Cookie Cutter Toast Bird Feeders You can use any holiday cookie cutter shapes for these backyard bird feeders. These are easy and fun to make with kids, and they can be helpful for birds in the winter when food is sparse.
Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes from pieces of thick sliced whole grain bread. Then toast the shapes until lightly browned, then spread one side of the shapes with creamy peanut butter. With a vegetable peeler, peel an apple and use the apple peels to decorate the shapes, angling the peels into the peanut butter. (If you use a Christmas tree cookie cutter, and green apple peels, you can make the peels look like tree branches and the berries and nuts will look like ornaments on the tree limbs.) Add chopped dried fruits and berries, nuts and seeds to the peanut butter...poke a hole into the top of the ornaments and tie a little ribbon through the hole to make a loop. Now loop the ornament on a branch outside and watch birds come to it.
Popcorn Garlands for Birds If you leave popcorn out for a few days, it will get stale and hold together better when strung. String popcorn with thread and needle. You can also add berries, dried fruits,
nuts, seeds, between the
popcorn. Hang the popcorn garlands on tree branches outside for the birds.
Pine Cone Bird Feeders A very simple bird feeder can be made from a pine cone smeared with peanut butter and sprinkeld with seeds, nuts, and dried fruits and berries. Set these cones in tree branches for birds, or
you can attach a string to the top of the cone and hang it to keep it from other animals such as raccoons.
Bird Bread Canes 1 packet of rapid-rising yeast
1/4 c warm water
1 T sugar
2 c water
2 c whole wheat flour
1 c rye flour
1 c cornmeal
1 c bulgar
1/2 c nonfat dry milk powder
1 T salt
About 2 c unbleached flour
1 large egg
1 T water
Sesame or poppy seeds
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, 1/4 c warm water, and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir in 2 cups warm water followed by the whole wheat and rye flours, cornmeal, bulgar, nonfat milk, salt and unbleached flour. Mix well then knead 3 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, cover with a wet towel and let rise for 30 minutes. In a cup, mix egg and 1 T water. Heat oven to 300 degrees, divide dough in half, and wrap one half in plastic. Cut the other half into 32 little pieces, then roll each piece into a log. Twist two logs together, and shape into a candy cane, then place onto an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the half in the plastic. Brush the canes with the egg and water mixture, then sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake for 35-40 minutes, cool, tie ribbons on the canes' crooks to hang.
Apples and Cranberry Wreaths for Birds Cut 2 apples into very thin rings. Keep the apple slices in a bowl of salted water as you work with them. Fold the apple slices into quarters then skewer them with a piece of wire, or thread them with a needle and thick thread, putting a cranberry in between each apple slice. When done, attach both ends of thread or wire to make into a circular wreath. Hang the wreaths on tree branches outside.
MILK CARTON BIRD FEEDER
You may have made these when you were kids!
Cut a rectangle in one side of an empty milk carton. Punch a hole in the top and tie a piece of rope through it. Pour some bread crumbs or seeds or birdseed in the feeder and hang it up on a tree or somewhere outside your window.
Cornmeal and Peanut Butter Bird Ornaments 2 c (1/2 pound) chopped suet
1 c creamy peanut butter
2 c cornmeal
Melt the suet over low heat, stirring, then strain out any pieces the melted suet and discard them. Stir peanut butter into the suet until mixed well. Add the cornmeal and knead until smooth. Refrigerate for a while to make it easier to work with. Divide the mixture into 8 pieces, and mold into circles, ovals, squares, bells, trees, etc., then coat them with wild bird seed, sunflower seeds, dried corn or berries, etc. Poke a whole in the top of each ornament and insert a ribbon, tie in a loop and use as hanger. Refrigerate until hard then hang on tree branches.
Kirsten Anderberg. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint/publish, please contact Kirsten at email@example.com.