Saturday I made pinecone birdfeeders. This is a nice quick winter project. I got the idea from the Houston Arboretum at their Arbor Day celebration. It’s really easy and fun. An excellent “things to make and do” project for kids, but not just for kids! It’s fast, easy, requires almost no prep before getting started, cheap, satisfying, pleasantly messy but not too messy. In fact, if you do this outside, the birds can clean up after you! All you need are: peanut butter (natural or not, just don’t get any with artificial sweeteners like Xylitol — or any other “*-tols*; it’ll kill your dog so I can’t think it’d be good for birds, either), a small bag of bird seed, and pinecones (my neighbor’s pine drops huge ones which I scavenged from the sidewalk while walking the dogs. Me juggling pinecones and dog leashes; it was crazy.)
I made them on the counter, on a long sheet of paper and some seeds did skitter off the paper. Pouring a small amount of seeds in a bowl would be a better way of doing it. (Doing it outside, spillage doesn’t matter.) Also, dip out the peanut butter and put it on waxed paper or in a bowl so you don’t keep dipping into the jar, risking contamination between pinecones, seeds, and your food.
Smear the pinecones with peanut butter. I used a knife, painting the nooks and crannies of the pinecone with peanut butter. You don’t need it to be thick; you just need it to stick. It’s a nutritious glue for the seed coating. Roll the pinecone in seeds, use the knife to work it in a bit, tie a string around it, hang it in a tree.
You’ll want to put it as high as you can reach otherwise you’ll just be luring birds down to dog-and-cat level. I had to raise the one I put in the backyard because the foster dog was leaping at it and almost got it!
I made two. One I put in the tree-shaded, squirrel infested, backyard where the bushy-tailed tree rodents went absolutely crazy over it. The other I put in the front yard where the birds have been pecking away at it, unmolested by squirrels.