling them to calm down and be patient. I do like the fact that they don't fly away (unlike the other birds). I will set up a camcorder on a tripod in the tree and see what transpires. It could make for interesting viewing.