Build a bird feeder

With the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Great Garden Birdwatch fast approaching why not help our feathered friends by building this simple bird feeder to keep them fed during the colder months? Not only does it help our feathered friends, it’s also great way to get your children interested in nature.

Posted on 16th January 2024

Pine Cone Garden Bird Feeder

Come and join the World's largest wildlife garden survey!

This year the RSPB's Great Garden Birdwatch - a fun, free event which takes a count of the bird population to see how well they're doing - is taking place from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 January.

So why not help our feathered friends by making this bird feeder. Remember, when it comes to bird boxes, the birds don’t mind how good your carpentry skills are or what the box looks like - they just want somewhere safe and warm to shelter.

Also, don’t worry if you haven’t got a garden as you can make this bird feeder stick to your window.

To make the bird feeder all you’ll need is pine cones, lard or peanut butter, a spreading knife or spoon, bird seed and some string.

This low-cost simple feeder will help attract a range of birds to your garden, from blackbirds to blue tits to greenfinches and many more.

  1. Begin by taking a stroll around your local country park, green space or garden and collect any pine cones that you can find (remember each pine cone will become one bird feeder). If you can’t find any pine cones you can substitute them for bread or half a coconut.

  2. Take the pine cone(s) you’ve found and your spoon, or spreading knife, and slather the lard or peanut butter onto the pine cone.

  3. Take your bird seed – which can be bought at any pet store or garden centre – and roll your lard or peanut butter covered pine cone(s) in the seed. To keep it mess free, it’s easier to pour the bird seed onto a plate and then roll the pine cone around.

  4. Make sure the seeds stick to the pine cone. Then take your string and tie it to the top of the pine cone. Remember, the more open the pine cone the easier it is to attach the string.

  5. Finally take your pine cone(s) and tie them to a sturdy branch and wait for all our feathered friends to flock to your garden for a gourmet feast. If you haven’t got access to a sturdy branch or tree, you can attach the string to a suction cupper and hang it on your window.

Depending on how successful your bird feeder becomes with our feathered friends, you could also build them a home with this nesting box.

When it comes to nesting season, the bird box could become the perfect place to keep hatchlings and nestlings safe, warm and away from predators. Bird boxes also help to keep the hatchlings out of direct sunlight and the wind.

Finally, why not take a look at our garden birds spotters guide and see what you can see in your garden or when you’re out and about in our excellent Essex Country Parks and green spaces?

Find a park near you and plan your visit here.

Garden Bird Spotters Guide