Inspired by TV baking shows? Here are some ideas for creating a feast for our feathered friends.
Feeling inspired by baking shows like Great British Bake Off? Want to help the birds in your garden as the weather turns chilly? Head to the kitchen, get your apron on and prepare a feast for our feathered friends!
Remember your winged guests will all have different needs. Some, like blackbirds, prefer to feed on the ground, so that’s where they’ll happily peck at old apples, fat, cheese and mealworms. Many smaller birds would naturally eat while delicately dangling from twigs, so they’ll be most comfortable on hanging feeders. The two recipes below can be used in a few different ways so you’re sure to find a way to keep everyone happy!
A basic bird cake involves a mix of titbits like nuts, seeds and kitchen scraps, held together by fat (lard or suet is best). This can be served sprinkled on the ground… hung in a feeder (perhaps a homemade one)… or even wedged in chunks into the bark of trees or inside a pinecone! Here’s how you make it.
Suggested ingredients: crumbled cheese, nuts, seeds, mealworms, and perhaps some dried fruit*
1) Get your lard or vegetable lard out of the fridge to soften for a bit – that’ll make it easier to stir
2) In a large bowl, add your dry ingredients and stir them together
3) Stir in the lard
4) Serve outdoors and watch your guests flying in!
You can buy some ingredients here – as an added bonus you’ll be supporting the RSPB’s conservation work while you shop.
Bird food kebab
For a really easy homemade feeder, all you need is some string or wool, a skewer and a selection of food. Cheese, apples, pears and dried fruit* are perfect for this. Push the skewer through cubes of fruit and cheese and thread the string or wool through. Tie a knot at either end to hold everything in place, then hang these treats, either by one end or both, from a tree or bird table.
* Remember to keep dried fruit out of reach of cats and dogs – it’s bad for them!
Check out the October 2018 Sainsbury’s magazine for great bird food recipes invented by Great British Bake Off winner and RSPB supporter Frances Quinn.