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
- 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)
- Wrap the string around the top of the pinecone, tight enough so that it can resist weathering.
- Pat a fair amount of peanut butter over the pinecone and in-between the crevices.
- Pour birdseed onto plate or tray.
- Roll it in some birdseed until it is well covered. Now you have a natural hanging bird feeder!
- Hang it from a tree or wherever you like and watch the birds enjoy your thoughtful gift.
Source: The Curious Naturalist, National Audubon Society, 1977