This is a simple activity you can do with your class in preparation for Big Schools Birdwatch, or whenever you want to give your garden birds a little treat. They look lovely hanging from ribbon in the garden.

You will need:

  • One orange (one orange makes two feeders)
  • Bird seed
  • Lard, approx 1/4 of a block per orange
  • Ribbon or string doubled and cut to desired hanging length

  • Remember to cut the orange across (and not down) the middle, as in the picture above
  • Each orange will make two feeders, so pupils could work in pairs
  • As a sharp knife will be needed to cut the orange, you may want to do this in advance

  • Scoop the orange flesh into a bowl
  • Pupils could strain the flesh of their orange to make a refreshing drink
  • Using a sharp pencil, pierce two holes at the base of the orange and thread the ribbon or string through them

  • Cut the lard into cubes and add a handful of birdseed
  • Use your hands to mix them together
  • The heat from your hands will melt the lard and bind the birdseed together
  • If there is room for more birdseed, then add a bit more
  • Hands will get very messy, so if your making these in school have a warm bowl of water or damp cloth on each table so children can clean their hands if they need to

  • While hands are still dirty, scoop the mixture into the orange
  • Make sure the ribbon or string is pulled out over the sides of the orange, so it doesn't get caught in the mixture
  • Pack in as much of the mixture as possible
  • Leave the feeder to set, either in a fridge or outside where it's cool

Once you're class have mastered these, then why not experiment with your own fillings - dried fruit, oats, peanuts (for birds) and cheese are all tasty treats for birds.