For the past few months, I noticed that more and more birds come by the yard and fly around the trees to rest and feed themselves. While I revel in this delightful sight, I always make sure to prep and stock the bird feeders with enough food for my dainty friends to enjoy.
Seeds, peanuts, and dried fruits usually make up the menu; however, I’ve recently tweaked this mundane recipe and started making homemade birdseed blocks. You’d probably be wondering, why so? Is it worth the time and effort?
As it turns out, making birdseed blocks is more than just sprucing up an enjoyable feast for birds. Here are some reasons why:
- Homemade birdseed blocks are an economical option. They are cheaper than store-bought birdseed blocks.
- If you’re on a tight budget, they can be an affordable alternative for expensive bird feeders.
- These blocks can prevent bird seeds from falling or leaving messy remnants.
- They can serve as beautiful tree ornaments.
- They are easy to make!
If you want to try this and treat your little friends with a sumptuous snack, I’ll share the steps on how you can make birdseed blocks as well as some tips to take note of. Keep reading!
Easy Steps on How to Make Homemade Birdseed Blocks
Things you will need:
- 1 ¼ cup birdseed
- ¼ cup water
- 2 packets of unflavored gelatin (7 grams per packet)
- Cups or cookie cutters for molding
- Twine string
Step 1: Prepare the bird seeds
I use a mix of different seeds that include sunflower seeds, corn, pumpkin seeds, and nuts. This is also the usual mixture you’ll find when you buy bird seeds. You won’t need all of it, though. We will only need 1 1/4 cup of bird seed for this recipe.
Step 2: Cook the gelatin
As you set the bird seeds aside, the next thing to do is dissolve the gelatin in water. Empty the packets and combine them with water in a small saucepan. It dissolves quickly so make sure to cook it over low heat. Keep stirring until you see that the gelatin is dissolved. Turn off the heat and remove the pan. Let it cool for a minute.
Step 3: Making the mixture
Put the 1 1/4 cup of bird seeds into the gelatin mixture. Mix them gently until the seeds are fully coated.
Step 4: Molding the bird seeds into blocks or any shapes you want
After mixing, you can choose whatever container or molder you want to use. You can use a small plastic cup or bowl and fill it in with the seed mixture. Make sure to pack it all in and press it firmly.
Just some heads up, the mixture is quite sticky so molding them can be really messy. That’s why I coated my hand with some cooking oil to keep the mixture from sticking to my hand.
If you want to use a cookie cutter, you can grease them lightly. I did this for easy removal and you may also do so, especially if you’re using cookie cutters with intricate angles or shapes.
Step 5: Hanging the birdseed blocks as ornamentals
Use twine or a strong string to create a hook on top of the molded birdseed. With a cookie cutter, fill it up to half. Place the string down on the mixture, right from the bottom up to the top, and make a loop for hanging. Continue filling the cutter until it’s completely filled. Press it firmly.
Step 6: Drying time
Don’t remove the mixtures out of the molds or cutters just yet. Leave them to dry for a couple of hours or better yet, overnight. When they are completely dried, you can take them gently out of the cutters or molds. You can hang them on the trees or place them on tray feeders.
Alternative Options for Making Birdseed Blocks
Use egg whites
If you want to know how to make bird seed cakes without gelatin, one of the best ways is to use egg whites instead. They have a thick consistency that can hold the bird seeds together.
Things you’ll need
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 cup of bird seed
- A mixing bowl
Step 1: Bird seed and egg white mixture
Mix 1 cup of your bird’s favorite seed mix together with the egg whites. Keep on mixing until the seeds are fully coated.
Step 2: Form shapes using a mold or a cookie cutter
They aren’t as firm as the gelatin mixture, but firm enough to be shaped or molded using a cutter or mold. You can also mold it by hand. Tne, you should dry it for a couple of hours and they’re ready to serve.
Another way on how to make bird seed blocks glue is to use honey. It is a natural ingredient that can work as a glue to bind bird seeds together. The process is almost similar to when using egg whites.
However, take note that this recipe is for making bird seeds as a snack and not as their primary diet. Therefore, this should be given to your birds at least once or twice a week only.
Things you’ll need
- 1 cup of bird seed
- ¼ cup of honey
- A mixing bowl
- A baking tray lined with a baking sheet
- Gluten-free plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of water
Step 1: Preheat the oven
This recipe requires some cooking. To prep, preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Making the seed mixture with honey
Combine the bird seeds, water, and honey and mix them well. At this point, the mixture will form a dough. If the mixture seems very sticky, add a teaspoon of flour or how much you need to reduce the stickiness.
Step 3: Molding the mixture
Place the mixture on a lined baking tray. You can use a cutter or a mold to shape the mixture. If you’re going to mold by hand, take note that it can get really sticky, so you may put some oil in your hand to keep the mixture from sticking.
Slowly take them out of the mold or cutter. Put the mixture into the oven and bake it for 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 4: Cooling and serving
After baking, let it cool for a couple of minutes. The bird seed blocks or cakes should be firm and have a light brown color.
How did you find these recipes and tips for making bird seed blocks? With all these easy-peasy steps, you can probably start making one after reading this!
Truly, it’s one efficient and delightful way to prepare their food and let your backyard birds indulge in their favorite bird seeds. While the birds primarily benefit from these treats, you can also save costs from buying expensive bird seed blocks. Plus, they’re fun to do!
Which of these recipes would you like to try first? Share your thoughts and ideas with us through the comment box below!