Native Birds in the Winter Garden

Our garden has a number of large native trees that attract birds to their tree tops:  eucalypts and palms.  We have had a number of tawny frogmouths (owls) build their homes in the eucalypts at the front of the house.  Magpies, king parrots, corellas, and sulphur crested cockatoos also enjoy these tall trees.

When we came to live here the outdoor area couldn’t be described as a garden so being the outdoor types we are it has become our playground and hobby to turn this space into a garden to be enjoyed by birds, lizards, snakes (at different times), a rabbit at one time, and of course people are welcome too.

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The pleasure in creating something from very little is tremendous.  The MOTH (Man of the House) has built a feeding house for the larger birds which we were feeding regularly.  That stopped when mischievous corellas came visiting too often.  We were concerned they may take up residence in the garden and become a nuisance – always a possibility if one chooses to feed the wildlife.

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Red Tails enjoying the last half of their bird fat cake

We enjoy a variety of smaller birds in our garden and have diligently incorporated a diversity of shrubs.  A Winter addition this year will fat cakes for the birds.  These have been made from large, sultanas and birdseed and stored in the fridge until needed.

Recipe for Fat Cakes was found at:  Gardener’s Word

How to do it

Mixing dry ingredients in a bowl

The best ratio for this recipe is one part fat (I used lard) to two parts dry mixture (I used canary seed, sultanas and grated cheese). Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Stirring ingredients in a pan

Melt some lard or suet in a pan and add the dry mix. Stir well until the fat has all been absorbed and the mixture sticks together.

Spooning mixture into yoghurt pot.

Make a hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot and thread through a length of twine or string, then pack the pot with your warm fat mixture.

Removing the fat cake from the yoghurt pot.

Place in the fridge overnight to set, then cut through and peel away the pot. Tie a big knot at one end of the twine to secure the cake.

Hanging up home-made fat cake

Hang the cake in a tree or shrub and wait for the birds to come and feast.

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4 thoughts on “Native Birds in the Winter Garden

  1. Hmm, possibly if there was a lot more fat than honey. The lard stays solid and maybe would hold the honey too. The birds have made short work of our seed cakes without honey though.

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  2. Very neat idea! I have the feeling our local squirrels would probably steal it before the birds can get at it if I made one.
    You have some lovely local birds, too.

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    • Our native birds are beautiful and maybe in time I’ll get to share some others with my visitors. I’m sure you’re right about the squirrels beating the birds to the seed cakes.

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