My daughters and I recently made a variety of homemade feeders and seed mix for the birds. We have enjoyed watching a variety of birds eat at the feeders: nuthatches, blue jays, black-capped chickadees, downy woodpeckers, gray catbirds, house sparrows, and purple finches.
These recipes are easy and fun to make; and watching the birds provides entertainment, enjoyment, and educational value for people of all ages…especially children.
2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour (use whole wheat if possible)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 cup unsalted nuts
4-5 chopped apples
1 cup raisins
1 8 oz. jar chunky peanut butter
1 cup bird seed
1 c. suet
Mix ingredients well. If necessary you can add additional suet or even bacon drippings if it is too crumbly. Shape into balls. Freeze.
These can be placed in a mesh bag and hung outside on a tree limb for the birds to enjoy. Otherwise, do as we did: place them on top of birdseed in an open feeder.
7 cups popcorn (no salt or butter)
Blanched peanuts, Craisens, raisins, and/or dried blueberries
Black oil sunflower seed
Mix all together and put in a mesh bag. Hang in the tree for the birds to enjoy.
Log – about 2 feet long that is dry
Drill with various size drill bits
Dried meal worms
Twine or heavy yarn
Place eye screw in one end of the log. Using a drill and various size drill bits, place many holes in the log that are about 1/2 deep.
Fill with suet and dried meal worms.
Put twine or heavy yarn through the eye screw and hang onto a tree branch. Make sure the branch is thick enough to support the feeder.
As a side note, within one minute of coming indoors from hanging the log feeder in the tree, a black-capped chickadee found it. From that point on, there were many bird visitors of different types (mostly chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers).
Ann Rinkenberger is the owner of Harvest Moon by Hand that offers natural, hand-embroidered and needle-felted toys; Waldorf-inspired window stars; and homeschool supplies.
To see other hands-on projects, tutorials, recipes, and homeschool ideas, please visit Harvest Moon by Hand’s blog. Harvest Moon by Hand also can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.