Sunday 22 December 2013

A Sunday project...edible wild bird treats...

By Saturday night, the first Christmas visitors who'd arrived for supper Thursday evening had come and gone but we still hadn't got the tree, never mind decorating it. The other kind of decorating had been put on hold for a while, bed's changed, three cakes baked, (one to replace the already eaten chocolate Christmas cake) and there was a degree of order. But on Sunday with a last flurry, the paper snowflakes were taken down from the loft, the tree bought and I even had time to make a holiday treat for the wild birds. 

This is a fun, very simple project. Perfect for a rainy afternoon. One to do with any kiddies who might be around (as long as they are supervised)...

You will need the following:

  • Some thin plastic containers like yoghurt pots
  • String or ribbon
  • A large bowl
  • A metal skewer and a large spoon
  • Scissors
  • A large tray is also useful for working tidily
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Cereal such as porridge oats
  • Vine fruits like raisins or sultanas
  • Lard. I found that 250g was just the correct amount for about 700g of dry ingredients.
I haven't given any exact measurements but you will need enough dry ingredients to almost fill the containers  remembering to leave a little space to accommodate the additional fat. The empty plastic cups are perfect for measuring how much you will need.

  1. Make a hole in the centre of the base of the plastic containers using the skewer. Depending how hard the plastic is you may need to heat the tip of the skewer in a flame on the hob. It should then pierce the plastic very easily.
  2. Take a piece of string or ribbon and push it through the hole knotting it outside the bottom of the pot. Put the pots onto a large tray.
  3.  Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. 
  4. Melt the fat. You can do this in a saucepan on the hob or in a bowl in the microwave. In either case gently for a few minutes until the fat has all melted.
  5. Pour the liquid fat over the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the pots on the tray holding the ribbon centrally with your other hand...or get someone to help.
  7. When almost full transfer the pots to a plate and put into the fridge until set.
  8. Once set remove from the fridge and cut off the plastic container. 
  9. Hey presto you have a healthy but tasty treat for wild birds. You can then hang it in a tree or bird table.
This is a useful way to use up left over food. Great for crumbs or christmas cake or pudding, remembering not to use salted nuts or chicken fat as this doesn't set when cold in the same way that lard does and can drip onto the feathers of birds, causing them difficulty flying. Oh and apparently they love pomegranate seeds...

Sorting through the Cd's found this album's been the soundtrack of the week for me especially when no-one else is around and I can play what I like...

...It takes me back a few years...

Merry merry...

joining amanda


  1. My tree finally went up yesterday and we trimmed it last night.
    Today it is 78 degrees and there are birds all over the yard, I think they would love your treat.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Ours just got done in time for the big day. The birds loved their treat especially the robins and the finches. The swoop down pick up a seed or berry and sit on a branch nibbling before swooping down for the next one.
      Happy holidays,

  2. Ohh Debby what fun activity and nice the holiday treat for the birds!!
    Merry Christmas for you and your family!

    1. Thank you Montse. I hope you had a great holiday.
      Merry merry to you and yours.

  3. Only you would think of furry friends before a Christmas tree shopping trip :) I love this simple idea and it gives to our nature friends. I bet you are swirling in busyness and company!!

    1. Ah thanks Karen. They were fun to make and it's great to watch the birds enjoying them.
      It has been a swirl...a lovely one.
      Happy days,