I love nature. That’s why I moved to a beautiful house in a quiet suburb not far away of Melbourne CBD a few years ago. I just fell in love with the big yard, but I still have a lot of work to do to around it.
One of my first projects was to make a custom bird feeding station. I know that many people don’t like waking up early to the song of sparrows and other small birds. However, it reminds me of my favourite childhood fairytale – Cinderella. Remember that old Disney animation?
So, I wanted to invite the little fellows to my backyard. After I did some research about how water features attract them and decided that on a later point, I will try to insert one into my garden landscape, I chose to begin with something simpler. The previous homeowners have left some items in the backyard, like matching metal garden trellises that I could use. Naturally, you can use wooden ones or even old ladders. It sure would make a fun way of re-purposing old ladders, if you ask me. Not only does such a lovely DIY bird feeding station make a great statement in the backyard, but the birds love it. You will find great satisfaction in the sight of the playful creatures early in the morning. Personally, I love to drink my coffee on the porch and observe them.
To kick off the project you need the foundation for the feeder, namely the trellises. Depending on the tools you have at hand and your handyman skills you can do that in several ways. If you are like me – a bit lazy and not that into welding, you can simply use metal wires to keep the trellises together. Don’t forget that you need a sturdy foundation, or the entire construction might fall apart at some point.
For the Feeder:
- Two trellises or an old ladder;
- Old birdhouse;
- Decorations – ribbons, wreath, mason jars and anything you want to use to make the feeder prettier both for you and the birds.
For the Suet:
- 1 cup peanut butter;
- 3 cups cornmeal;
- 1 cup shortening;
- 1 cup flour;
- Fillers – oats, bird feed, cranberries, dried fruits, nuts or raisins – add ½ cup from each of them or at least a couple of them.
How to Make Home-Made Suet
Mix the shortening and the peanut butter and heat them on the stove until everything melts. Once you have a homogeneous mixture, add the flour and the cornmeal. Don’t forget to stir non-stop. Add the fillers and remove from the stove.
To shape the suet, you can place it in a cupcake pan. You should spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. This will save you a lot of trouble with your house cleaning, since the suet mixture can otherwise be tough to clean. Once you are done with the spraying, press the suet to the pan. Make a hole in the middle with a straw or with a toothpick. Allow the mixture to cool off and dry overnight.
The home-made suet can be shaped in various forms like balls or even with baking forms. If you want to hang them, don’t forget to make holes.
Decorate the Bird Feeding Station
This is my favourite part of the project. You get to unleash your imagination and create a beautiful bird feeding station for your garden. To hand the suet, you can use fishing line as it can withstand birds landing on it or pulling the suet.
I also added some cut oranges for freshness. In a thrift store nearby, I found some lovely old birdhouses and decided to incorporate them into the design. Since I am fascinated with mason jars, I hung one and filled it with filler ingredients. It has more decorative purposes, so I also placed a tea light.
I hope you will have fun making your own DIY bird feeding station!