To make a recycled Bird feeder
You Will Need:
- Clean yoghurt pots or other plastic container
- Strong string
- Lard or suet fat
- Good quality birdseed
- Grated cheese
- Raisins or dried berries
Use a sharp object like a bradawl or a sharp pencil to make a small hole in the top of your yoghurt pot that’s just big enough to thread through a length of your string. Tie the string in a knot on the inside of the yoghurt pot and test that that it’s sturdy and won’t pull back through the hole.
In a large mixing bowl, combine small cubes of lard or suet with the birdseed, cheese and dried fruit and mix well. Spoon into the yoghurt pot, filling it right to the top with mixture. Allow this to set and harden overnight.
Finally, choose a nice tree branch to hang your recycled bird feeder from by its string. You could also try hanging just dry birdseed in a drinks bottle with a large hole cut in the body – simple but effective!
What Birds Can You Expect to See in Your Garden?
You can expect to see Song-Thrushes, Chaffinches and Black Birds pecking their way through the grass underneath your feeder at this time of year and flying in to take a peek at what’s hanging in the trees will likely be Starlings. Perhaps one of Britain’s most common small birds, the first winter starlings can be identified by its dark brown plumes with white spots all over and a greyish brown head.
Feeders and bird tables in midwinter will attract many species of tit. Blue Tits especially will join flocks in search of food during this season. A Marsh Tit can also be spotted by observing its cap – the top section of a bird’s head and its bib – the area just below its beak. The cap and bib of a Marsh Tit are both jet-black and the rest of its body will be brownish-white.
Coal Tits can also be found pecking at feeders and tables and can be identified by a neat white streak on the back of its head- which is otherwise glossy black with white cheeks. It has a light coloured body and blue-grey wings. Long-Tailed Tits are easier to identify because of their beautifully long tail feathers and their ability to cling onto objects like birdfeeders upside down!
If you’re lucky enough to attract a Great Spotted Woodpecker to your garden, you can spot it by listening to its particularly loud call. Adult woodpeckers of this kind have a white head and shoulders with a black cap and black stripe running from the base of the beak, under the cheeks and into the back of the head (or nape). The back, wings and tail are mostly black whereas the underbelly will be a brownish-white. You can tell if your woodpecker is male by looking for a red patch on the nape. Females do not have this.