It’s the season! Making bird food.

One of the secret to great tit pics is to feed them well. You can buy “tit balls”, but for several reasons I prefer to make my own.

The first is that they are relatively expensive, costing around 30 to 50 ct apiece. More importantly, they are usually in a green plastic mesh that can get lost and end up in nature. They’re quick and easy to make, so if you want to try your hand at them, here’s how to.

I use some silicone baking forms for this. the small Gugelhupf forms are the best, since they have a hole in the middle already, but I only have four of them. Standard muffin forms work nicely as well. What you absolutely need is some ring as a centre for the suet to stick to, otherwise they will fall apart after the first pecks. I just use some rattan, but anything goes.

I just fill them halfway with birdseed and then add the ring.

Those that don’t have something to form a hole need something to make that, otherwise hanging them up gets difficult. I use some straws or an ice cream stick.

Birdseed popsicles

Finally I just fill them with suet. Don’t be shy, the birds won’t mind some extra. Now all I have to do is wait for them to get hard again and the next two weeks are covered.

Filled up with important winter calories.

I know there are controversions about whether or not to feed birds in winter, but one undeniable advantage is that we get a lot of organic fertiliser…


  1. says

    Those look delish. I wish I were a little tit so I could tuck in.

    I have found out that unless it is actually really freezing, most birds (except tits) prefer to feed anywhere but at the feeder, so I do not think the feeders do much damage and only provide help in time of need.

  2. voyager says

    I think feeding in winter is fine, It seems like a fair trade to me. The birds get a boost and you get to take their picture.

  3. rq says

    There’s a controversy about feeding birds? I thought the issue was mainly feeding year-round vs. feeding seasonally. Huh.
    Anyway, I used to do similar things for feeding the birds, but I put the mixture inside a net (the durable plasticky ones that sometimes fruit or those little cheeses are packed in.
    In Canada we would freeze these into popsicles, then you don’t need the string on the inside, and woodpeckers just love it. For an easy feed, you can also just buy the fatty skin of a pig and hang up a slice, by the end of winter you have a nice clean rind that’s half-eaten itself. But this is best if you have constant minus temperatures that last until all the meat-product is eaten up (for obvious reasons, I should think).

  4. coragyps says

    “The secret to great tit pics…..”
    Oh, sorry. I thought I was fourteen again for a moment there.

  5. says

    Oh, sorry. I thought I was fourteen again for a moment there.

    Welcome to Affinity, coragyps, where the eternal tit jokes are a staple.
    Really, I don’t know what English thought when it decided to call the whole family “tits” and then went so far to add a species called “great tits”.
    Voyager assures me that there are occasional search queries for “great tit pics” that probably leave the visitor somewhat disappointed…

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