Advent 2011 Day 20

With just 5 days until Christmas, many have finished their shopping, finished their wrapping, mailed their greeting cards and are done their baking.  I am not even close to being done any of it.

I know I need to get my cards in the mail, do some baking, plan Christmas dinner and get a few gifts, but for some reason that is not what is on my mind.  I’m thinking about the squirrels, rabbits and birds that hang in my yard and wondering what I can do for them.  I have no idea why – I mean they’re squirrels and rabbits and birds for goodness sake.  I’m sure they’ve laid up their food for the winter, but I can’t stop thinking about them.  Maybe it’s because I noticed the huge chunk missing out of one of the cushions on my lawn furniture.  Yes, I should have brought them in weeks ago, but it wasn’t a high priority – then… Or maybe it was the enormous cluster of bird feathers at the base of my spruce tree.  Or perhaps it was the 2 nests that I also found at the base of  my spruce tree. 

Whatever the reason, someone or something is trying to get my attention.  So, with that in mind, I’m pulling out the Girl Scout in me and I’m going to make some Pinecone Birdfeeders and save all the ends of my bread and put them out for the furry friends.

Don’t forget about your woodland friends this winter.  I will suggest however that you put your goodies far from the house to avoid having them become too comfortable or close to your entryways.  I opted to use directions from a website for the Pinecone Birdfeeders to save time.  Their directions and pictures are awesome.

Materials you will need for each pinecone feeder:

  • A large, open pinecone
  • Vegetable shortening, peanut butter, lard or suet
  • Oatmeal or corn meal – optional
  • Birdseed
  • A few feet of string, fishing line or twine
  • Mixing bowl
  • Butter knife
  • Spoon
  • Scissors
  • Pie tin, paper plate or cookie sheet
  • ½ cup measuring cup
  • Optional: High-energy bird foods such as dried fruit (cut in small pieces), chopped nuts, sunflower seeds or millet

Making a pinecone bird feeder:

STEP 1:

Assemble your materials.

STEP 2:

Tie a string around the wider, stem end of the pinecone.

STEP 3: – Only need to do this step if you opt to use oatmeal or corn meal

Mix ½ cup vegetable shortening (or alternative) with ½ cup oatmeal or corn meal in a mixing bowl until well blended. (This amount will cover one large pinecone or two or three smaller ones.)

Pinecone feeder ingredients

STEP 4:

Thoroughly spread the mixture over the pinecone with a butter knife or back side of a spoon.

Pinecone ingredients

STEP 5:

Pour the birdseed into a pie tin or on a paper plate or cookie sheet. If you choose, you can add any of the optional high-energy foods to the birdseed. Then roll the pinecone in the birdseed until well covered.

Birdseed in pan

STEP 6:

Suspend the feeder from a tree branch outside.
Completed Pinecone birdfeeder

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