Feeding Our Feathered Friends

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With our cold and wintery weather I’ve been more conscientious about feeding our feathered friends.

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I had some special guests at my table with our snow showers last week.

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In addition to keeping our bird feeders filled, I put out a winter buffet for seed, nut and fruit eaters.

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 I spread a mixture of cornmeal and peanut butter on some apples and then dipped them in a blend of seed for fruit-eating birds.

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Unsalted peanuts in the shell will be enjoyed by larger birds like jays, woodpeckers, and grackles.

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Peanut butter contains beneficial fat and protein for winter months and cornmeal contains fat, fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and folate, beneficial to bird health.

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I made a feeder using my bundt pan as a mold for bird seed wreath. I used the same technique as with my bird seed ornaments.

This is quick, easy and ready to hang in 24 hours!

Here’s what you need:

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

3 tbsp. corn syrup

4 cups birdseed

Bundt pan or mold

Nonstick Spray

If you want to fill your bundt pan, you’ll need to double the ingredients.

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I’ve made a couple of these feeder wreaths since Christmas. I found by trial and error that the wreath will hold its form longer as birds the chip away at it, if you use a circle of wire in middle of the mold to give it some stability, similar to rebar in concrete.

Bird Seed Wreath

Spray your bundt pan/mold liberally with nonstick spray. Mix the gelatin packet with hot water until dissolved. Stir in the flour and corn syrup until mixed with the gelatin, then add your birdseed and combine. Pour or scoop your mixture into your pan or mold, pressing down with the back of a spoon. If you’re using a wire ring in the middle of your mold, add half your mixture, then the wire, then top the wire the seed. Place your mold in the refrigerator or somewhere cold (I placed mine on the porch) to set and firm up. After 24 hours, unmold your seed wreath. Mine popped right out but you may have allow your pan to warm up a bit first.

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Pine cones make an easy winter feeder for birds with a mixture of cornmeal, peanut butter and seed. (I don’t measure, just adding cornmeal to the peanut butter until it has a gritty texture.) Tie some twine around the pine cone before you coat it in your peanut butter/seed mixture for easy hanging on trees. I hung some on a rake by Potting Shed.

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Our Carolina Chickadees are always curious and seem to be the first to investigate and visit any new feeders.

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They were followed by some American goldfinches and Dark-eyed Junco at the seed buffet.

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The cold temperatures had me heading indoors, so I didn’t get a photo of birds feasting at the wreath.

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If I had to guess, I would say the birds weren’t the only ones enjoying the seed buffet.

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The folks at Hometalk asked if I would curate a board on bird feeders. They made this graphic that links to some creative DIY bird feeding inspiration that I clipped. I don’t know how classy these feeders are, but some are definitely in a class by themselves, including an Upcycled Hillbilly Birdfeeder :) and Repurposed Twin Bird Silverplate Platters Feeder!

Click on the graphic below to visit the board and see these individual projects and more. 

If you’re not familiar with Hometalk, it’s the largest online community of homeowners, renters, and home improvement pros who enjoy sharing ideas and advice about home and gardening. If you’re a DIY’er but don’t have a blog, Hometalk is the perfect place to share your projects around your home and garden.

 You can use Hometalk to see what others are doing, ask for advice, get ideas for projects and share pictures and videos of the results. It works like Pinterest with boards, in that you clip projects, ideas and inspiration, but with the added bonus that you can talk, if you need or want to get or give feedback and find answers and solutions to problems that you might have.

 It takes about 30 seconds to sign up and it’s easy to use and free.

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Keep Calm and Feed the Birds. . .

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Spring is Coming!

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Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us WednesdaysTablescape Thursday,

 Home Sweet Home,  Feathered Nest Friday

 Foodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party

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  37 comments for “Feeding Our Feathered Friends

  1. Cheryl
    March 6, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Beautiful little birds and critters. So glad you’re thinking of them. Love your pictures and settings. As for Hometalk, I belong but I like Pinterest better.

  2. Sue
    March 6, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Love your bundt pan wreath!! We have been feeding our birds. I live in Lex, Ky and we had 17″ of snow yesterday. My sweet hubby was out clearing the snow off the feeders and filling them up first thing in the morning. Also, I love Hometalk, too!!

  3. March 6, 2015 at 7:12 am

    I’m sure your feathered friends are thankful for all that you do for them, Mary. I’ll bet they show their appreciation by visiting your yard all year long. The ideas that you’ve shared for the wreath and the pinecones are great projects for any of us to do. I loved seeing the creative ways for feeding the birds.

  4. March 6, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I adore the Bundt on the bench, perfect spot to enjoy your guests. All the shots are wonderful, makes me want to rush to the seed store. I love making seed projects, it’s very restorative to the soul.

  5. March 6, 2015 at 8:12 am

    That is a great idea to use the bundt pan to mold the bird seeds. Need to try it! Have a great weekend!

  6. March 6, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I love it! Thank you for this beautiful post, Mary! We are almost packed and ready to go to storage Sunday, so I have time to visit.:-)

  7. Patty Soriano
    March 6, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Love the table you have set for these small critters. I love feeding my birds. I try to keep the feeders filled anyway because they have started coming under the porch to steal from the cats’ dishes, even though the cats are just a few feet away! Very brave little birdies !!

  8. Melodie Strickland
    March 6, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Mary,

    You have some unique and wonderful ways to feed our feathered friends. We just have regular bird feeders hanging up on our kitchen back porch. It is really cold here in Spotsylvania, Virginia as we got around 5 inches of snow. Just saw a beautiful cardinal at our bird feeder along with his mate. Birds are God’s miracles of beauty. May you have an enjoyable weekend.

    Melodie

  9. Lynn Schantz
    March 6, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Mary, your talents are never ending. So thankful people are thinking about our feathered friends this winter season. Living about 18 north of Notre Dame in southwestern lower Michigan we have broke so many records for cold, a lot of them being below zero. I’m fill my feeders on a daily basis.

  10. franki
    March 6, 2015 at 9:53 am

    We’re “bird feeders,” too. Chickadees rule the roost here! Endless hours of enjoyment. franki

  11. March 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

    A beautiful post to greet the morning, Mary. The bird feeders are clever projects. When I was teaching, I did a few bird feeder projects with my students. They loved it. Then we would head out on the trails into the wooded area on the school property and hang them on tree branches. I think we had the best fed birds in the area. ‘-)
    We are finally having blue sky and sunshine here. Still very cold though.
    Enjoy the day and happy weekend to you………Sarah

  12. March 6, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Thanks, Mary, I’ve clipped and pinned from this post. I’ve curated for Hometalk a few times also, and it’s a nice way to gather several ideas.

  13. March 6, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    What a great post and thank you so much for the DIY, The birds must love your house. I feel a lot and have so many hummers all year long. They sure keep me hopping.
    Thanks so much Mary

  14. March 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I love how you care for the birds. Your tablescape for the birds the other week was extraordinary.

    As usual, your posts make me smile.

    – Alma, The Tablescaper

  15. March 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    The Bundt pan wreath is the perfect project for my nieces who live in the frozen tundras of North Carolina and Ohio ;-) – I am sharing this post with them!

  16. March 6, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Only you can create a gorgeous buffet for the birds!…love the bundt pan wreath of seeds!….this is a must share!!

  17. Julie Harris
    March 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful. You really have an “eye” for great shots. What type of camera do you use? Your blogs about birds are my some of my favorites.

  18. March 6, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I’m sure the birds are thrilled to have found you Mary! I have it on good authority that Old Man Winter is packing his bags and hitting the road… and as far as I’m concerned he can take that !*#)$_^*! groundhog with him too! Happy weekend:@)

  19. March 7, 2015 at 8:59 am

    We have so many squirrels, the birds would never have a chance! I am amazed you don’t have flocks of birds everywhere drawn by your free “All you can eat Buffet!” I really enjoyed learning the nutritional benefits of the bird seed recipes, Mary and your photos of the “diners” are wonderful! We are supposed to be in the sunny 60s this weekend so hopefully that is headed your way as we Spring Forward :)

  20. Rattlebridge Farm FF&EE Party
    March 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Wow, you really got hammered with snow! Hope today’s warm weather in TN will wing its way to you. Great ideas for our feathered friends!

  21. March 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I love your bundt pan wreath! Very clever! Joe feeds our birds too, and he just went out and refilled all the feeders. They sure can go through it FAST! Beautiful post.

  22. Cynthia Raines
    March 7, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Love, Love, LOVE it Mary. I’ve made your recipe for the bird seed ornaments and they turned out great so now I’ll have to try it with the bundt pan. When you say to put a wire ring in the middle to help hold it together, do you use an old wire coat hanger bent into a circle or just flouriest wire? Can’t wait to get started. Hit almost 50 degrees here today, was WONDERFUL!!

    • March 8, 2015 at 5:49 am

      Hi Cynthia! I used an old wire from a hanging basket/pot but a coat hanger or several loops of picture hanging wire would work. :)

  23. March 8, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Hi Mary, Your potting shed looks so pretty all decked out in a little snow! You are certainly going to have some happy birds there with all their dining choices. We can always tell when a real storm is coming by the increased flurry of activity at the bird feeder. Nellie thinks it is part of her job every morning to supervise the filling of the feeder, and if we don’t stop on our walk she leads the way to it! She loves the snow but I wonder how Chloe and Gracie feel about it! Stay warm! Linda

  24. March 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

    what a bunch of lucky little birdies! getting to enjoy an elegant buffet! I always love your “birdie” posts!

  25. March 11, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Your idaes are so clever and your photos are absolutly gorgeous! What a very kind person you are to do all this. Any animal friendly folks are good in my book :)
    I would love for you to stop by my blog and join our Something to Talk About link party each week!
    Have a great day!
    Karen

  26. March 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Beautiful pics here! It’s finally warming up over here, so I can’t wait to put the bird feeders out for our little friends flying back. Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. Just Cats
    February 4, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Mary – I loved this post as we have recently moved to the country and I am becoming a bird enthusiast.I have been caring for the local birds for two years now and really enjoy their company. You have given me many good ideas for feeders and I will be on the hunt for pine cones this weekend. Your blog is such a joy to read. Thanks. Deb (Ontario, Canada)

  28. February 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    So sweet of you to feed the birds. We do too but they don’t get such a lovely spread as yours. Just a bunch of feeders on poles and in trees. I love to watch them. So glad our 28″ of snow has melted!

    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  29. January 5, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Hi Mary, I just today saw a video on FB doing this bundt pan bird wreath!

  30. January 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    I haven’t put away the burlap ribbon (I haven’t put away 90% of Christmas!), but I’m earmarking it for a suet feeder. We got a bit of snow this morning, and I wonder if it’s headed your way. Stay warm!

  31. Peggy
    January 7, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Hello. My granddaughter and I made birdseed ornaments and let them dry for several days. We put them in ziploc baggies so that we could give them as gifts, but they got moldy. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. I love your blog and check it every day. :)

    • January 7, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Hi Peggy, I’ve always hung mine on the trees after they’ve set and haven’t try to store them. I’m guessing there was some moisture remaining that caused them to mold in the baggies. Next time maybe toss in a silicia gel packet or two in the bags with the birdseed ornaments. I always save silica gel packets and reuse to keep with my camera lens, silver flatware, and Christmas ornaments when I pack them up to store in the attic. You can also buy them in bulk in quantities of 20 or more from Amazon. :)

      • Peggy
        January 9, 2017 at 9:06 am

        Thanks! I will try that. :)

  32. emily
    January 7, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I love your bird buffet and will do it tomorrow…..I already have bird houses! Your post with the silver spoons in frogs is so cute….do you spread the prongs on the frogs to get them in or what is your secret….I found two frogs at vintiques yesterday before the snow but can’t make mine stand up1

Thanks for your comments~ they make my day :)

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