I have a fun winter activity for feeding your feathered friends, an edible birdhouse! I’ve seen these birdseed covered houses/feeders at garden centers and online, priced from $30 to $60.
They’re an easy and fun winter or snowy day project for little and big kids alike, using a wood birdhouse for your base! I found an assortment of craft birdhouses at Michaels for $5 each, and less if you use a weekly 40% off coupon.
I used an assortment of seed, a cardinal blend with sunflower, millet, safflower, thistle and some raisins. You can use raw nuts, cracked corn and other dried fruit for edible decoration.
I used the same recipe that I used for my bird seed ornaments and bird seed wreath for the edible “glue” to coat the house and attach the seed.
Edible Birdseed “Glue”
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
3 tbsp. corn syrup
Mix the gelatin packet with hot water until dissolved. Stir in the flour and corn syrup until mixed with the gelatin. Apply to surface of birdhouse with a brush and add your seed.
The glue stays workable for about 30 minutes so it’s best that you have your supplies ready to go once your glue is mixed.
I sprinkled the seed on the area after I applied the “glue”, using a rimmed baking sheet to collect the excess spilled seed. Press the seed onto the surface to help it adhere. The smaller seed is easier to work with and you’ll have fewer gaps between the seed. I used my offset spatula to press the seed in the corners and edges. Allow your birdhouse to sit overnight to cure before hanging.
I picked up some mini birdhouses for fun that were $1 each. I used packing tape on the rope handle of the mini birdhouse to keep it neat and from getting covered with glue while I worked.
You can add some greenery or pinecones to dress up your birdseed cottages.
Rain will wash the seed off so you want to wait and hang your new edible bird bungalow in a sheltered area or after any rain showers have subsided. You can reseed your birdhouse again after the birds feast on their abode. :)
Alternatively you can use peanut butter or a combination of peanut butter and cornmeal to glue the seed to your house.
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.
The birds are a little camera shy and my zoom lens isn’t very “zoomy” but I did manage to get a photo of a Carolina Chickadee checking out this birdseed cottage!
Snow is in our forecast this weekend and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a few snowflakes! We keep our bird feeders filled year round but I’m particularly conscientious about it in the winter months.
You can also make easy pine cone feeders . . .
If you feed them, they will come!
Do you have snow or snow in your forecast?
January 9th update and photos of birds visiting these Birdseed Cottage Feeders after our wintry blast and snow courtesy of Winter Storm Helena:
I saw lots of small birds ~ Wrens, Sparrows, Goldfinches, Nuthatches, Titmice and Chickadees, dining at the birdseed houses.
Along with some larger birds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Cardinals.
They were stripped of seed after the cold snowy weekend with all the bird activity and visits and I can recoat them with seed this week.
You can see the tag I didn’t remove before I seeded these wood birdhouses in the photo above.
Note to self: Remove tag next time!