Do It Yourself: Making Bird Food

Do It Yourself: Making Bird Food

Feeding birds in winter is an annual ritual for many people. Birds gladly accept this extra food, because in ice and snow, natural food sources are often not accessible for several days or are only available to a limited extent due to intensive farming. A feeding station supports the survival of native birds. At the same time, it offers an ideal opportunity to observe the bird-feeding visitors up close.

Not all bird feeders are the same: what’s in it is important

There is a wide choice of ready-made bird food, but unfortunately it is very difficult to check what is really in it. You should definitely avoid mixtures with seeds of the ragweed plant. It is suspected of causing allergies and should never come into contact with the skin. Low-quality animal fats are also widespread in tit dumplings and the like.

If you want to know exactly where the delicious ingredients such as spelt, oats, millet, wheat, linseed, sunflower seeds, sultanas, peanuts and fats come from, it is best to make the food yourself: vegan, with coconut fat, grains and flakes from controlled organic cultivation. Completely free of synthetic additives, flavourings, colourings and rich in healthy fat sources.

Bird food: Who eats what?

Tits, woodpeckers and nuthatches are omnivores and enjoy hard grains and soft flakes. Grain eaters such as finches, sparrows, siskins and bullfinches like a feed mix with sunflower seeds and other coarse grains. Soft feeders include blackbirds, starlings, robins and wrens. They prefer oat flakes, poppy seeds, bran and sultanas. Incidentally, many birds (e.g. titmice) that eat insects and worms throughout the year also switch to vegetarian food in winter.
Instructions for homemade bird food with organic coconut oil

What you need

500 g coconut oil
500 g mixed grains, seeds, flakes etc.
Small twigs
Vessels (cups, small clay pots or bought food dispensers like the funny bungee jumper)

And this is how it works

The organic coconut oil is very soft and can be mixed with the food without heating, as long as it is at room temperature. To do this, put the coconut oil in a large bowl and gradually sprinkle in the mixture.
Knead the food with the coconut oil until a firm mass is formed. It is not malleable immediately after mixing because the fat becomes liquid through contact with the hands.
For feeders made from old crockery, pour the mixture into containers and stick a branch into the mixture so that birds can get a grip on it. Then place the containers in the refrigerator to harden.

To form dumplings, chill the mixture for about two hours after mixing. After hardening in the fridge, leave the mixture at room temperature for about an hour and then shape the dumplings. Put a small branch or stick through the dumplings. This serves as a placeholder for a ribbon with which the dumplings are later hung in the tree. Place the finished dumplings in the cold for another hour.

Do It Yourself: Making Bird Food

Useful tips on bird feeders and feeding stations

Birds always return to their feeders and rely on their food source. Once you have set up a feeding station, you should make sure that there is always food to be found there.
If you are not a fan of year-round feeding, you should only stop feeding in spring when a late onset of winter is no longer to be expected, because feeding stations are often very important for migratory birds arriving early.
Choose places that are as dry as possible so that the food does not go mouldy.
Place feeders where they are inaccessible or difficult to reach for cats.
Do not use plastic nets because the birds' feet can get caught in the netting. In addition, the plastic can be blown into the wild in windy conditions, for example.