I’ve always really liked birds. From a distance at least. My sister and I had pet parakeets that wound up flying around her room free all of the time. She really liked the birds. I became a bit afraid of my “Blue Boy” because he started biting and so I was more than happy that she liked him.
In the end we wound up giving the birds to a family member with other parakeets because bird ownership is no joke. They take a lot of care and attention and other pets in the home really, really want to get them.
But we both still really like watching birds, my sister even more so. She lives out in the country and has bird feeders everywhere. Literally everywhere. She lugs her big bag of bird seed around and refills them often and she’s got tons and tons of pretty birds that frequent her house to show for it.
Inspired by all of her pretty little friends I have decided to start feeding the birds here in my new home and see how it goes. I’m pretty excited because the birds here are really exotic. In fact, green parakeets are a common site and boy are they loud and playful!
For this project you will need:
- Bird seed
- Unflavored gelatin
- Cookie cutters
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic straws
This is unflavored gelatin. You find it in the baking aisle near the flavored gelatin like Jello.
In half a cup of warm water dissolve on packet of gelatin. It will froth and foam and that’s completely normal.
Stir in your bird seed until well coated. Oh, and FYI – the smaller the seeds the easier things seem to go. I got this stuff with huge peanuts and chunks of dried fruit and it worked okay but the ones I made with the itty bitty seeds left behind in the bowls worked so much better!
Allow the birdseed to soak in the gelatin until it is no longer liquid-y.
Wrap aluminum foil around the bottom of a cookie cutter to act as a mold for your shapes.
If your cookie cutters have handles it can prove really inconvenient for this project.
You can either look for cutters without handles or use a hot knife to remove them if the cutters are made from plastic. Moving on…
Fill the forms with the wet birdseed and pack in as firmly as possible. Use a straw to make a hole to hang the feeders up with. Allow the shapes to sit in the fridge for a few hours to set up.
Remove the shape from the cookie cutter and push the straw through the back to make sure your hole is nice and clear.
Using baker’s twine, hemp or yarn run through the holes to hang the feeders through. And FYI be sure to let anyone around know this isn’t edible. Daddy popped into the kitchen and snagged a bit and popped it into his mouth quicker than I could say “that’s bird food!”
Now I have to tell you if you hang these guys up straight away and they are in the sun or the heat things aren’t going to work out well. The gelatin will melt and you’ll have a puddle of seed on the ground.
Before hanging up for your birds to feed on place these guys somewhere warm and out of the way. I actually put mine in the shade on a table out in the heat of the day. The backside of each feeder was more moist than the fronts so I put mine top side down.
Over the course of a day or two the feeders will dry up and the feeder will become hard and will stick together even in the heat of the sun.
I actually made 6 total birdseed feeders with my first having melted onto the stone path and 3 of my others being completely devoured by birds while on the table drying out! But my two that wound up working out worked out really well. And the good news is the birds absolutely love them and these suckers hold together really well!