It's Autumn now and there is a glut of blackberries, rowan, hawthorn and all sorts of other berries for the birds to gorge on. However, it won't be long before these disappear.
If you like feeding and watching the birds in your garden, homemade fat balls for the birds are easy and cheap to make. They require little effort and are an ideal project for young children (under supervision of course !) You can even select specific seed and fruit combinations to suit certain species if required.
They'd be lovely packaged up as a gift with a hanger for a garden or outdoors tpye person as a Christmas gift. Alternatively, recycle and tie them in old nets that used to contain oranges or brussel sprouts !
To make these, I used the baby bundt silicone baking mould
Use approx 1/3 solid fat (such as lard or suet) to 2/3 bird seed / crumbs. Melt the fat and mix into the dry ingredients. The fat does not need to be hot. It will melt in the microwave at a pretty low temperature - much like butter.
Spoon into your mould and leave to set. Refrigerate if you have space to get them nice and hard before turning out. They'll pop out with just a light pressure. This would work really well with loads of other moulds too - such as the 6 semi sphere - but I specifically wanted a hole through mine to put on to a home made hanger with a net over the whole lot.
In the photos, I used a huskless wild bird seed blend with dried fruit through it.
Sarah-Jane Nash, http://www.siliconemoulds.com/ - flexible silicone bakeware cook shop. September 2010