Let them eat cake (bird cake that is!)

Monday 14 December 2015

Children doing Big Schools Birdwatch at school, children inside classroom

This year has been unusually mild so far, resulting in plenty of natural food for birds but, once this starts to run out, you will see more birds arriving at your feeders.

A bird’s body clock works on daylight hours, so in the winter months there are great opportunities to view the birds feeding at first light, which can become a bit of a feeding frenzy. If you watch your garden birds regularly you’ll notice that they’ll come down to feed again in the late afternoon, before they go and find somewhere to roost overnight.

It’s hard to believe but during cold weather birds can lose up to 40 per cent of their weight overnight just trying to keep warm.

Food which is high in energy is fantastic for birds in the winter month - peanuts, fat or suet based foods, seed mixes which contain sunflower seeds or hearts, mealworms and fruit will all go down well. You can also make your own fat balls and cake mix using lard and suet – a great rainy day activity with the kids or grandkids.

Place lard and suet at room temperature in a mixing bowl, add in uncooked porridge oats, mild grated cheese, peanuts, sultanas, raisins and bird seed. Mix it all together and roll into balls or use shallow dishes to create bird cake. Put them in the fridge to set, and when they are solid place them outside.

However, remember not to feed turkey fat to feed your birds as it’s too soft and can get into their feathers, which can cause problems.

Last Updated: Tuesday 4 July 2017

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Tagged with: Country: UK Topic: Birds Topic: Get involved Topic: Giving nature a home where you live Topic: Wildlife