Christmas has passed but it does not mean you have to throw away your Christmas tree!
Did you know you can recycle it by converting it into a colorful bird feeder? This feeder will not only attract winter birds into your backyard but it can also become the focal point of your outdoor winter decoration. To do so, you need to put up your Christmas tree somewhere in your backyard and then decorate it with colorful pieces of food that birds will actually eat. Let’s go through it step-by-step.
Choose the spot
First, you need to choose a good spot for your bird feeder tree. If you want to see the birds from your windows, then, obviously, you should choose a spot where the tree can be seen from the house. However, keep in mind that it is better to choose a place that is not very windy. Otherwise, your tree may fall no matter how well it is secured.
Speaking of which…
Secure the tree
In order to prevent the tree from falling easily, you need to give it a secure base. You can either use a Christmas tree stand or something as simple as two planks in an x-shape nailed into the bottom of the trunk. Then, put some weights on top of the base. For example, it can be a pile of heavy bags filled with rocks or soil. If you do not have bags, it could be any other heavy objects you do not mind leaving outside in winter.
To make the tree withstand wind better, make the base as wide as possible and put a lot of weight on top of it. To hide the base and the weights, you can put snow on top or a white sheet to make an “artificial” snow bank.
Make bird-edible ornaments and garlands
Now, the fun part: Making decorations that look great and that birds will love!
We will make our first ornament entirely out of bird seeds. For that, you will need gelatin, light corn syrup, flour, and the seed mix. Dissolve gelatin in hot water, pour in the syrup and flour, and mix. Then add the seed mix. Put the mix into muffin tins by filling them only by half. Form a loop out of twine or ribbon, put the ends in the muffin tin, and add the rest of the mix on top. Press down firmly and leave set overnight.
You can also use pine cones to make a different kind of birdseed ornaments. Take a few pine cones, peanut butter, and the wild bird seed mix. Apply the peanut butter to each cone and then roll it in the seed mix. Form a loop out of twine or ribbon and attach (or hot glue) it on the top of each cone.
If you have apples and oranges, make this colorful and tasty orange-apple garland! You will need apples, oranges, peanut butter, and a wild bird seed mix. Cut the fruits into thin round slices and apply the peanut butter on both sides of the slices. Then dip each slice into the seed mix and lay on paper. Take a piece of jute twine or ribbon and a large needle, and string the fruit pieces one after another. Don’t make the garland too long since it tends to be heavy and it’s easier to manage it when it is relatively short. Note that it’s best to take the organic peanut butter because it’s healthier for birds.
Hang the decorations on the tree
Depending on the size of your tree, you may need a chair or a ladder in order to hang the decorations. Try to hang the ornaments and garlands high above the ground. If you or your neighbors have cats that go outside, the cats will have a harder time to hunt birds from the ground.
Want to see a video that shows how to make garlands for a Christmas tree bird feeder? Check out this post with the video instructions filmed by amazing Laura@GardenAnswer.
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