Looking for a great Winter/Holiday activity to do with the kids ?
Why not save a tree and create a Christmas tree for the birds ?
The tradition of decorating a tree for the birds dates back to the 1500’s.
We have tons of evergreens already in our yard but you can use any kind of tree, if you don’t why not consider planting one ?
Decorate with all kinds of treats for your feathered friends.
Birds enjoy things like stale bread, strings of popcorn and cranberries, doughnuts (without glaze), chunks of fruit and nuts.
One of our favorites is taking pine cones and rolling them in peanut butter and then rolling them in bird seed before hanging them on the trees. Peanut butter is a special favorite of Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Wrens and Nuthatches. You can fill half a coconut shell with a mixture of peanut butter and seeds or cornmeal and hang it on your tree.
You could also try rolling pine cones in honey and then in cracked corn or millet (a special favorite of Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Juncos and Bob Whites).
Apples cut in half and hung up as well as citrus fruits are also favorites…or save the peel from your grapefruit half. Hang and fill with small chunks of citrus fruit, apples and berries. An especial favorite of Orioles, Thrushes, Thrashers and Warblers.
After your tree(s) has become the attraction for birds in your area you can try giving them some other kinds of food. They seem to enjoy crumbled dog biscuits (or you can try your hand at making some from scratch), dried fruit, leftover eggs, lettuce, potato, coconut (unsweetened) corn and oatmeal are some common favorites.
Birds need grit to digest their food and in the Winter they sometimes cannot find it on their own. They appreciate a supply of coarse salt, eggs shells or sand to help.
Insect eating birds love beef suet, a hard animal fat you can find in the meat department at the grocery store. A suet feeder can be made using a mesh bag like the kind onions or lemons come in.
Don’t forget that if you start feeding your feather friends you should continue throughout the Winter to refill their food supply. They stayed in your area because you began to feed them. Late Winter is a very dangerous time for birds as there may not be enough wild food in the area for them to survive. So always check your bird feeders regularly and especially after a snow or ice storm so that your feathered guests do not go hungry or even starve. 🙂