Today, I thought, would be a great day to make Pine cone Bird feeders. It was nice and chilly, too soggy from the melting snow to play outside. The kids were bored and I was tired of redirecting them over and over. So, we grabbed some quick supplies and got to work.
First, you'll need some pantry basics: oatmeal, vegetable shortening, and honey (or you can use peanut butter). You'll also need some seeds - you can buy bird seed, but we just grabbed some of the gerbil cuisine on hand. And you will, of course, need a pine cone. You need to find one that is open for it to hold all the yummy goo. You can use yarn, twine, string, fishing line - whatever you have handy for the string. I recommend tying the string on before you start smearing it with sticky stuffy.
The first step is to combine the vegetable shortening and the honey. We used about 1/2 cup of shortening and a couple of tablespoons of honey. Approximately. Add the oatmeal about 2 cups (maybe, work with me here) to that mixture and stirred until it was nice and gloppy.
After that is all mixed together, it's time to apply it to the pine cone. Since my kids are used to using them, they applied it with plastic knives. You could use your fingers, but it would be really messy. Be sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies.
After the pine cone is completely covered, roll it around in the bird (or gerbil) seeds. Bradley liked the "sprinkle" method.
Here they are all nice and covered and ready to hang outside!
I think they look pretty.
We made six of them and hung them in the front and back yards. Turns out the birds LOVE them because they are hanging out now. A lot. While my kids are having a great time seeing all the different kinds of birds, I'm kind of regretting the project. Do you know what happens when birds hang out a lot near your walkways, patio, and deck? Yes indeedy. So, be sure you are prepared to deal with bird poop. Because these pine cone bird feeders are like a smorgasbord of fine dining for every bird in your neighborhood, and they don't care where they potty. But, at least it kept the kids busy for an hour!