Make pinecone birdfeeders for an inexpensive and attractive treat for birds.
image by blondieb38: morguefile.com
Creating a setting in the yard that attracts wildlife is a goal of many gardeners. Often gardening and landscaping go naturally with attracting birds and other small animals to a yard. Flowers and sheltered areas are one way to attract some birds. Another way is to set out bird feeders filled with the foods they like to eat. Teach kids about feeding and watching birds by making simple pine cone bird feeders to hang out in the yard. Small, feathered friends will reward your work with friendly visits to these pine cone bird feeders.
Cut a 2-foot length of twine and tie the twine around the widest end of the pine cone. Tie the twine into a long loop for hanging the pine cone feeder when you are finished making it.
Place equal parts of vegetable shortening and cornmeal into the large bowl. It will take approximately 1/2 cup of shortening and cornmeal to cover one large pine cone, so measure enough ingredients to cover the number of pine cone bird feeders you are making. Mix these ingredients together completely.
Use the spatula to spread the shortening and cornmeal mixture over the entire outside surface of the pine cone. You can also place the pine cone right into the bowl and just use your hands to mold the ingredients around the pine cone (kids will enjoy this process).
Place the millet birdseed into a 1-inch thick layer on the paper plate. Roll the prepared pine cone around in the millet to coat the pine cone completely.
Hang the pine cone feeder from a shepherd's hook or a tree branch in the yard. Make sure you choose a place where you can easily see if from a window for observing the birds as they visit the feeder.