Equipment and ingredients
- White cooking fat or lard
- Wild bird seed
- Strong string or thin wire (wire makes it more squirrel-proof).
- Cheerios or other hooped cereal
- Bowl for mixing
If making your own bird feed mix there is a list of suitable ingredients at the bottom of the page.*
Alternative containers can be used - coconut shells work well. The bottom part of strong plastic bottles or containers can be used.
- Cut grapefruit in half and eat it.
- Remove most of the membranes but keep skin intact.
- With the skewer make three holes near the edge of the skins an equal distance apart.
- Bake for about half an hour in the oven, or for 5 minutes in the microwave to harden. You may need to poke the holes again with the skewer after baking as the skins shrink.
- Cut three lengths of string or wire about 30cm each.
- Tie/twist each one through a hole in the grapefruit skin.
- Thread cereal hoops onto each string/wire to about half way up.
- Tie or twist the ends of the string or wire together and make a hanging loop.
- Put about 50 grams of the fat in the bowl and soften with a spoon.
- Mix in enough bird seed to cover with fat and hold together. If you don’t mind getting messy do this with your fingers.
- Pack the mixture into the skins.
- Hang from a branch in the garden.
*Suitable Ingredients for your own Bird Seed Mix
- Sunflower seeds
- Crumbed or grated cheese
- Cooked rice
- Wholemeal Breadcrumbs (white bread gives some birds the runs)
- Small pieces of dried fruit softened with water, nuts crushed into small pieces, bird seed mixes and lard or white cooking fat as above.
- Please do not include uncooked rice, salted nuts or whole large nuts. !!