Seed cakes for birds


Supplement the winter diet of our wild birds by making these seed cake feeders to hang outdoors.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Late Autumn, Early Spring
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Maths, Science, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Create a seed cake to provide a winter food source for wild garden birds


Bring the lard up to room temperature ahead of time. It will be easier to mix the ingredients. 

Encourage your pupils to monitor which bird species are visiting your outdoor space. Find out more about them and research what seeds they most like to eat.


  • Lard
  • A selection of bird food (e.g. wild bird seed mix, dried fruit, oats, popping corn, millet or hemp seeds)
  • Chopping board
  • Mixing bowl and tablespoon
  • Cookie cutters
  • String or ribbon
  • Paper straws
  • Scissors

Step by step

Establish that a bird-friendly garden offers food, water and sheltered nesting sites to wild garden birds. During winter, providing food with a high fat content will help to keep them warm. It will also encourage them to continue to visit your garden throughout the year, when they will return the favour by pollinating some flowers and keeping pest populations under control. 

Guide pupils through the process of making their own seed cake to hang in an outdoor space.

  1. Cut the lard (at room temperature) into small pieces.
  2. Add the pieces of lard and selection of bird food to the mixing bowl.
  3. Mix the ingredients together with your fingertips until the lard holds it altogether.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the cookie cutters.
  5. Make a hole through the seed cake near the top of the cookie cutter.
  6. Cut a section of paper straw that is the same depth as your seed cake.
  7. Place the piece of straw into the hole.
  8. Let the seed cakes set in a cool place for a few hours.
  9. Once they are set, thread a piece of ribbon or string through the hole and hang in an outdoor space.

Hints & tips

  • Watch this short tutorial created by Jack Wallington. 
  • Some pre-packaged bird food containers nuts so remember to check for nut allergies first.
  • Make links to the maths curriculum by asking pupils to measure out specific amounts of each ingredient or collect data about which species of bird visit your outdoor space.
  • You can also use pine cones as the basis of your seed cakes. Simply push your seed mixture between the scales of the pine cone.