A Christmas Tree for the Birds
My family has been feeding the birds since I was a young girl and at Christmas, we have a special tradition for them. On Christmas Eve we spend a few hours together making all kinds of treats and in the evening we decorate a tree in our backyard. The next morning, as we are enjoying our traditional Christmas brunch, we can look out the window and watch the birds and squirrels enjoying theirs.
Treats to Try
String unsalted popcorn with cranberries and raisins. Stale popcorn is easist to string.
String unsalted peanuts in their shells.
Tie a string around a pine cone and smear the cone with peanut butter. Drop it in a paper bag full of bird seed and shake the bag around to cover the cone with seed.
Tie a string around an apple stem and cut slices out of the apple. Fill the spaces with peanut butter and toss the apple in a paper bag full of bird seed.
Tie string around a stale cake donut (no frosting or glaze!) and hang it either plain or with peanut butter and seeds or other goodies.
Make homemade suet by collecting bacon fat and saving it. When you have enough, melt it and mix it with cornmeal, birdseed, peanut butter, nuts, or raisins, then let it reharden.
If you have deer and squirrels, consider scattering hay and squirrel corn on the ground under the tree.
You can also purchase (or make, if you're more talented than I am) bird seed wreaths:
The After-Christmas Tree
A bird tree is also a fun way to reuse your Christmas tree before you recycle it. Take down your decorations and move the tree outside, then decorate it with treats.
More Winter Birding Tips
- The Winter Bird Garden
Landscaping to provide food, water, and shelter for birds in the winter.