Young Gardeners

Cone Crafts
by Young Gardeners
December 25, 2005

If you have a cone-bearing tree in your garden you are lucky, because you can pick these cones off the ground and collect them. There are many types cone-bearing trees. Most of them are evergreen, and many are very large and grow in the same shape as a Christmas tree. In fact, Christmas trees are conifers, and you may pick one out this year that has cones already on it.

Regardless of whether you get your cones for cone crafts from your own trees or you find them laying in a park, there is at least one very useful thing you can do with them.

Cone Bird Feeders
To make this feeder for wild birds you will need:
A large cone
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup bird seeds

* To start with, take some strong and wrap it around the big end of the cone. This string is what you will use to hang it up outdoors, from a tree or eave.

* Apply the peanut butter to the cone using a spoon. Get the peanut butter in all the cracks of the cone, and spread it around all over. This part can be quite messy. If you have a very large cone, you may need more than 1/4 cup of peanut butter.

* The next step is to roll the cone in the bird seed mixture. You can shove bird seeds down into the cracks of the cone as well. Birds are very hungry in the winter, so they will find them, and may have fun digging them out with their beaks.

* It is a good idea to wrap your cone in waxpaper and store in the freezer for a few hours before placing it outside. This will harden the peanut butter.

* Hang your cone bird feeders in a tree or from the eaves of your house or apartment. Hang it high up enough so that cats will not be able to catch the birds as they are trying to eat. You may need a ladder, or the help of someone very tall.

Do birds really like peanut butter?

Birds love the fat and protein in peanut butter, but many people say that it is not good for birds. The fact is that very good peanut butter is good for birds, while cheap peanut butter is not. If you find these words on a jar of peanut butter, you know it is no good for feeding birds with:

Hydrogenated Salt Polyunsaturated Sugar

Some of these words are very long, so be patient when looking for them on your jar of peanut butter, or ask someone who is really good at reading for some help.

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