dumplings are very easy to make and a nice craft for the whole year, but of course especially now in winter. The anticipation of watching the little peeps in front of the window while feeding increases the fun of handicrafts immensely.
In fact, you should feed the birds in the winter months, as usual. But the death of insects makes additional feeding necessary for the rest of the year. The 2 in 1 baby swing and bouncer ornithologist Peter Berthold explains in an interview with Die Zeit that it may be necessary to support the native birds with feeding places, especially in the busy times in spring and summer.
They find less and less food because the population of insects has declined so much. He especially recommends dumplings, as they are particularly high in fat, but also scattered food with cereal flakes. Thus, you have two different types of feeding places and thus cover the needs of many different bird species.
But especially now that it is getting colder, the birds need our help. From seeds, nuts, and coconut fat you can easily make dumplings yourself. Mugs, cups, or even large cookie cutters are suitable as moulds.
The following instructions are from the book “Lass uns was pflanzen”, published by Kleine Gestalten Verlag. The book offers suggestions for DIY for the whole year – everything about the garden and nature.
Which food is suitable as bird food?
In birds, a distinction is made between two groups: soft food eaters and grain eaters. The soft food eaters look for their food primarily on the ground. They eat animal food or very fine seeds. Offer them best oatmeal, poppy seeds, bran, raisins or fruit. Ready-made mixtures are also available in pet shops. Grain eaters, on the other hand, also take on harder grains or sunflower seeds in the shell. They can be well fed with loose mixtures.
In order to help several bird species, it is advisable to offer different food in the garden or on the balcony.
Which birds are soft food eaters?
Among our native birds called soft food eaters are robins, hedge browns, wrens, blackbirds and starlings.
, woodpeckers and clover are also soft eaters, but much more flexible. They switch to grains in winter and then take e.B. also sunflower seeds, hemp or poppy seeds. For soft eaters and omnivores, dumplings are ideal. The fat obtained in it replaces the animal components of their food.
Which birds are grain eaters?
Finches, sparrows and buntings have a strong beak and also eat sunflower seeds, hemp or other seeds from the commercially available grain mixtures. These can be easily offered in a birdhouse or a similar suitable feeding place.
Attention: All seasoned or salted foods are unsuitable as bird food. Even dry bread should not be offered to the birds, because it swells in the stomach of the animals.
Making your own dumplings – here’s how it works
500 grams of coconut oil
shapes (plastic cups, coffee cups, muffin molds, cookie tins etc.)
650 grams of different seeds and nuts without hard shell
1. Melt the coconut fat in the pot on a low flame. Attention, very little heat is enough. With too much heat, the fat can splash!
2. Pour the liquid fat into the cups, but leave enough room for the nuts.
3. Chop the larger nuts into small pieces with a large knife.
4. Mix the nuts with the small seeds and add them to the coconut fat
5. Take scissors and string and cut off a piece of string about 30 cm long for each shape.
6. Knot the cords around one pin at a time. Then hang the pens over the molds. Make sure that the string hangs properly in the coconut fat and that it is approximately in the middle. Depending on the shape, you can also drill a hole in the fat after curing and pull the string through.
7. Now place the molds with the bird food in the refrigerator and let them cool there for at least an hour.
8. Then take the lumps of fat out of the molds and hang them on a tree or shrub.
Apple wreath as bird food
As a quick alternative to the dumplings, outdoor baby swing frame you can also make an apple wreath. Some whole apples skewered on a wire and placed on a wreath are a very simple and quick food for birds.
Nut wreaths are also very popular with some birds and also look beautiful in the garden or on the balcony.