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Bird-friendly school ground – What food to provide cont.
Made by pouring melted fat (suet or lard) on to a mixture of ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake. Use about one-third fat to two-thirds mixture. Stir well in a bowl and turn onto the birdtable when solid. An empty coconut shell makes an ideal bird cake “feeder”.
Fresh coconut in the shell is very popular with tits. Rinse out any residues of the sweet coconut water (“milk”) from the middle of the coconut before hanging it out to prevent the build-up of mildew. Desiccated coconut is unsuitable as bird food.
Mealworms and waxworms
Mealworms are relished by robins and may attract insect-eating birds such as pied wagtails. Supplies can be obtained in pet and wild bird food. You can also culture your own mealworms. Waxworms are a recent addition to wild birds food and are excellent but expensive. Proprietary foods are also available for insect-eating birds from birds food suppliers and pet shops. Ant pupae, insectivorous and softbill food, the yolk of a hard-boiled egg, and even crushed peanuts or black sunflower seeds can attract treecreepers and wrens.
Household items suitable for birds
·Pastry, cooked or uncooked, is excellent especially if it has been made with real fats.
·Rice, brown or white, cooked without added salt.
·Dry porridge oat or coarse oatmeal.
·Fat, including suet, is particularly welcome by tits, great spotted woodpeckers, thrushes and wrens. However do not put out polyunsaturated fats, since they do not give the birds the high levels of energy their require in winter.
·Bacon rind, chopped up finely for robins or suspended on string for tits, can be of benefit, but avoid salty bacon.
·Cheese, mild varieties grated are popular with robins, dunnocks, blackbirds and song thrushes. It will help wrens if places under hedgerows and in other areas in the school grounds where you have noticed them feeding.
·Bones with some fat or meat attached are good, but keep small bones, especially those of poultry, out of reach of cats and dogs and, if possible, secure them with string to prevent birds flying away with them.
·Potatoes – baked (cold or opened up), roast and even mashed with added real fat are all suitable. Ducks and geese will also enjoy them. Chips are rarely eaten by birds.
·Dried fruits, such as raisins, sultanas and currants, are particularly enjoyed by blackbirds, song thrushes and robins.
·Fruit such as apples and pears, including bruised or part-rotten pieces, cut up, are very popular with all thrushes, tits and starlings.