Christmas is a time for festive decorations, inside and outside the house. White or colored lights can be used to decorate outdoor evergreen or deciduous trees for Christmas, but how about decorating an outdoor tree to feed the birds at Christmas? Place these Christmas decoration treats for birds high enough on the tree so pets or small children cannot reach them.
String Christmas Decorations for Birds
Attract birds, like finches and cardinals, with treats on a string. Give the birds a little challenge by stringing popcorn, fresh cranberries (check the produce selection of your grocery) or raisins on sturdy cotton string. The string can be cut into 18 to 24 inch strips to tie into a circle making it easier to slip over a branch of an evergreen; or tie very loosely around a tree limb. Be sure to use biodegradable string so it will decay and not restrict the growth of the tree (or snip the string off once the bird treasures are gone). Run the thread through a needle and then push the fruit or popcorn onto the needle, forcing it down onto the thread. Whichever bird yummy you choose, the entire strip of string does not have to be covered. Instead, try adding a one or two raisins or cranberries between about 6 inches of popcorn on the string. It’s okay to only fill half the string.
Ball Christmas Decorations for Birds
Roll suet into small balls and smash the ball onto a tree branch. Suet, available at pet stores or in the pet department of a large discount store or hardware, is made from animal fat and may have other additives like millet or sunflower seeds, which birds love. Place the suet balls on the shady side or north side of the tree in winter because suet will become soft in sunlight.
Can’t find suet? Make your own! Collect 1 cup of fat from fried beef burgers. Mix together 1 cup corn meal and 1 cup birdseed. Work in 1/2 cup peanut butter. Pour the cooled beef fat over the mixture and use your fingers to thoroughly mix. Refrigerate up to five days or place chunks of the suet mixture outside in bird feeders where the birds can dine on the delicacy that you created.
Pine Cones Christmas Decorations for Birds
If pine cones and still clinging to your evergreen, slather some peanut butter on a few of them and sprinkle with bird seed, using your hands to force the seed firmly into the peanut butter.
Collected pine cones will also make nice Christmas ornaments for your outdoor tree. Tie a string around the pine cone, spread peanut butter and bird seed on the pine cone, and then loosely tie the pine cone around a branch of a leafless tree or the bough of an evergreen tree. Pine cone ornaments for the birds can also be hung from a porch or balcony railing.