13 December 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I recently watched a fabulous film called The Big Year. It's a gentle comedy with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as "birding" enthusiasts dashing off around America trying to see as many birds as they can in 1 year.

A couple of days later, inspired by the film, I was looking at bird feeding stations in my local garden centre. While they are lovely and stylish, they are also expensive and are basically just hook-shaped poles stuck in the ground. A few years ago, my very good friend Sharon (who has just started her blog here) bought me some lovely hanging tea-light lanterns for the garden. They each came with a hook-shaped pole to stick in the ground to hang the lanterns from. Unfortunately, two of the lanterns got broken but being the kind of person that finds it hard to throw anything away, I put the poles in the shed and forgot about them.

Anyway, yesterday morning, as I was looking out of my living room window, watching the birds hopping around in my garden and wondering what to do for this weeks Thrifty Thursday, I had a fabulous idea. Many many MANY years ago, when I was at primary school, I remembered making a yoghurt pot bird feeder using lard and berries and bird seed as part of a school nature week and Eureka ...... I knew exactly what I was going to make this week. I usually feed the birds everyday by putting out crumbs and seeds on my potting table, however, now that my next door neighbours cat thinks that my garden is hers, the birds seem to be a bit freaked out. I was considering changing to fat balls but they can work out quite expensive so yoghurt pot bird feeders are the perfect solution A quick visit to the shed to battle the giant spiders and hey presto ..... instant bird feeding poles.

Now, here's how to make the bird cake to go inside the yoghurt pots courtesy of the RSPB. They are perfect for kids to make but if you're using nuts take care in case of allergies. 

How to make a speedy bird cake

Make this quick and easy cake to keep the birds happy.

Stuff you need

Good quality bird seed; raisins; peanuts; grated cheese; suet or lard; yoghurt pots; string; mixing bowl; scissors
Seeds Raisins Peanuts Cheese Lard String Bowl Scissors


Carefully make a small hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot. Thread string through the hole and tie a knot on the inside. Leave enough string so that you can tie the pot to a tree or your bird table.
Make a speedy bird cake - Step 1
Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don’t melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
Make a speedy bird cake - Step 2
Add the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together with your finger tips. Keep adding the seed/raisin/cheese mixture and squidging it until the fat holds it all together.
Make a speedy bird cake - Step 3
Fill your yoghurt pots with bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for an hour or so.
Make a speedy bird cake - Step 4
Hang your speedy bird cakes from trees or your bird table. Watch for greenfinches, tits and possibly even great spotted woodpeckers.
Make a speedy bird cake - Step 5


  1. Fat ball making for me next week I think. Hopefully there will be less on the ground than just seeds.

  2. I gave up feeding the birds a long time ago as the cats just thought that I was providing extra snacks for them.... However as my cats are quite elderly now and the younger one seems to have given up climbing trees, I might just try hanging some of these for the birds.

  3. Great idea Kay! I knew all those yoghurt pots could be used for something! :-) I hate throwing anything away too... just need to get Mr B&B into that mind set as well! Thanks for the blog link... will definitely have to get rear end in gear now lol :-P xxx