Sunday, January 1, 2012

CRAFT: For The Birds

It's well known to all who know me that I love to feed wildlife that passes through my yard. At some point I will post the saga of Squeaky and Squawky, but I will save that for a rainy day.

We have a large variety of wild birds who frequent our feeders including hummingbirds, scrub jays, northern flickers, mourning doves, junkos, wrens, sparrows, finches, california quail and turkeys. Yes, wild turkeys! Anyway, I decided to look into ideas for "time released" feeding ideas since we do travel a bit. I really hate to let the feeders run dry while we're away, so I think I have found a solution!

I made hanging birdseed stars, hearts, and clovers by using cookie molds! Here's how it all came together:

1/4 cup water
1 packet of Knox gelatine
1 cup wild birdseed
waxed paper
at least 3 cookie molds
string or ribbon (three - 1 foot pieces)

1. Put cookie cutters on a piece of waxed paper.
2. Add 1 packet of Knox gelatine to 1/4 cup water in a saucepan and stir well.
3. Place pan over medium heat and stir until gelatine is dissolved and simmering.

4. Stir in 1 cup birdseed - More if it seems too runny. There shouldn't be any liquid pooled in the bottom of the pan.

5. Spoon birdseed mixture into cookie cutters, but only 1/2 full.
6. Fold string in half, placing folded end in the middle of the cookie  cutter with both raw ends sticking out of the top. This will be how you hang them on tree branches. (I chose to leave the open ends out so I can tie them on the branches.)

6. Continue to fill the cookie cutters with remaining birdseed mixture and press firmly to make sure it's all nice and compacted.

7. After 4-6 hours, turn cookie cutters over. When completely firm, gently take a knife around the inside edges of the cookie cutter to release the bird seed star.
8. Hang on tree limbs and wait for the birds to go wild!

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