Monday, 13 January 2014

Cakes For The Birds


Hello! I so enjoyed reading your comments on my cleaning out the cupboards post. I liked hearing what you stockpile in your cupboards too, it made me feel that I'm not alone! Today I want to share a brilliant idea for feeding the birds during winter which I read about somewhere recently. You need a few empty yogurt pots (the individual ones work best here), some lard or suet, and some dry ingredients like oats, breadcrumbs, nuts, seeds or dried fruit.

Make a hole in the bottom of your yogurt pot and thread a long piece of string through the hole.


Prepare your bird food. You need approximately one part lard or suet to two parts dry ingredients. Melt the fat in a saucepan, add the other ingredients and mix well. Spoon into the waiting yogurt pot making sure you push it as far down as you can. If it isn't well-compacted it will crumble when you remove it. Wiggle the end of the string so that it's roughly central.


Put your yogurt pots in the fridge to set. Put them on a plate, as a fair bit of that lard will leak through the little hole as they cool and set.


After a couple of hours they will be ready. Cut away the yogurt pots with scissors and then cut and knot one length of the string.



Using the other, longer length of string, hang from a waiting tree branch in the garden.


And that is all! Very easy and a fun activity to do with children too. Now wait for word to get around and all the local birds to come to dine in your garden. I hung three on Saturday. Two remain, a little pecked but intact, but one has just completely vanished leaving nothing but a dangling thread of string. There is nothing on the grass underneath the tree, no crumbs. I blame a crack team of squirrels with night vision goggles; two to dislodge the cake and more waiting underneath to catch it and carry it away, perhaps. But I did see a bird pecking away at one this morning and that made me feel good.



31 comments:

Jackie said...

What a great idea ~ especially for the kids to join in with. I hope you get to the bottom of the disappearing bird cake mystery :O)xx

Sopa Azul said...

Great idea!! We recently put pieces of bread mixed with cookies in our garden, but definitely, your idea is better. Hugs :D

Amy at love made my home said...

Lovely idea a great way to use what you have! xx

Caroline said...

What a fantastic idea! So lovely to have something that the children can join in with too.
Caroline xx

RedSetter said...

Great idea and laughing at your SAS squirrel squad!

Jennifer said...

I haven't done this in so long. Thank you for the reminder, they're fun and easy, aren't they? I also like doing the ones with peanut butter spread on a pinecone and rolled in seeds.

Lise said...

I have been planning to do this for weeks. You have inspired me to do it with the kids tomorrow.

Cheryl mylittlepieceofengland said...

Lovely idea, my daughter will love doing this and watching the birds enjoy it, thank you :) xx

Louise said...

I like to make something very similar for our local birds, they love it!

Mad about Craft said...

If your squirrels are like ours they will have tackled removing it like a crack Royal Marines commando unit!

Sol said...

how cool. My parents had a bird table and then in the summer peanut plants grew in the grass!

tangled_web said...

Love it! I haven't got a back garden but I'm thinking of taking something like this down to the park :-)

Leanne said...

This is a great idea, Gillian. I scatter shop bought bird food for ground feeding birds like Blackbirds, Thrushes, Robins etc. (National Trust bird food on sale inPoundland at the mo). I tried a similar idea to yours last year, but the Starlings and Rooks demolished them and bullied all the other birds too. I kept running out into the garden to frighten them off (early morning in my dressing gown pre shower would scare a grown man), but they just sassed me from the fence!

Leanne xx

Clare said...

Great idea they need all the help they can get this time of year, I love watching the birds feeding in the garden.
Clare xx

the linen cloud said...

Loving your secret service squirrels ... I do this with the little ones every year too ... we made Christmas shaped ones in cookie cutters ... Bee xx

Squiggling About said...

It been years since i have done this, i think the birds in my garden are in for a treat x

Charmaine said...

what a brilliant idea… I was wondering what I should do with the leftover suet from the Christmas pudding :) x

CJ said...

What a great idea. We did something similar with the mixture stuck into pine cones. I haven't seen any birds on it yet, but hopefully soon!

Chrissie said...

That is genius! I'm going to make some this weekend with the children, we have great fun feeding the birds in our garden. Thank you!!! Chrissie x

Amanda Graham said...

Gosh- i haven't made these for years- we used to make them every winter at Brownies. I love watching the birds feed:)

Gracie Saylor said...

I somehow missed your cupboard cleaning post, Gillian...but I just read it and found it inspirational :) We just mucked out out tea cupboard recently and found an astonishing amount and variety of tea which we have rearranged and are trying to use up.
Thanks so much for this post, as well, highlighting a project that could please both my grands and our feathered friends. xx
PS Thanks for the links to Sue's recipes as well!

Jacqui Galloway said...

It's a lovely way to bring birds into the garden. x

sustainablemum said...

How lovely, you could make some more and do the RSPB Big Garden Watch on 25 or 26 Jan, perfect for attracting the birds for you to count!

Mereknits said...

What a lovely idea, I bet the birds in your area are very happy.
Hugs,
Meredith

FunkySteph said...

What a grea idea! Our winter has been so mild so far that we don't even need to feed the birds...

Christina said...

These look delicious, I want to be a bird in your garden. We have two cats and there are lots of squirrels, too. So unfortunately birds stay away, no matter how tempting the food may be.

Jen Walshaw said...

We love making these and you can use pinecones and cover them too.

Ladybird Diaries said...

I bet the birds are loving these! This looks like something my wee girl would love doing with me, thank you for sharing.
Marianne x

The Creative Academic said...

The squirrels in our garden have PhDs in stealth food acquirement! What a great idea....when BigR came home from nursery yesterday they'd be doing the same activity for the garden. Might be a good opportunity for us to do some at home too....and get on with those garden tasks!

My Yellow Heart said...

This is a great idea. It would go really well at Mum's house. If I get the time, and we are all well enough I will try it! x

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