To Decorate a Christmas Tree to Feed the Birds
Dip pinecones in peanut butter and roll in birdseed.
String pop corn and cranberries to make edible garlands
Mix peanut butter, warm bacon grease and birdseed and spread in a cake pan.
When cool, cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Make hole with an awl and add string to tie on tree.
Fill half an orange rind with shelled peanuts or birdseed
Fill small plastic mesh bags with suet and tie off the top with a bow.
This week a huge Tom turkey visited the freshly shoveled parking area in front of my country cottage in hopes of finding something to eat. Deep snow has buried much of the berries and seeds turkeys and other birds feed in winter. After several minutes of scratching the Tom found nothing but gravel and flew off into the woods.
Female wild turkeys often come around to forage for food, but this is the first time a Tom has visited. And he reminded me that, due to the deep snow, many of our feathered friends are having a tough time finding food, so it’s time to feed the birds.
If you’re putting out a feeder for the first time, scatter some seed on the snow beneath the feeder to help attract the birds to the area.
To make a quick snack bar for the birds, nail half an apple or half an orange to an 18 inch square board by driving long nails through the back of the board and impaling the fruit on the exposed sharp pointed end. Add a plastic pocket for suet by stapling a piece of material cut from a plastic mesh onion along side the fruit. Be sure to leave enough slack so you can fill it.
Stale bread, bagels and unsweetened cereals also make nice treats for birds. Bread or bagels can be hung from a nail on the snack bar.
Hang the snack bar from the branch of a tree using picture wire threaded through two screw eyes attached to the top of the board.
“The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible: The A to Z Guide to Feeders, Seed Mixes, Projects and Treats” by Sally Roth (Rodale Press $29.95) has dozens of money saving tips and easy DIY projects for feeding the birds. And most are made by recycling materials you have around the house. If you have children to entertain over the holidays, this book has lots of fun activities to keep them busy.