Winter Bird Feeding – bird cakes

Standard

bird food

Make your own bird food hangers

Make those little feathery friends happy with a tasty treat…

I made these little bird fat balls by using leftover ingredients from baking and food I had in the store cupboard.  They are really easy to make and very rewarding once you see those little birds pecking away!

Firstly I’d like to note that I havn’t specified quantities on the dried ingredients as these may vary from cupboard to cupboard. Use what you have, don’t worry if all you have are fruit or oats and nuts. The birds will still love every morsel. Just stay true to the lard to dry mix ratio.

For advice on what is recommended to feed your garden birds please visit
http://www.rspb.org.uk/ as I am not an expert on wildlife and have taken my recipe from their guidance.

What you’ll need:

+ Thick String or any stringing material (I used ribbon as I didn’t have any string)
+ Mixed Nuts (i.e peanuts, walnuts and pecans etc)
+ Dried Fruit ( i.e apple, apricot, raisins and berries etc)
+ Uncooked porridge oats and/or bran flakes
+ Lard, you will need approx one third volume in lard to the dried food.
+ Small saucepan
+ Silicone Cupcake Moulds (or any easy release moulds that are at least cupcake size)

Directions:

Chop all fruit, nuts and oats and cereal into small pieces and reserve into a bowl.

Cut strings into approx 10in lengths, you can always cut more if you run out as the lard takes a couple hours in the refrigerator to set. Tie each of the strings ends together to form a circle and double/triple knot them to form an anchor in which the lard mixture will eventually stick to.

Next you will want to melt the lard on the hob on a low heat. Once just melted, add your lard to your dry mix until everything is well coated, you may want to be generous as this will help it all stick together.

Place your strings, knot first, into your silicone/easy release moulds. Scoop your mixture into the individual moulds making sure that the knot is well placed in the centre of the cake. Push the mixture so that it is tightly packed.

Now place the tray of bird cakes into the fridge for at least 2.5-3 hours, longer if you can as they will only benefit from the setting process. Once rock hard, pop out your little birdy cupcakes and hang high on the nearest tree.

Note: If you don’t fancy stringing these up you can always omit the stringing process and place on clean trays on the ground or on bird tables. They will still be enjoyed!

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