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Muddy Faces

mini log bird feeder

A perfect natural bird feeder!



Whether you are getting ready for Big Garden Birdwatch or enjoy watching birds in your setting/garden then this is a fun activity to create an extra treat for the birds this winter.

What you'll need

  • piece of wood
  • palm drill/rotary hand drill
  • string
  • scissors
  • fat balls/fat

This activity has been provided by

Useful items from our shop

Item available from our shop

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

  • source of wood
  • leave no trace

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • tool use

Step #1 Find or cut a piece of wood to length

Find a suitable piece of wood, considering the following factors:

  • not too heavy as it will be hanging up
  • if it is already decaying it will be easier to create holes and may already have holes in it
  • if it has already got holes in it check that it isn't home to any woodlice or other minibeasts

When you have sourced your piece of wood cut it to length if necessary.


Step #2 Create some holes

Using a palm drill create holes in the piece of wood. This will be easier if the wood is already a bit rotten.

Drill holes next to each other to create a bigger hole and if the wood is rotten you can scrape some of the wood out.

This could be a group activity where everyone takes a turn in creating a hole.

To create bigger holes you could use a carpenter's brace and bit.

You should end up having a piece of wood that looks like a woodpecker has been pecking at it! Also, we noticed that if you tap the wood with the handle of your palm drill to get out the bits of dust then it sounds like a woodpecker too!

Check out our guide to palm drills and drilling a wooden disc for more information on using palm drills.


Step #3 add the fat

Soften shop bought fat/suet balls by heating up in a pan or metal bowl near/on your campfire (or in a microwave if you are not in the woods). The balls just need to be a dough-like consistency.

Once the fat is soft, push it into the holes on the log.

There are lots of recipes on the internet if you want to make your own fat balls.


Step #4 attach string ready to hang it up

Attach a piece of string to each end of the log to create a loop. You could practise your knot skills and use a clove hitch.


Step #5 find a spot to hang up your bird feeder

Birds like a bit of shelter for protection near where they are feeding so place near an area they can fly off to and feel safe.

Step #6 find a space to sit and watch!

Take it further

Take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch every January.

We have a 'useful websites' section on the Outdoor Hub all about projects and organisations conserving & supporting birds & their habitats.

Have a browse of our bird resources on the shop - just search 'birds' for dozens of bird trail discs, bird puppets, bird houses, feeders, binoculars and ID books.

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

Key Features

  • Age Range All Ages
  • Duration Less than an hour
  • Location Anywhere
  • Season Winter
  • Categories: Nature


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