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What could be more relaxing over coffee on a winter morning than watching birds bop about your backyard trees. Although I don't know a cedar Waxwing from a Yellow-rumped warbler, the simple act of admiring these feathered friends singing and dancing out my window I know must substantially lower my blood pressure. So in repayment for their therapeutic effects, I thought I'd offer my bird friends an edible cottage for the holidays.
You will need:
a sturdy plastic plate
A milk or cream carton
Pretzel sticks of appropriate size
Natural peanut butter
Bird seed, and assorted treats: cranberries, raisins, unsalted nuts
Ice cream cones
Optional: Grapevine wreath or hanging basket for display
* Please research what type of food is safe for the birds in your area. I initially thought a winter cabin would be fun but read that coconut can be dangerous for some birds.
I trimmed a bit off the bottom until I liked the proportions
this gets messy
doesn't look like much now
Break pretzel sticks to follow slope of roof- this doesn't have to be perfect- the peanut butter camouflages imperfections wonderfully. Then just add a graham cracker roof and accessories.
I chilled the house in the fridge to firm up peanut butter before moving on
Gather up accessories and extras. I decided to perch mine on a grapevine wreath- you can add a few dots of hot glue to secure it.
Since we had an unseasonably warm December day I took the messiest part outside
Cover ice cream cone with peanut butter and roll in seed for a nice tree. I topped mine with a cranberry."Glue" tree into place with more peanut butter. Spread additional peanut butter generously on plate and cover with seed and/or crushed suet. You can decorate and add architectural flair with any bird friendly fruit and nuts.
Since they say in real estate location is everything, I tried a few different locations in the backyard to find the ideal spot.
You can try a hanging planter if you have a lot of squirrels in your area.
but I decided perched on a tree stump worked. Now I'll wait and see who moves in.
Wishing everyone the happiest of Holidays!