Make a pine cone bird feeder
Feed the birds in style by making your own pine cone bird feeders.
In the winter months wildlife may find it hard to find natural foods such as berries, seeds, insects, worms and fruit; you can help by leaving them snacks of fruit, seeds, nuts and grated cheese.
A pine cone treat feeder is a fun thing to make and hang up at home for birds, and taking a wintry walk to collect pine cones can be refreshing even on a blustery day.
You will need
- A collection of dry pine cones
- Nut or seed butter (be sure to choose the kind without added salt or sugar), or veggie suet (a great source of essential winter fats)
- Bird seed mix (a nutritious mixture of vitamins and minerals to give birds energy and help them stay healthy)
- Bowl and spoon
Collect your cones. Wrap up warm and head outside to collect your cones but check the Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines in your area before you go. While you’re out try to spot your favourite things about winter or something you’ve never noticed before, and don’t forget to BREATHE. Deep breaths of fresh air has a calming effect on our minds and bodies which makes us feel GREAT.
Bigger cones make fuller feeders so try to collect the best of the bunch but be careful to avoid prickles and wash your hands when you get home.
Dry and tie. Leave your cones somewhere to dry so that they open up then tie a length of string around your cone so you can hang them in a tree or on a bird feeder stand.
Make your mix. In a clean bowl mix together the nut butter or veggie suet with the bird seeds. Make enough to squish into your cones. Don’t be afraid to use your hands but don’t eat any of the mixture. This recipe is just for birds.
Fill your cone. Using your hands (it’s messy but fun) squash the mixture into the cone making sure you fill all the gaps between the seeds.
Feed the birds. Hang up your feeder in a spot that birds can easily reach but don’t forget that you want to see it too, so find a spot that is easy for you to watch from a distance or from a cosy window (it is still winter after all!).
Who can you spot? There are tons of bird identification books, guides and free apps out there that will help you become more familiar with your winged friends.
When you’re watching, keep a camera or notebook and pen close by so that you can record your sightings. It might help you identify a new species to your feeder or witness new behaviour.