When the buzz of modern life became quieter during lockdown, wildlife across the country seemed to flourish.
I first noticed it here, last spring. The sudden drop in pollution, the bright blue skies and the birds singing much more intensely.
It really brought me back to my childhood; to a time when our garden was forever bursting with birdsong!
I grew up watching the blackbirds and blue tits nesting in front of our window. I’d listen and wait as their young grew louder, until the beautiful moment when they would take to the skies for the first time.
Nature still enthrals and amazes me, and it was truly heartwarming to see so many birds return to our garden last year!
Unfortunately, things since then have changed.
At the end of last year, the bulldozers moved in and began work on a huge new development, that will soon engulf the countryside that surrounds us.
Large swathes of hedgerows were ripped out and burnt, and with this, the precious habitats of our birds and wildlife were destroyed.
It hurt my heart to witness this, and I’ll never forget the haunting cries of the owls, as their roosting trees were torn apart.
I wasn’t able to save their habitat, but I’m determined to make my garden a safe haven, for the wildlife that still remains.
As part of my mission to do this, I’ve been trying to provide extra food, water and shelter for the wild birds.
Fat balls are a brilliant source of calories for birds during the winter, but the ones you can buy, usually contain beef suet.
As a vegan, this doesn’t sit well with me, so I decided to make my own plant-based fat balls, using two simple ingredients:
- 1 Cup of Vegan Suet
- 2 Cups of Wild Bird Seed
Making these fat balls was so much easier than I expected, and I really hope that you’ll enjoy making them too!
How to Make Fat Balls for Birds
Toss 1 cup of suet and 2 cups of bird seed into a pan (preferably an old one) and gently heat it on a low-medium heat, until the suet has completely melted.
Next, stir the mixture thoroughly and let it cool down completely, before making it into balls. (I’d suggest wearing gloves to do this as it does get rather messy!)
Now, place your fat balls into a suitable container, and pop them into the freezer, so that they can properly set and become hard.
(I left mine in the freezer overnight, but 5-6 hours should be enough.)
Once they’ve hardened, you can throw them into your bird feeder (making sure that it’s up, out the way of any cats/predators) and huzzah! You can now watch your feathery friends enjoying their delicious feast!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and if the birds in your garden liked this recipe I’d really love to know! (Also, tell them I say hi!!)