Edible Ornaments for Birds

Image Source: https://wilderchild.com

By Taylor Smith

Winter often signifies a challenging time of year for birds to find adequate food and sustenance.  Decorating an outdoor tree with edible ornaments is a way to attract winter birds, providing them with shelter and a wide range of foods.

The ideal tree has plenty of horizontal branches and is visible from a nearby window. An evergreen will ensure that the ornaments are protected from the snow. As long as you keep the tree well-stocked with treats, birds will continue to visit throughout the winter, even when the weather is severe. It may take a week or so for birds to discover the treats and become familiar with the location.

There are many types of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and nut butters that can be strung on the trees. Some of the most popular include:

– Suet balls or suet cakes in cookie cutter shapes

– Strings of dried apple, pear, oranges, raisins, and cranberries

– Pinecones coated in peanut butter and birdseed

– Strings of plain air-popped popcorn and unsweetened cereal like cheerios

– Strings of in-shell peanuts or broken walnuts

– Dried sunflower heads

– Indian corn (positioned up high, away from rodents)

– Crabapple bundles

– Dried flower clusters

– Lotus cups (fill the empty holes with cranberries, and raisins)

Use pieces of string or natural twine to make bows and loops for each ornament. Raffia ribbons are a festive touch and may be re-used by the birds as nesting, insulation and/or roosting material. Avoid fishing line or very thin thread as the visiting birds could become tangled.

Finally, make note of the birds attracted to your wildlife tree! Blue jays, northern cardinals, northern mockingbirds, winter wrens, red-bellied woodpeckers, and white-throated sparrows are all frequently found along the Northeastern Seaboard.

Photo Credit: Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve¬†