Friday, December 5, 2014

An Easy Christmas Gift - for the Birds!

During this season of giving, most pet-owners include the names of their furry friends on their "who-to-buy-for" shopping lists. I love going in to the pet store in December, and seeing people of all ages buying gifts for their pets. I have watched all sorts of people (older ladies, burly men, and small children) spend considerable amounts of time deliberating over choosing a catnip mouse for their cat, or a chew toy for their dog. It warms my heart to know that so many animals are well loved.

Our dog and cat have lived through enough Christmas seasons, that they now get excited when the Christmas tree goes up.  I always gift-wrap their treats - usually a huge bone for the dog and a catnip toy for the cat.  One year we made the mistake of encouraging them to open them.  Now, they think that maybe all wrapped presents are theirs to unwrap!



When it is cold and snowy out, there are some other creatures who would love a little treat as well.  Birds that have not flown south for the winter can have a tough time finding food.  Putting out a feeder is a good way to make them happy.  There are all sorts of feeders available for purchase - a friend of mine even has a heated birdbath which attracts all sorts of birds.

But, don't worry.  Proving a holiday treat for our feathered friends doesn't have to be expensive.  Last year I wrote about how to make a festive holiday decoration, which doubles as a homemade bird feeder. It takes just a few minutes to assemble, and it is an easy enough craft for even small children to do.

  
A homemade bird feeder can be a festive decoration as well as a holiday treat for the birds in your area.

Easy Directions for How To Make a  Festive Birdfeeder

What you need:

   A pinecone
   Ribbon
   Thin wire
   Pine boughs - artificial or real
   Peanut butter
   Birdseed
   A "shepherd hook" or other pole or place to hang the feeder.

Instructions:

   Tie the ribbon securely around the top of the pinecone (under a sturdy layer of scales) and make a decorative bow.
   Attach pine boughs to the ribbon, behind the pinecone, using wire.
   Attach a wire loop of appropriate length for hanging the feeder from your hook.
   Coat the pinecone well with peanut butter, being careful to not smear it on the ribbon or pine boughs.
   Put some birdseed in a bowl and roll the pinecone in it until well coated.
   Hang your bird feeder and enjoy the birds that come to visit.

Note: Some people claim that peanut butter may be bad for birds, but my research indicated that this may just be a myth. If you are still concerned, or if you have a peanut allergy, solid vegetable shortening can be used instead.
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Birds provide us gifts of beauty and song, and help reduce the insect population in our gardens. This holiday season, when food is scarce, provide the birds in your area with a welcome treat. And remember to shop for a special treat for your pets as well!

Just a reminder about December 15th

This is a little off topic, but still on the subject of gifts. In ten days I get to give one lucky blogger the opportunity to win an awesome prize.  Save the date for my giveaway on December 15th, and be sure to stop back and enter!
31 Days Of Blogging Giveaways
Have you ever made a pinecone bird feeder? Did the birds like it?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!
Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains an Amazon affiliate link, for which I may receive compensation if any purchases are made. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely my own.



10 comments :

  1. I used to do something similar with the boys when they were little - but yours is so much prettier! Abby gets excited when we put up our tree too - I never thought about her associating it with her Christmas treat, but you're right. Have a great weekend.

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    1. A preschool craft is where I got the idea Lana - but that was just hung with a piece of twine. I needed something prettier on display right outside my window!

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  2. It's been quite awhile since the kids and I have made bird feeders. We like to save the toilet paper rolls and use those for the feeders. =0)
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Kim

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    1. What a great way to recycle toilet paper rolls! We have to be careful to only have bird feeders out when the bears are hibernating, because the scent can attract them!

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  3. The birds that visit us (like the cats) get year round sustenance. It will be hot here though (very hot) so I will probably put out extra fruit and water for them.
    And our cats always help with the wrapping (and unwrapping) of any gift. Sigh.

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    1. I was thinking of the pretty birds that visit you EC, as I was writing this! I always enjoy the photos you share! Very hot there - and very cold here .... mmmm... wonder where it is "Just right!"

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  4. I love my bird/squirrel feeders! Entertainment made easy! And I'm doing some good . . . :)

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    1. Do you have a trick for keeping the squirrels out of the bird feeders? Strangely enough, we have no squirrels on our property ... just too many birds of prey around, maybe?!

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  5. I have birdhouses and bird feeders everywhere out in the yard. Since I am no longer allowed to have pets indoors I figure I'll make pets out of the outdoor animals.

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!