When the winter months begin setting in, the birds outside begin to bunker down. Their primary mission involves finding food to make it through the bone-chilling temperatures. An easy way to support local wildlife is to provide a food source, like a bird feeder, in your yard.
As winter takes us toward the holidays, a fun way to decorate your property is to add treats for the local birds that are festively inspired. Add them to your trees, shrubs, and bushes to encourage a visit. Many of the ideas found here will last long after the holiday season is over, and they can make a fun homemade gift for kids to give.
Here are some of the best holiday decorations to make that will help the birds outside.
#1. Cranberry Spray Garlands
Take a long piece of red ribbon or string. Make sure that red is the color you choose because this will attract the birds. Then thread a needle with the ribbon or string, placing as many cranberries on there that you can. You can alternate with popped popcorn kernels if you wish. Then take some more red ribbon or string and tie millet sprays around the cranberries before hanging this project in a tree or shrub.
#2. Suet Shapes
For this project, you don’t even need to make homemade suet. Just purchase some at your local garden or pet supply store. Take the suet, mix in about ½-cup of new birdseed, some sunflower seeds, or even some leftover cranberries. Set out some wax paper on a firm surface. Then take your cookie cutters and fill them with the suet/seed mixture. Press down firmly. Then lift the cutter away. If the mixture sticks, use a paper clip or safety pin as a hook. Then freeze the suet to have it become hard.
#3. Pinecone Seeds
Pine cones provide their own seeds. Adding more creates something for wildlife that is similar to a seed ball you might throw out into the garden. Add some peanut butter to the pine cone, then add your favorite seed mixture to it. To make sure everything is properly covered, you can roll up the pine cone in wax paper, then shake it a bit. Freeze them until firm, then they’ll be ready to hang.
#4. Squirrel Trays
If you take a few minutes to help the squirrels, you’ll also be helping the birds outside. Squirrels love all of the projects found here and could rob you of your offerings to the birds before they get a chance to take some seeds. If you have squirrels, take a small tray and place a bit of peanut butter inside of it. Then roll that peanut butter into a ball. Add some seeds to it, then place it outside. In cold weather, the ball will freeze, which will give the squirrels something to pick up to carry home with them.
The holidays are a special time of year for many. This year, remember the birds outside as part of your celebration with fun family projects like these.