By Teresa Ambord
While your kids or grandkids are out of school for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, you can easily make feeders that will give the birds some Christmas treats too.
Birds need fat in the winter, so use peanut butter liberally. The peanut butter also helps “glue” the seeds to the feeder. It’s important to only use foods in your bird feeder that are not made with refined sugar.
Fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, and grains are a nice treat at a time when the birds’ food supply is dwindling. Don’t be discouraged if you hang your feeders and don’t see birds right away. It takes some time for the birds to find and trust the feeders.
Pine Cone Feeder
Floral wire or sturdy twine
Bird seed or unsalted sunflower seeds
1. Attach a piece of floral wire near the top for easy hanging on a tree.
2. Slather the cone with peanut butter, pushing some to the inside if possible.
3. Mix seeds and small amount of cornmeal on a plate, and roll cone in the mixture.
4. Allow peanut butter to dry.
5. Tie a colorful ribbon at the top if you wish.
6. When the cone has somewhat dried, hang it in a tree where you can see it often.
Dried apples (slice apples into rings, place in oven on a piece of parchment, and bake at 200 degrees for about 90 minutes, turning once). They don’t have to be crisp.
Other fruits as desired, such as dried apricots, cranberries, blueberries
Assorted seeds and nuts without salt
Slip the first piece of fruit on the wire and slide it to the end. Dried apricots work well on the end as they don’t tear and yet are pliable. Bend the end of the wire around the fruit to make a secure end.
Slather some peanut butter on a few pieces of apple, and add nuts and seeds into the peanut butter.
Alternate fruits until the wire is full, then bend the top over to secure, and attach twine.
Ribbon attached at the top makes a nice decoration.
Fruit and Cereal Feeder
Cereal, such as Cheerios with a hole in the middle
Popcorn, optional. Popcorn can be hard to work with. If you use it, use plain popcorn without salt and butter or flavoring.
Fruits, such as grapes, dried cranberries, dried apricots, raisins, blueberries
Twine for hanging
1. Holding a wire by one end, simply fill it up with a variety of fruits, pieces of cereal, and popcorn or crackers. Leave enough room on each end to bend the wire into a small circle and connect the ends.
2. Add twine or a sturdy ribbon to hang in your favorite tree.