Around here, I have turned into a bird referree trying to keep things fair in the backyard. Our yard intersects with four other backyards the way the lots meet. Everyone has trees in their yard so we enjoy a natural bird aviary. We have year round hummingbird feeders right next to the window, with hummers coming every hour in the daylight. In the winter we put up suet cages and to my dismay, the crows and blue jays decided we were their new diner and all the little birds were left out and had to forage on their own.
Last summer I went to a garage sale and got a bird cage for less than $10 that gave me an idea how the chickadees could still come to our yard for suet.
We inserted a suet cage and hung it from the center and opened a few of the cage bars just enough so the small birds could get in and out.
I went to Ace Hardware and purchased inexpensive pulley rigging which my husband secured to the tree limb. It is easy to undo the loop, lower the cage to replenish the suet! We have the cage as high as we can because there are MANY neighborhood cats…poor little birds have a tough life.
To my amazement within a 1/2 hour the first chickadee arrived and figured how to get in an out. It was really funny to watch crows and blue jays latch onto the cage trying every angle to get their beaks to the suet.
I decided in a gesture of goodwill to make some bird feeders to share with the crows and blue jays and I found this easy recipe from the blog Eighteen25 using knox gelatin, birdseed and cookie cutters. SO EASY!
I got this Canadian Maple Leaf cookie cutter and was so happy how my bird feeders turned out!
- 3/4 cup birdseed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 small envelope of knox gelatin
- twine or string
- cookie cutters, molds or mason jar lids
- wax paper
Mix together the envelope of gelatin with 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer while stirring. continue stirring until the gelatine is dissolved.
Remove from heat and let cool for a minute.
Stir in the 3/4 cup birdseed. adding a little more if there is liquid still in the bottom of the pan. I actually added two more handfulls of seed to my mixture because there was so much liquid at the bottom.
Lay your cookie cutters out on wax paper and fill half way with the birdseed mixture.
Cut your twine, knot the end and push the knot down into your birdseed.
Continue filling with birdseed, covering the end of your twine and
Push the birdseed evenly into the cookie cutter until it’s full.
Let dry overnight turning them every once in a while.
After they are dry they are solid as a brick! It will be fun to see which birds spy these feeders and take a nibble!