Making Homemade Bird Feeders
February 3, 2014

February is National Bird Feeding Month, so there is no better time for you and your kids to make these simple, inexpensive treats for your outdoor feathery friends.  Your kids will have fun during the process, and they can feel proud that they are providing the birds outside with some yummy food during this very cold winter season.

Tube feeders
 
Take toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls and punch two holes in the top.  Thread a piece of twine or string through the holes so that you can hang your feeder outdoors once you are finished.  Coat tube in peanut butter. Fill deep pan or dish with bird seed and then roll the peanut-butter-covered tube in it.  This is a very simple craft that even toddlers can have fun with.
Bird Seed Cut Outs
 
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup Birdseed
  • 1 Tablespoon of Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Water
  • Metal Cookie Cutter
  • Twine
Mix together birdseed, flour, and water.  Grease inside and outside of cookie cutter with oil and place on a foil-covered cookie sheet or pan.  Pack birdseed mixture into the cookie cutter and bake at 175 degrees for about an hour or until your mixture is hard. After it cools, remove from cookie cutter and wrap with twine or ribbon.  It is ready to hang outdoors!
 
I have also seen recipes for bird seed cut outs that use gelatin and do not require any baking. 
Bird Food Garland
 
There are a number of ways to make bird food garland and many foods you can use to make them, including:
  • Dried fruits or raisins
  • Bagels coated in peanut butter and bird seed
  • Cranberries
  • Popcorn
  • Cheerios or similar cereal
  • Apple wedges (dried or fresh)
  • Toasted bread coated in peanut butter and bird seed (you can even cut them into shapes with cookie cutters to make them even cuter)
Once you have your items, thread thick string into a needle and string items together. (This is a job for older children or grown-ups.) Once your garland is finished, it can be hung outside for the birds.
 
Orange or Grapefruit cup feeders
 
Cut an orange or a grapefruit in half and remove all of the fruit from the inside.  Make 3 evenly spaced holes through fruit rind (a hole punch or ice pick works well). Thread each of the holes with twine or heavy string. Knot each one so it can support the rind like a bowl.  Fill your feeder with birdseed and hang outside.
 
It may take a few days for some birds to discover your treats, but keep a lookout—they will come!
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