Fun Kid’s Activity: Winter Pinecone Bird Feeder

As winter nears, days get shorter and food become more difficult to find, many birds migrate south in search of a place where more food is available. Some birds migrate to New Mexico for the winter there are also many that live here year-round. For these birds, it can sometimes be challenging to find food sources during these cold, dark months, especially when the ground in covered with snow. Here is a way that you and your family can help your feather friends during the cold winter.

Things you will need:

  • Pinecone (Ponderosa are nice because of their larger size)
  • Sturdy cotton string
  • Scissors
  • Peanut butter/suet/shortening
  • 2 plates or trays
  • Birdseed (small see such as millet, ground cracked corn and thistle attracts sparrows, mourning doves, juncos and goldfinches; sunflower seed, suet, peanut hearts and hemp attracts chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and woodpeckers)


  1. Wrap the string around the top of the pinecone, tight enough so that it can resist weathering.
  2. Pat a fair amount of peanut butter over the pinecone and in-between the crevices.
  3. Pour birdseed onto plate or tray.
  4. Roll it in some birdseed until it is well covered. Now you have a natural hanging bird feeder!
  5. Hang it from a tree or wherever you like and watch the birds enjoy your thoughtful gift.

Practice your bird ID skills by watching and recording which birds visit your new feeder through online resources like Audubon’s field guide and eBird.

Source:  The Curious Naturalist, National Audubon Society, 1977

How you can help, right now