Sunday, December 9, 2012

For the Birds


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.
or nestled on a fallen tree
but I decided perched on a tree stump worked. Now I'll wait and see who moves in.

Wishing everyone the happiest of Holidays!


  1. OMG! I love this! I saw a sweet little seeded house like this during Christmastime, and I wanted it so bad! Figured I could make one. It also reminds me of Gingerbread house decorating we did at my son's 2nd grade class (years and years ago) with the graham crackers and milk cartons.

    Yours turned out so nice in the twig wreath and all.

    ~ Sherrie (Bird Lady)

    1. Hi Sherrie- I thought you might enjoy this one- I did base the idea off of those graham cracker houses I did when I worked with children - It's super easy to do- but a little messy


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