How to make a bird feeder
You can help garden birds keep hunger at bay with these easy-to-make feeders. Hang them up in a tree when you’re finished and watch as our feathered friends enjoy your work.
Attracting birds into your garden
If you’d like to see a variety of birds in your garden at any time of the year, there are a range of treats you can leave out like sunflower hearts and suet cakes. Better still, you can make your own bird feeder by following the instructions below.
What you’ll need
- Large open pinecones
- Vegetable fat or lard
- Small seed bird feed
- Mixing bowls
Building a bird feeder step by step
- Step one
- Tie string to the top of your pinecone.
- Step two
- Soften the vegetable fat with your hands or on a stove.
- Step three
- Add the bird seed a bit at a time until it sticks together easily.
- Step four
- Gently squash the mixture into all the holes in your pinecone.
- Step five
- Roll the cone in even more seed to coat the outside.
- Step six
- Tie your finished feeder directly onto a tree branch.
A nation of bird lovers
According to the journal Nature Communications, more than half of British homeowners feed the birds in their gardens, supporting over 133 different species.
Commenting on the research, Peter Brash, animal ecologist at the National Trust, said: 'This is really interesting research and proves that many more species are adapting to a relatively new food source.
Top tips for feeding birds safely
Always avoid feeding water birds such as ducks and swans. To safely feed garden birds, follow these top tips:
Buy accredited bird food from reputable sources
Only provide food for a few days and feed in moderation to avoid food going off
Keep bird feeders separated so birds aren’t in too close contact
Regularly clean and disinfect feeders
Wash your hands thoroughly after handling bird feeders and faeces
Encourage birds to visit your garden or outdoor space throughout winter and early spring by making these nourishing fat cakes. They're also a great way to make use of your food scraps and yoghurt pots.
Find out how the changing seasons affect the birds you’ll see out and about, with spotting tips and photo galleries to guide you.
Follow our easy guide to sewing a simple draught excluder that will keep the heat this winter. Make one for your own home or gift one to friends and family.
Help nature thrive at home with our family-friendly range of build-your-own nest boxes, butterfly houses and bird feeders, created in collaboration with CJ Wildlife. A contribution of all sales will help to fund conservation projects at the places in our care.