A great way to engage your children with the outdoors is to go for a walk to collect seeds from the hedges and ditches for the birds.  This is the most natural bird feed of all!

Making bird feeders is fun, cheap and very easy.  So far about 600 students have made bird feeders around Donegal. Download a pdf of the Winter bird feeders to find out how or follow the instructions below.  

What you will need is:

1 x small (less than 30 cm) stick or an open pine cone

1 x block of cheap salt free lard

1 x handful of porridge oats

1 x handful of raisins or currents

1 x piece of string

1 30 cm x 30 cm piece of baking paper or brown wrapping paper


Tie the string to the stick or dried and open pine cone (they open naturally after a few days in a warm room).  Squish about 1/4 of the lard around the stick or into the gaps in the cone.  Salt free lard is very important as salt is very bad for the birds.  Push a few of the raisins or currents into the fat.  Coat the whole feeder with the porridge oats.  These can be the cheapest you can find in the store.  Wrap the bird feeder in the baking or brown paper and put it into the fridge overnight.

The next day, tie it to a tree, fence etc. but out of reach of any cats.  Sit back and enjoy the birds coming to your garden.  They will also eat bugs and garden pests from your shrubs or vegetable patch if you have one.  Why not take part in the Birdwatch Ireland garden bird survey?  Its a great way to learn the birds, you will find links to it by clicking here.

If you are wondering about any of the birds send me a picture or a description.  You will get my contact details here.  Enjoy!