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Make your own bird feeder

When I was little, I loved watching the birds flying busily around the garden looking for food. I would spend hours watching them through the window or sat at the top of the climbing frame in the park. Now I’m a mum I am keen for my boys to appreciate wildlife and play their part in helping nature to thrive.

This winter we decided to give the garden birds a helping hand by making them some tasty treats and hanging them in the garden. The boys loved getting messy whilst we were making them and were so excited to see the first birds tuck into their new snacks. The bird feeders were really easy to make – we picked up some bird seed from our local pet shop and found all the other ingredients in our kitchen cupboards.

I’ve put together a step by step guide for you to have a go at making your own. Why not make your own and take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January? Don’t forget to share your creations with us on social: @toddlebornwild.

What you’ll need

Coconut oil

Bird seed

Plain flour

Water

Natural garden twine

Leaves and berries to decorate (optional)

Step by step guide

Step 1: Mix the bird seed, plain flour, coconut oil and water in a large mixing bowl to make a bread dough type consistency. If the mixture is too dry and starts to fall apart add a little coconut oil and water to help bind it together. Add a small amount at a time so it doesn’t get too sloppy. If the mixture is too wet add a little more flour. My boys loved taking it in turns to give it a good mix.

Step 2: Once the mixture is the right consistency put it on a board or table that has a light dusting of flour to stop the mixture sticking. Spoon the mixture into the scone or biscuit cutters and press the mixture down so it all sticks together. The boys loved getting messy and squishing it all down. To shape the bird feeders we used round scone cutters. We found these were the best as we could make them quite deep. But you could use biscuit cutters and choose interesting shapes.

Step 3: Put a hole all the way through the bird feeder that is large enough to thread a piece of garden twine through. We found that a drinking straw was the perfect size and left a nice tidy hole. Little fingers worked pretty well too!

Step 4: Leave the bird feeders on a flat surface to dry out for a few hours. We popped ours into the airing cupboard overnight.

Step 5: Cut the garden twine into pieces that are approximately 30cm in length. Thread a piece of twine through the hole in the bird feeder so there is an equal amount each side then tie a couple of knots to secure. Join the two sides together and tie a couple of knots to make a loop. We decided to make our bird feeders look pretty with a couple of leaves and berries that we found out in the garden. (We know all the plants in the garden but make sure you don’t pick any berries that you don’t know and don’t leave children with them unaccompanied.)

Step 6: Hang your bird feeder on a tree or bird table in your garden and watch the birds enjoy their yummy treat. We were lucky enough to have robins, sparrows and wrens feast on our bird feeders. Let us know which birds visit your garden – we would love to hear from you.