How to make a bird feeder

Gently squash the mixture into all the holes in your pine cone

Help garden birds keep hunger at bay (and little naturalists occupied) with these simple feeders. Simply hang them up in a tree once finished, and watch out for our feathered friends.

Would you like to see a variety of birds in your garden? If you leave out a tempting range of treats, including sunflower hearts and suet cakes you could be in with a chance of spotting rarely-seen goldfinches, woodpigeons and long-tailed tits. 

According to the journal Nature Communications, more than half of British homeowners feed the birds in their gardens, supporting more than 133 different species. 

Commenting on the research, Peter Brash, animal ecologist at the National Trust, says: 'This is really interesting research and proves that many more species are adapting to a relatively new food source. 

'Feeding birds in the garden can really help some species survive periods of extreme weather, especially cold and snow. This is when you’re likely to get the greatest variety of birds as they come in from the wider countryside or even the continent.'
 

Materials for making a bird feeder laid on a work bench

What you will need...

• Large, open pine cones

• Vegetable fat or lard

• Small seed bird feed

• Mixing bowls

• String

Method

Step 1

Tie string to the top of your pine cone.

Step 2

Soften the vegetable fat with your hands or a stove.

Step 3

Add in the bird seed a bit at a time until it sticks together easily.

Step 4

Gently squash the mixture into all the holes in your pine cone.

Step 5

Roll the cone in even more seed to coat the outside.

Step 6

Tie your finished feeder directly onto a tree branch. 

Bring nature to you...
Hedgehog

Turn your garden into a wildlife haven 

Follow in the footsteps of rangers and help save wildlife at home. From feeding the birds to creating hedgehog highways, here are nine ways you can bring more nature to your garden.