Lewisham Look-In: Bird feeders

At our second ‘Lewisham Look-In’ several families joined Janet in making Bird Feeders and mixing up a filling for the birds to enjoy. A big drum roll for everyone who took part and to Lila and Hannah for painting the title card. Have a look at some of the results, and try it yourself with the instructions below.


Equipment and ingredients

  • Grapefruit
  • White cooking fat or lard
  • Wild bird seed
  • Strong string or thin wire (wire makes it more squirrel-proof). 
  • Cheerios or other hooped cereal
  • Skewer
  • Bowl for mixing
  • Spoon

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.


  1. Cut grapefruit in half and eat it.
  2. Remove most of the membranes but keep skin intact.
  3. With the skewer make three holes near the edge of the skins an equal distance apart.
  4. 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.
  5. Cut three lengths of string or wire about 30cm each.
  6. Tie/twist each one through a hole in the grapefruit skin.
  7. Thread cereal hoops onto each string/wire to about half way up.
  8. Tie or twist the ends of the string or wire together and make a hanging loop.
  9. Put about 50 grams of the fat in the bowl and soften with a spoon.
  10. Mix in enough bird seed to cover with fat and hold together. If you don’t mind getting messy do this with your fingers.
  11. Pack the mixture into the skins.
  12. 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. !!


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