Feeding the birds is a fun little hobby I enjoy during the winter months. This year I’ve added a new bird feeder to my collection – the Birdola Stacker
The benefit of the Stacker is that you can stack up different types of birdseed cakes and attract more birds with a bigger variety of bird seeds. They have a stackers for cardinals, woodpeckers, finches, even a stacker with beetles in i!
But much like the way we can buy computer printers for a good price, but then spend whole bunches of money on the printer ink, so it is with the Birdola Stacker. You can get yourself a Stacker feeder for a nice price of $6.99, but then each of the little stacker cakes that go on it will cost you another $3.99.
Ummm, I think I can Make My Own.
* but I will probably not be making the beetle variety *
So if you’re a bird lover too and would like to give this new Birdola Stacker a try, here’s the DIY method I came up with to make the refill cakes. The binder for these cakes can either be lard (see my post on how to find lard in a grocery store), or it can be Knox unflavored gelatine
These cakes can just be made with the basic birdseed mix or you can branch out and add in some safflower seed, thistle seed, black oiler sunflower seeds, or fruits or nuts to bring in more types of birds as the stacker is intended to be used.
DIY Birdola Stacker Birdseed Cakes
1/2 cup Lard – OR –
1/2 cup Water + 1 envelope of Knox Gelatine
1-1/2 cups Birdseed
If you’re using the lard, measure it out into a “dry ingredient” measuring cup and then place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the lard in the microwave (it will take about 1 minute, 45 seconds). Then stir in the birdseed.
If you’re using the gelatin, measure a 1/2 cup water into a small saucepan and add the dry gelatine. Heat on the stove for a few minutes to heat the water and dissolve the gelatine. Remove from the heat and stir in the birdseed.
NOW – you will need to have a couple of round molds about 4″ in diameter. I ended up cutting the tops off from a couple of plastic 18 oz drinking cups. This worked quite well because you can cut your molds with higher sides than the usual method of using a cookie cutter. This will let you make a thicker birdseed cake much like the Birdola Stackers.
Put your molds in a pan lined with wax paper and divide your prepared mixture between the molds. Some of the “wet goo” will seep out from under your molds, and that’s OK.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon or use a drinking straw to make a hole in the middle of your birdseed cakes. Once again, the “wet goo” will kind of seep back into the hole, and that’s OK.
Put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to harden.
You can easily remove the cup molds from the birdseed cakes by snipping them off.
Any of the gelatin or lard that is in the hole area of the bottom of the cake should be soft enough to push through and clear the hole.
If some of the seeds crumble off the cake, no worries! The stacker I bought from the store did the same thing.
So there’s my method for making round birdseed cakes for my new feeder. Then I decided to make a few of the square birdseed cakes for my other birdfeeder too.
Here’s a bonus recipe to stir those up quickly and easily.
DIY Square Birdseed Cakes
2 cups Lard
2 cups Birdseed Mix
2 cups Black Oiler Sunflower Seeds
1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.)
2 cups of whole wheat flour or cornmeal (I did one cup of each)
Combine the birdseed mix, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and the flour and/or cornmeal in a large mixing bowl.
Measure the 2 cups of lard (a “dry ingredient” type of measuring cup works best) and place in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the lard in the microwave, which will take about 1 minute and 45 seconds.
Pour the melted lard over the bird seed mixture and mix well.
Line a 9×13 pan with wax paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth it out.
This mixture hardened up at room temperature but had to be cut somewhat carefully so it didn’t crumble. I think maybe next time I’ll put it in the refrigerator and I think that will help it to be more solid for cutting.