During the harsh winters, 100 species of birds supplement their natural diets with seeds and goodies from the garden bird feeders. Adding a small bird feeder to your backyard during colder months can help these little critters, especially when natural food is scarce.
You may already have the super-sized bird tables and feeders that many of your bird friends are already familiar with, but if you don’t have the space or desire for a permanent bird table, you’ll want to find some really sweet little bird seeds. There are some decorations… home. Plus, leftovers can be easily composted at the end of the season.
Get the kids involved this winter and start making lots of birdseed ornaments using very simple ingredients and materials.
What kind of bird seed do you need?
The types of bird seeds you need to obtain depend on the types of birds likely to eat from feeders in your area. You may need to do a little research. There are some helpful resources online. You can also check with your local bird watching group. That said, if you’re not sure what to get, sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn are a good start.
Once you have the proper seeds, you’ll also need some sort of binder to hold the seeds together.To keep things plant-based, you can use vegetable shortening, coconut oil, or peanut butter. is a plant-based alternative to gelatin.
cookie cutter bird seed ornaments
Source: CBC Parents/YouTube
Many of the cookie-shaped bird seed garnish “how-to” videos (like the one above) and recipes call for gelatin as a binder. can be used.
What you will need: agar powder, bird seeds, natural string or string, cookie cutters
First, dissolve 1 tablespoon of agar powder in 1 cup of water and bring it to a quick boil. This is enough binder for 2 cups of birdseeds.
Then add 2 cups of bird seeds and stir until all the seeds are covered.
Next, line up the cookie cutters on a cookie sheet. Press the mixture into the cookie cutter until the entire cookie cutter is filled.
You’ll need to poke a small hole in the top of the cookie so you can thread a piece of string through it to hang it once it’s set. Leave whatever you used until the cookies cool.
Then you need to set them. If you have room in your fridge or freezer, this will speed up the process significantly.
Once the birdseed cookies have set, remove the item used to punch the holes and remove the ornament from the mold. Thread a string through it to create a loop for hanging.
Alternatively, you can substitute vegetable shortening or vegetable fats such as coconut oil for the agar. About 1 part fat and he works with a 2 part bird seed ratio. Follow the same procedure as above, but use melted fat instead of agar.
pinecone bird feeder ornaments
Source: Wildlife Imagery Rehabilitation and Education Center/YouTube
This is another great craft to do with kids because it doesn’t require any cooking or heating. Another fun part is that this ornament requires you to go outside and search for pine cones or raid the pantry for nut butter. Most economical.
Once you have the pine cone, attach a string or natural string to the top so that it can be hung.
Then spread peanut butter all over the pine cone. There really are no rules here. Be as generous as you like! crunchy or smooth? Birds don’t mind!
Then pour the bird seeds into a bowl and roll the peanut buttered pine cones in it so that the seeds are all over.
Once the bird has plucked cleanly, you can apply more peanut butter and seeds.
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