Red Cardinal birds like to eat the crunchy seeds. Finches like to nimble on those seeds. And Woodpeckers like to peck away at the nearest branches. But in winter, there are few or no food sources for some of these amazing birds. Many of them depend on the countless backyard feeders placed by humans. Or, they may not have enough food to eat or to share with their young.
As the winter progresses, the natural resources begin to disappear for some of these birds. So to encourage and promote bird feeding for North American birds, the National Bird-Feeding Society proclaimed in 1994, February as the National Bird-Feeding Month.
For the past decades, bird enthusiasts across the nation set different types of feeders for these birds. There’s more you can do. You can make a simple bird feeder from the natural resources already in your backyard. In this project, you can learn how to make a very easy and simple bird feeder from pinecones. And this project is simple and safe to make with the kids.
- Creamy peanut butter
- Plastic spoons
- Safety scissors
Warning: For peanut butter allergies use the alternative method.
- Place some newspaper over the working surface.
- Inspect the pinecone for bugs and spiders. Invert the pinecone and gently shake any excess debris that might adhere to the crevices.
- Place a couple of tablespoons of creamy peanut butter on a small bowl. Try to avoid crunchy peanut butter since it can pose a choking hazard.
- Use plastic spoons to slowly insert the peanut butter within the crevices of the pinecone. Place about a cup of cornmeal in a small bowl. Roll the peanut butter pinecone in the cornmeal to ensure that the pieces adhere.
- Alternative: For children with peanut butter allergies, use a paste of a cup of cornmeal with a 1-2 teaspoons of water.
- Place some birdseed on a shallow paper plate or bowl. Roll the pinecone in the seeds. Or let the children use their fingers to insert the seeds throughout the crevices of the pinecone.
- Cut about a 12-inch piece of yarn. Tie it around the top of the pinecone. Make another knot at the end of the yarn. You can do this step one at any time.
- Repeat the process if necessary, depending on the number of children.
- Select a proper place to hang the bird feeder in your backyard or school yard. An adult should do this step.
If you see any type of birds, can you name them?
Here’s a list of some common backyard birds that you might encounter: American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Purple Finch, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Blue Jay, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, or Chipping Sparrow.