This weekend it is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (25-26 January), so why not take part in the world’s largest wildlife survey, it will only take up an hour of your time, all you need to do during the hour is to record the different species of birds that you see and the highest number of each species that you see at any one time. Schools and Youth Groups such as Brownies and Cubs can get involved too by taking part in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch again by watching and recording birds for an hour but this can take place 20 January – 14 February. Send in or register your results online, these results are invaluable and will be used to monitor our bird populations and help with their conservation.
If you are going to take part it is a good idea to put out plenty of bird food and feeders beforehand to attract as many birds to your garden as possible click here for ‘Our guide to feeding garden birds’, if you have time why not make some of your own Bird Cakes.
Home-made Bird Cakes
An adults help is needed to make these bird cakes as you will need to melt your lard or dripping in a pan.
- Blocks of supermarket Lard or Dripping
- Bird Seed
- Chopped Nuts/Peanuts
- Thin coated garden wire
- Brush handle
- Clean empty Yoghurt, Jelly or Custard Pots
What you need to do
- Cut your garden wire into 30cm lengths (with adult help)
- Wrap half of the length of wire around the handle to form a spiral and bend over the top to form a loop.
- Arrange your empty pots in a tray/seed tray, place a wire spiral in each one then fill to about 2/3rd with the seed mixture.
- Melt your lard of dripping in a pan, and leave to cool slightly.
- Slowly and carefully pour the melted fat into the pots.
- Place your pots in a fridge or somewhere cool to set.
- To remove your cakes from their pots, dip them in a bowl of warm water and pull out carefully with the wire handle.
Place your hanging bird cakes around your garden in trees, bushes or from your bird table well out of the way of cats and other predators.
If you have a metal fat ball feeder you can make refills by following the above instructions but omitting the wire spiral from the pots, again warm the pots to remove the cakes and drop them into your feeder.
Happy Birdwatching – Have Fun