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Make Your Own Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Make Your Own Pine Cone Bird Feeder

I've always been impressed by all the birds who decide to hang around Chicago all winter. It's a challenge enough for us with our nice warm houses and clothes, but for the tiny little flying critters it must be brutal. Plus the snow covers up what little winter flora exists for them to eat. I was contemplating this while walking our dog the other day when I happened to notice a large and pretty pine cone that appeared to have recently fallen from the tree. This reminded me of a winter festival I had once visited where kids were making simple bird feeders out of pine cones. So I decided to give it a try...

Make Your Own Pine Cone Bird Feeder

(at least) 1 large pine cone The more open the better
enough bird seed to coat the pine cones you have
Ours took about a half cup. We just used a general seed mix we had lying around. There are a lot of varieties available.
enough peanut butter to coat the pine cones you have Ours took about a half cup of this as well. Make sure the peanut butter is sof and spreadable.
enough string to hang it where you want it to hang. Ours We used some fairly lightweight jute cord, but anything that can survive the winter elements would work.

Scissors or sharp knife
Table knife, popsicle stick or small spatula
Shallow bowl for mixing
We used a plastic take-out bowl from a restaurant.

Tie one end of the string to the pointy end of the pine cone, making sure to cover enough scales (that's what they call the petal-like protrusions) to support the cone through wind and snow.

Using your knife, stick or whatever, carefully spread the peanut butter over the entire pine cone. We scooped a fair amount of peanut butter onto a small plate and worked from that so we didn't have to keep dipping the knife in the jar.

Pour a small amount of seed into your shallow bowl, and thoroughly roll you pine cone in it. We also picked up extra seed and poured it over the top to completely coat the entire surface.

Then, find a tree branch, the eaves of your house, or another suitable place for hanging your pine cone. It's best to find a place that is difficult for squirrels to reac, though squirrels are very athletic and tenacious, so that part might be tough. We placed our bowl of leftover seed on our picnic table as an offering to the squirrels in hopes that they'll leave the pine cone alone.

You've just made winter a tiny but easier for a few feathered friends.

2015 Vegan Street

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