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Cakes for birds


Supplement wild birds’ winter diet by making a bird seed cake to hang in your garden. 

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

Learning objectives

  • Learn what birds eat from the garden
  • Learn which foods are suitable to feed birds
  • Select suitable tools for the task


Monitor which birds are visiting your school grounds. Look up what they like to eat.

Think about what you can do to attract more wildlife to your school garden.


  • A range of suitable containers, such as plant pots, yoghurt pots or pine cones
  • Vegetable fat, animal fat (both solid form), spoon & bowl
  • A selection of bird food, either wild bird seed mix, dried fruit, oats, popping corn, millet or hemp seeds
  • String to hang the feeder & tools (bradawl) to make holes with and scissors
  • A bird spotter or book to find out what they eat

Step by step

  1. Add the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir.
  2. Ask the pupils to choose their container or pine cone and add the hanging string. Pupils must only use the bradawl under supervision.
  3. Use the string to make a wick through the mixture for maximum strength. Using a spoon, pack the mixture into the container until it is full and leave it in a cool place to solidify before hanging in the garden.
  4. For a more naturalistic looking bird feeder use an upside down pinecone instead of a container. Push the mixture into all the crevices for the birds to find.

Hints & tips

  • Beware! Some prepackaged bird food contains nuts. Check if pupils have any nut allergies before using.  
  • Keep the vegetable fat at room temperature before use. It will be easier to mix the ingredients.

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