Crafts, Food, Sustainability

Feeding Backyard Birds

red cardinal bird on tree branch

Winter bird feeding can be a very enjoyable activity. Severe winters are tough on birds when it comes to finding food, water and shelter, and they need your help. Having a backyard bird feeder will attract birds when their natural food sources are least available and can make a big difference during heavy snow and freezing temperatures. This new food source will help sustain the bird population and provide hours of enjoyable bird watching for you and your family. Remember to keep feeding the birds throughout the winter and early spring since birds will rely on this new source until they are able to forage naturally.

Don’t have a backyard bird feeder? Make this homemade birdseed ornament with simple ingredients you can find in your kitchen.

DIY Birdseed Ornaments 


  1. Spray cookie cutters with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Set cookie cutters on a pan lined with parchment.
  3. Add one packet or 2 ½ tsp. unflavored gelatin to a bowl.
  4. Microwave 1/4 cup water in a microwave safe measuring cup with spout, until very hot – near boiling.
  5. Pour into bowl and stir until dissolved – about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add ¾ birdseed and stir until starting to firm – add more birdseed if mixture is too watery.
  7. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to become slightly firm – if too watery, put in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
  8. Spoon mixture into cookie cutters and flatten with a spoon or piece of parchment
  9. Insert a straw in the top of each filled cookie to create a hole.
  10. Refrigerate overnight.
  11. Remove cookie cutters from the refrigerator.
  12. Carefully push the bird seed feeders out of the cookie cutters.
  13. Thread a piece of twine or ribbon through the hole at the top of the birdseed ornament and tie it very tightly into a loop.
  14. Hang it on a branch close enough to other branches so a bird can perch comfortably and feast on the birdseed.

Enjoy the beauty of birds in your own backyard. You may see cardinals, blue jays, juncos, black capped chickadees, tufted titmouse, sparrows, finches and more!

To learn more about backyard birds, you can find these books and more by searching our catalog.

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