One of our favorite winter nature activities is birdwatching. Maybe it’s because you don’t see as many wild animals out and about in the winter. Maybe it’s because, even when we’re stuck inside on a below-zero day, we can still see them out there, flying about, living their little birdy lives. Whatever the reason, we’re fascinated by birds in winter.
We made sure to put a bird feeder just outside our front window, so even when it is freezing out there, we can sit inside and watch them flitting about. And underneath, we have a birdbath, so they have a water source. Birds can have a hard time finding fresh water that isn’t frozen in the chillier winter places, so even if you don’t want to buy birdseed, they’ll be so happy if you leave a little water in a birdbath for them to drink.
So, naturally, the next step was to create an outdoor Christmas tree for the birds this year.
We began by stringing popcorn and making a garland. You can also use cranberries or dried cereal like Cheerios (perfect for little hands that can’t quite manage to string popcorn yet!) And this is the perfect activity for a freezing cold day when the kids are milling about the house but it’s too cold to be outside for long.
Then, we got some leftover pinecones from our Pinecone Angel craft. We slathered them in peanut butter and rolled them in nuts (we had little bits of leftover nuts in the cupboard — not enough to bake with, so we used them for this. You could also use birdseed, or more dried cereal.)
We tied yarn around the pinecones and hung them from the tree, along with the garland. And then – we just watched while our trees became home to a raging Christmas fowl party.
There are lots of other possibilities for making decorative bird-friendly outdoor decorations also – maybe try a few of these:
-Birdseed shapes by Kate’s Creative Space — she made bird treats in cute shapes like bears, hearts, and (of course) birds. Anything you have a cookie cutter for, you can make a birdseed feeder for.
-Pinecone Birdfeeders from Nick Jr. (more instructions to make pinecone feeders like ours).
-Orange Cup Birdfeeders with Nuts from Happy Hooligans — nice, bright, pretty feeders using orange peels, nuts and dried fruit you probably already have at home!
-More Garland Ideas from Go Explore Nature
You may also want to get a few bird books from the library or store to see if you can look up who’s coming to visit!