In January, the RSPB hosted their Big Birdwatch 2019 encouraging us all to take a peek at the feathered activity in our gardens across the UK. An activity that many families take part in and enjoy!
In our rural Dorset garden, we have an abundance of wildlife; a source of great excitement for the children so, we really make the most of it!
Making Bird feeders is a really fun activity to do with all ages and abilities. To prove this, I was very kindly able to host two workshops for young children to encourage them to feed the birds in their gardens across Dorset and Hampshire.
The beautiful surroundings of Little Foresters Pre School in Damerham, Hampshire made a perfect environment for feeding our native birds with its diverse forest school area, playing field backing on to farmland and quiet country lane alongside. It was the perfect setting for our little nature lovers to spot their treats being eaten!
My second host was the fun and welcoming ‘Supertots’ playgroup in Alderholt, East Dorset. Children visit the group with their parents and carers from across Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire, providing a fantastic opportunity to share a wonderful craft that all can enjoy.
How to make your own Bird Feeder
You will need :
· 1 pack of lard
· Bird seed
· Yoghurt pot (you could also use an egg box for this as a mould for younger participants)
Cut a length of string and tie a knot in it to create a hanging loop. This needs to be placed inside your yoghurt pot or egg box ready for your mixture!
Pour some bird seed onto a tray ready for the rolling process.
Chop the lard into small pieces and warm up in your hands (the children loved this!) This allows it to become super sticky to collect as much bird seed as possible. Place your lard into the bird seed and roll around gathering seed.
Once fully covered, take your yoghurt pot/egg box mould and squash the lard and seed mixture into it covering the string at the bottom. Press it gently around the base of your mould and repeat the process with a new piece of lard!
You can do as many layers of this as you want, depending on the size of the mould. The setting time will be the only difference here.
Once your mould is full and firmly pressed with the tails of the string hanging out, place this in the fridge or freezer for 1-2 hrs. I actually popped mine into the freezer for 40mins as I had a rather impatient twitcher!
After it has chilled for long enough, you can either slide the mixture out of the mould to create a tasty Fat Ball for the birds, or you can hang your pot by the string off a tree branch, bird table or garden hedgerow.
As you can see by the photographs, they were a hit with our garden birds! Nuthatches, Long Tailed Tits and Blue tits all enjoying the feast!
Why not give it a go and see how many birds come for a tasty treat in your garden?