FEEDING AND HOUSING WILD BIRDS
Finch feeders use niger, or thistle seeds. They have special feeders, because the seeds are so small. They are not expensive.
6 large pine cones 6 strands of heavy duty string 1 1/2 cups bird seed 1 1/4 cups chunky peanut butter 1/2 cup cornmeal 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- Securely tie a strand of string onto each pine cone.
- Melt the peanut butter and vegetable shortening over medium heat in a saucepan. Mix in cornmeal, heat for 3 – 5 minutes (stirring often).
- Pour mixture on a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Roll pine cones in the mix and use a spoon or spatula to fill between the cracks.
- Dip the covered pine cones in bird seed.
- Chill or freeze the pine cones until ready to use.
- Hang from tree branches in cold weather (fall and winter).
COOKIES FOR THE BIRDS
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
and then stirred the mixture into 4 cups bird seed
I pressed the mixture into a heart-shaped cookie cutter sprayed with PAM.
Poke in a straw to form a hole that will be used to thread a string through for hanging.
Gently lift the cookie cutter up and you will have a perfect heart shape.
I was impatient, just like Jo, so we baked our hearts in a 170 degree oven for about one hour instead of letting them air dry for a least 6 hours.
PLASTIC BOTTLE BIRD FEEDER
Spoon-feed your winged neighbors with this homemade birdseed dispenser.
- Clean 1-liter soda bottle
- Craft knife
- 2 wooden spoons
- small eye screw
- Length of twine for hanging
Start by drawing a 1/2-inch asterisk on the side of a clean 1-liter soda bottle, about 4 inches from the bottom. Rotate the bottle 90 degrees and draw another asterisk 2 inches from the bottom. Draw a 1-inch-wide circle opposite each asterisk, as shown.
Use a craft knife to slit the asterisk lines and cut out the circles (a parent's job). Insert a wooden spoon handle first through each hole and then through the opposite asterisk, as shown.
Remove the bottle cap and twist a small eye screw into the top of it for hanging.
Finally, fill your feeder with birdseed, recap it, and use a length of twine to hang it from a tree.HOMEMADE TREAT
The neighborhood feathered friends will love visiting your yard for this homemade treat. Mix peanut butter and vegetable shortening; melt in a microwave for 1 and 1/2" minutes on high. Mix in quick-cooking oats, cornmeal, and flour. Pack mixture into two paper cups, then cool. Remove from molds, and place in mesh bag, plastic clip side down. Secure open end of bag, and hang feeder from branches at a good height above ground.
If you are installing a bird house in your yard, mount it so the hole to the house is facing out, away from the trees. This gives the birds an open flight path and the trees provide perches and safety.
Choose or make a bird house with no more than a 1″ opening. Small birds can get in and the bigger birds cannot. They will hurt the small birds.
The next time you eat an orange, cut a circle around it before you peel it ( so you will have 2 “bowls”). Poke 3 holes close to the edges, so you can run thread, string or ribbon through them, gather them at the top and be able to hang it in a tree. Make a mix of peanut butter and birdseed and put into the orange bowl. They love it.
Things you can add to the mix:
Hummingbirds are some of the funniest birds you can have in your yard. I don”t know why God made them like this, but if one is feeding, another will chase it away. Ours wait in the trees and when one comes to feed, it will get dive bombed. They are fun to watch and they are beautiful. If the bird has a ring around it’s neck, it’s a male.
To start, boil 1 cup of water. Add 1/4 c sugar and stir to dissolve. Let cool. Put in a hummingbird feeder and hang away from other bird feeders. When you get birds coming to feed, you can make more mixture. There is no need to add color to the mix. The feeders are red and it’s the color that attracts them. The mix needs to be changed every 3 to 4 days, or it gets rancid.
Interesting facts about the hummingbirds:
- is the smallest bird and also the smallest of all animals that have a backbone. a hummingbird has no sense of smell because the hummingbird can rotate its wings in a circle, they are the only bird that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down ,sideways and hover in mid air. to conserve energy while they sleep or when food is scarce, they can go into a hibernation-like state (torpor) where their metabolic rate is slowed to !/15th of its normal rate. during migration, some hummingbirds make a non-stop 500 mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico. during courtship dives a hummingbird can reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour and can average speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds with 343 species. hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 times a second during normal flight and up to 200 times per second during a courtship dive. the hummingbird has a heart rate that can reach up to 1,260 beats per minute. percentage wise, the hummingbird has the largest brain of all birds (4.2% of its total body weight). hummingbirds have very weak feet and use them mainly just for perching.