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Strictly for the birds.


I am spending a fortune these days on bird food. I have two six-hole feeders with black sunflower seeds, two niger seed feeders and assorted peanuts and fat-balls in my small garden which I seem to be refilling every two days! and my garden is full of activity the whole day with Great- and blue-tits, goldfinches by the half dozen, siskins, chaffinches, greenfinches all queueing up to take their turn.
They make a heck of a mess of the borders but its worth it and I expect
quite a crop of sunflowers and “nigers” – whatever they are.

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Nyjer, niger or thistle seed are all the same thing - seeds from the Guizotia abyssinicia. They are relatives of the sunflower family but if you see one sprout under your feeder pluck it out!
The seeds are heat sterilised by the supplier (or should be) but one or two can slip through. Although not technically weeds they produce loads of seeds on downy heads which can spread for miles and very quickly can crowd out native species.
Well done on keeping your birds well fed though. So many species are dwindling due to loss of their natural feeding habitat

7 Feb, 2008


I know how you feel im making fat cakes for the woodpeckers every second day and going through bags of wild bird seed and peanuts , they are such a delight to watch though , not many birds argue with the woodpeckers over the food but I suppose with thier beaks who would ?

7 Feb, 2008


Weemama, would you please tell us your recipe for fat cakes? I am sure that they work out cheaper than forever buying them! Also, how do you fix them onto the bird table - or is that part of the making process?

7 Feb, 2008


I don't know about Weemamabell, but we make our cakes by melting a slab of cheap lard and mixing in some bought bird seed with our saved sunflower seeds (which WE also eat - quite interesting taste and texture, lol, but the smell in the kitchen as we dry them in a warm oven is beautiful), to bulk out. We have several wood logs with indents made with a 5cm router, and a heavy duty staple in the top for hanging string (this idea given by our local pre-school nursery a couple of years ago). The indents are filled with the lard-based mixture, left until set, and then hung out. Refill when empty (which is not long).

8 Feb, 2008


Yep , like you David I use Tesco Value Lard , Asda Value Meusli , Poundland wild bird seed and peanuts , melt the lard and mix it all up and put it in the feeders , once its set I hang them out and within seconds there is birds of all shapes and sizes in for the feast

8 Feb, 2008


Thanx, Weemamabell, 4 the reply. Can't beat it. I draw the line at feeding the kids it, tho, lol!

8 Feb, 2008


Reading your comments this morning made me go out and check my fat balls that I put out yesterday. It was a gorgeous morning sun beaming down, I am trying to attract more birds in the garden (lots of cats around and not enough trees although now growing). I can here the birds which was lovely, didnt see any and they hadnt discoverd that I had put three out yet it seems. I may try your recipes perhaps they might like them more. I used ready made from Wilkinson I think it was 4 for £1.

9 Feb, 2008

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