What you need (makes several)
- 1 cup of bird seeds
- Half a pack of lard or suet
- Pine cones (optional)
- String (optional)
How to make the bird cakes
There are two options for these hanging feeders: either they are formed around knots on a piece of string, or around pine cones.
- If you are making hanging bird cakes using pine cones, first make sure that their scales have opened out, because the mix needs space to stick. You can open them out by placing them in a sunny spot or somewhere warm like in an airing cupboard or on a radiator – for a good few days.
- Let the lard or suet get to room temperature and cut it into small pieces.
- Mix the lard or suet, seeds or peanuts together in the bowl. The RSPB recommends using mixtures that include flaked maize, sunflower seeds and peanut granules.
- Take a handful of the mixture and press it into the spaces between the scales.
- Then tie some string tightly around the pine cone and hang it from a tree.
- If you don’t have any pine cones, simply tie some big knots all along the length of a piece of string and squeeze the bird mix over these, then hang the string from a branch. If the mixture is too runny you may need to wrap it in some grease-proof paper and refrigerate.
- Hang up your bird cakes! As far as possible, try to hang the feeders out of reach of cats. A good tip is that a thin branch will bear the weight of feeder and small bird, but not the weight of a cat.