Spruce up your yard, help the birds, and get your kids involved! This simple project will have you cooking up some fun and creative bird feeders with your kids.
Even though winter still has its hold on the temperature, spring has started to show here in the Pacific NW and I am LOVING it! Yesterday the kids and I spent the morning in a nearby graveyard doing some nature study.
This time of year it is easy to spot the birds in the naked trees as they hop about, looking for any leftover seed pods. Winter has left her mark. Nature’s pantry is starting to run bare. Many of the birds rely on backyard feeders for a large part of their staple diet this time of year. The kids and I like to make sure our feeders are full so we get as many birdie visitors as possible. Did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month? It is! That is because it is hardest for the birds to find food this month as their winter stores dwindle and the new food isn’t ready to eat yet. So, in addition to filling our thistle and black oil sunflower feeders next to our dining room window, we have been making some hanging bird feeders to put into the trees so that the less brave of our feathered friends can enjoy our generosity too!
There are many types of bird feeder recipes out there. Unlike suet, this bird feeder uses simple gelatin, making it a much less messy project for kids.
Hanging shape bird feeders
- 1 1/2 cup birdseed (We used millet mix and black oil sunflower seeds)
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (We used dried raspberries and raisins)
- 2 envelopes of Knox gelatin
- 1/2 cup water
- Yarn (hemp twine works well too)
- wax paper
- cookie cutters in the shape you want
What you do:
- First, in a small sauce pan, add the water and gelatin. Stirring until all the gelatin is dissolved and it starts to boil.
- Take the gelatin mix off of the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
- Add in the bird seed and fruit. For this we used two different recipes;
- The first batch was 1 ½ cups millet seed with ¼ cup of black and golden raisins.
- The second batch was 1 cup black oil sunflower seeds, ½ cup millet mix, and ¼ cup of dried raspberries.
Spoon the mixture into a cookie cutter set on wax paper.
When the cookie cutter is half full; place a piece of string in the middle of the mixture and cover that string with more bird seed, packing it down tightly. (Tying a knot in the string will also help give it some gripping power.)
Allow this to sit at least 2 hours before handling and at least 12 hours before hanging outside. This allows the gelatin to set completely so your bird feeder doesn’t fall apart with the first feathered visitor.
Hang outside and wait for your first birdie friend to show up!
What shapes will you make?