How to keep bird bellies full this Winter

The cold months of winter often mean that food is much harder for birds to come by. Give the birds in your garden a helping hand by making your own bird feeders.

It's really easy to make your own fat balls for birds to munch on, and it takes just two ingredients (and some optional extras)!

What you'll need

• Suet or lard (left out of the fridge so it's soft)
• Bird seed
• Dried mealworms (optional)
• Berries (optional)
• Pine cones (optional)
• Leftover coconut shells (if you have them from previous feeders)
• Tray or container lid.

What to do

1. Put the suet/lard into a bowl together with twice as much bird seed mix. Please do not use any left over fat from cooking.
2. If using mealworms and/or berries too, add these as well, or use as an alternative to bird seed altogether.
3. Get stuck in with your hands and mix it together-it will feel a bit sticky, but it's all good fun!
4. Use your hands to scoop out a small amount of mixture and shape into a ball.
5. If you have any pine cones, you can also use these to press your mixture into, as well as any old coconut shells from previous feeders you have bought.
6. Put them onto a tray or container lid and pop them into the freezer to harden.
7. Once solid, choose a spot in the garden to leave them or place them in a clean fat-ball feeder.
8. Watch on as the birds enjoy the tasty treat you've prepared!

Finally, don't forget to check that your birds also have a bowl of water or bird bath to use for drinking and bathing in.

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