Make a greenfinch pudding!

September 13, 2019 6:35 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you seen a greenfinch in your garden recently? You might well not have – from one of the most common birds in British gardens in the early years of this millennium, they’re now only rare visitors. A disease called trichomonosis hit finches around 2005 – since that time, their numbers have declined by about 35%. The ones that are left could do with a little help!

Will you help out greenfinches with this special pudding?

Greenfinches are lovely green and yellow little birds (about the size of sparrows). The males are more colourful than the females, with bright yellow flashes on their wings. They have a twittering, slightly wheezy song. Some of their number do migrate, but most remain in the UK. If you feel like giving them a helping hand as the winter months approach, why not try this recipe for a specialised greenfinch pudding, using our wonderful seeds?

Seeds are best

Seeds are at the heart of a greenfinch’s diet: with their large bills, they can manage to eat quite a variety. You might see them nibbling at branches of yew trees or bramble or hawthorn bushes for the seeds, or picking the seeds out of various fruits. What they like most of all though, it seems, are sunflower seeds – so it’s those that we put in our pudding for them.

You can make a greenfinch pudding at any time of year. It’s perhaps in winter, however, that this recipe really comes into its own, when food is particularly hard to find and birds (rather like some humans) need extra calories to keep going. Bookmark the recipe and stock up on the necessary ingredients, so that you can provide a winter’s feast!

Recipe for greenfinch bird pudding

This pudding provides a variety of food for finches, encased in fat. I haven’t given exact quantities, as really, it’s just a case of using up what you have to hand. While greenfinches prefer black sunflower seeds, they won’t turn up their beaks at the ‘normal’ kind by any means.

Melt a cup of lard or other fat with some suet if you have some. Mix in a handful of sunflower seeds, peanuts (or peanut butter if you like) and some dried fruit. If you have any old bacon rind, you can add that. While the mixture is soft, arrange it around a bit of string to hang up in your garden, or put it in a yoghurt pot with a bit of string inside. When it has set, you can cut it out of the pot and hang it up from a tree.

It’s great fun for kids to watch the birds coming to eat the pudding – it won’t just be finches who turn up, of course. You get to see which ones like it and which don’t, which ones squabble and fight, and which ones end up getting the tasty bits.

Small kids will possibly want to eat the pudding themselves! It’s probably best not to, but you can easily make an alternative for them, with seeds and dried fruit rolled up in peanut butter, or in a mixture of oats and butter with honey. See if they, like the birds, can eat the finished product without using their hands!

Other great seeds and nuts for wildlife

We know we have customers who provide a feast of seeds and nuts for birds and other wildlife in their gardens all year round. While some simply shake out the ends of bags, others choose very carefully, often selecting organic options only. We’ve got a whole range of nuts here, including Brazils, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts and walnuts, and seeds here, with linseed, sesame and pumpkin popular options. We sell many of our nuts and seeds in ground or chopped form, which makes it much easier way for smaller birds and wildlife to eat them. Remember to look out for our organic options, if that’s important to you.

The RSPB also recommends making up mixes containing pinhead oatmeal, millet and flaked maize. They urge caution with wheat and barley grains, however, which can attract a disproportionate number of larger birds, and likewise, with whole nuts, dried rice and pulses, which can only be eaten raw by larger birds.

There’s some great overall advice from the RSPB here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/feeding-birds/safe-food-for-birds/. As a nation, we’re becoming ever more aware of the importance of insects, birds, wildlife and the ecosystems of our local environments. It’s great to think of natural ways to give these a boost!

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This post was written by Yzanne

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