Learn to make fat balls to help your gardens birds thrive in cold weather by watching this short tutorial video.
Why not check out our video on building a bird feeder from this series, for instructions on building a table from which your birds will be able to feed?
This simple project will allow you to keep birds fed and healthy, whatever the weather! Enjoy watching different types of bird come to your garden to feed, and teach your family about the importance of biodiversity and respecting wildlife.
Voice-over by volunteer Mollie Keane
Biodiversity around you
How to make a fat ball bird feeder
In this video, you are going to learn how to make a fat ball to feed birds.
In spring, non-migratory birds eat insects, then, when autumn comes, they start eating mostly seeds. During long cold spell, seeds are sometimes hard to find in the wild. That is why you can help them by placing fat balls in your garden or on your balcony between November and march.
To make a fat ball, you will need:
a mortar, a bowl, and a spoon or a spatula.
A teaspoon of peanuts, a teaspoon of sunflower seeds, a teaspoon of oatmeal, a teaspoon of raisins, a teaspoon of shelled walnuts and of unsalted vegetable grease, like margarine.
Start by grinding the peanuts and the walnuts if they are too big.
Now stir in all of the ingredients in the bowl. Put a third of seeds for two third of vegetable grease. Here it is 5 teaspoon of seeds for 10 teaspoon of margarine.
Stir in everything and form a ball. The vegetable grease binds everything together, it is lipid-rich, providing valuable energy which can help the birds survive in low temperatures.
Use a margarine that is free of palm oil.
Now, place your ball of fat in the fridge for 2 hours so that it hardens.
You can also put a small string through it before placing it in the fridge: it will be easier to tie it later !
Once the fat ball has solidified, place it in a bird table or hang it up on a tree branch.
Never put the ball of fat in a net. Birds could end up getting injured or stuck.
Your ball of fat is now finished ! All you need to do is watch birds enjoy the food.