Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Treats for the Birdies!

I spoil my birds rotten up at the log cabin! They give me such joy and I want to return the favor by making sure they have enough treats to make it through the winter. So I decided to give my birds their own edible Christmas tree. The pine cone bird feeder is super easy to make and I think a fun holiday project to do with the kids.

First you start off with a hungry bird! Did you know that the Black-Capped Chickadee is known for being the 1st bird to visit a new feeder? I know this to be true because when I put up a new feeder last week, all the other birds were freaked out and wouldn't go on it. But my Chickadee was there within minutes.

Gather some pine cones. If they are not fully opened, then put them on a foil lined baking sheet and "bake" them for 10-15 minutes at 250 degrees- keep a close eye on them!
You'll need unsweetened peanut butter, pine cones, bird seeds (I like the mixed fruit & nut variety - looks prettier), rubber spatula, plate for the seeds and pipe cleaners.

Tie the pipe cleaner around the top of the pine cone. Use your rubber spatula to spread the peanut butter around your pine cone.

Roll it in the seeds until you can barely see the peanut butter.

Hang it on a pine tree and just watch those birdies go crazy! This Chickadee licked this pine cone clean!

P.S. I also strung some popcorn and cranberries and made a garland around the tree. Forgot to take a photo of this so hopefully next weekend!


AnnaSam said...

Wow1 Thanks so much for sharing this idea. I am sending it to my DIL so she can make this with my GD. Have a blessed day!

Carol said...

Your little chickadees are so sweet! We love watching birds, I keep a pair of binoculars handy so we can get a closer look.

Anonymous said...

That chickadee is so cute! We have about four pine trees in our yard and this is a great idea to have a snack in the tree for the ones waiting for their turn at the bird feeder.

However, we have two resident squirrels that also feed at our feeder...they would probably get to the treats first.

Powell River Books said...

How much fun! We are afraid to put food out for our local birds because we aren't at our cabin all the time. We are afraid they might become dependent on it as a food source and when we have to leave for a week or so, it would be a hardship on them. But we really enjoy the different types of birds when they are around. -- Margy

Cedar ... said...

This project is always such fun and so rewarding when you see the birds enjoy them. Our local school's kindergarten makes them for Christmas gifts for their parents.

Constance said...

I should do this when my 6 year old grand-daughter stays with us. It's a really easy craft fir her to do. We planted 2 pine trees 15+ years ago and they are tall with pine cones all over the place! Do you know of any crafts using pine needles? Tee Hee!

Denise said...

I didn't know that you could get pine cones to open by baking them....duh....LOL Jack Pines reproduce by forest fire... I'm a dork...LOL

Dawnie said...

I love this idea..I used to do it with my kids. Thanks for reminding me. Like you I also like to feed the birds all winter long. They really do need it.
I actually hear my birds chirping a ton when I'm out there filling the feeders!

Hot Belly Mama - taking it all back said...

so great! Just remember that feeding birds may attract other animals (usually in the following order: squirrels, then raccoons, then coyotes, then...).

Beautiful photos!

Shellmo said...

AnnaSam - I'm sure your GD will love it!

Carol - Binoculars are a great item to have! My hubby loves his! He spots the birds better than me.

JyLnC - Our squirrels drive us a little batty too!

Hi Margy - I was reading at Cornell that while feeding the birds in the winter helps them - it typically remains less than 15-20% of their food source.

Cedar - I'm going to have my stepson make some for his grandparents and aunts & uncles.

Connie - I think your GD would like this too!

Denise - LOL...don't turn the oven on too high... :-0

Dawnie - they like a birdy buffet if they can get it - ha,ha!

Hotbelly - I've made it to phase I - squirrels! LOL!

wendy said...

Oh oh oh! That is exactly what my daycare kids want to do! They want to hang them outside the window where we eat.

Brandi said...

Great craft. I had forgotten about this one. Will have to try it with my Mattie May.

Leedra said...

Yes, you do spoil them. But you get so much in return. 2 sided friendships are the best.

This Country Girl said...


Thanks for letting me know what I can do with the popcorn and cranberries that Joy and I will string while watching Prancer. I really didn't want to use them in the house....it attracts the mice...(although I'm sure our kitties would love that)....I think we'll treat our birds! We've done the pinecone treats for the birds too and they do love them!

I'm going back to catch up on all the posts I've missed...so check those comments...I'm leaving those there! :)

Have a great WEdnesday!

Judy said...

What a lovely idea. I'm sure the birds love you.

The Brat Pack said...

I want to do this although I'm missing the pine tree part. :)
I had no idea pine cones would open if you baked them!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Hey Shelley,
It is so pretty at your cabin with all of that snow! I love the pine cone feeders you made. You pictures are stunning!

Shellmo said...

Wendy - I bet you have your kiddies doing so many wonderful things there!

Brandi - you & mattie may would have fun for sure!

Leedra - I agree 100%!

Hi Tammy - nice to see you!

Judy - I hope they do! :-)

Brat Pack - I just found out about the oven thing this year - who would've known? :-)

Penny - thank you! More snow on the way....

Jen said...

Super idea.
That last picture of the Chickadee is priceless.

Heather said...

I did this last year for the first time, and I really should do it again this year, but with more pine cones! It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed watching the birds pick the seeds off. By the way, I loved seeing the Spartan brand peanut butter on the counter - I've never seen that brand anywhere other than Michigan. The smallest things can bring back memories!

Look Beyond The Picket Fence said...

The birds must really love you!

Michelle Dawn said...

I'll have to do this with my four year old. Thanks for the idea. i love the photo's too.

Jennifer said...

Great Idea! I am the same way with my birds. Always making sure they have plenty of seed.;)

George said...

Betsy thoroughly enjoys spoiling 'her' birds, so I'm sure she will be especially interested in your Christmas feeder. We should have brought back some pine cones from Arkansas!

Cassie said...

LOVE the picture of the chickadee. Since we're leaving soon, I haven't been feeding the birds. Don't want to get their hopes up then abandon them.