Want to get started with bird watching but have no idea how? We found these two fun and easy projects for attracting birds in The Backyard Bird Lover’s Ultimate How-To Guide by Sally Roth. The book is packed with lots of simple projects and bird feed recipes, and info on everything from birdbaths to translating bird language. Enter a comment below for a chance to win the book!
How-To: Citrus Feeder
I’m not much of a carpenter, but even I can knock this feeder together in a few minutes. All it takes is a piece of scrap wood plus eye hooks, wire for hanging, and two big nails – one to spear the fruit and one to serve as a perch.
- 1 piece scrap wood, 2 x 4, about 6 inches long
- 2 eye hooks
- 2 20d nails (20-penny, which are 4 inches long)
- Floral wire, about 18 inches long
- Orange half
1. Screw the eye hooks into the top end of the board, centered and about 2 inches apart.
2. Measure and mark spots for the nails. Hammer one into the front center of the board and offset the other about 1 inch from the bottom edge and 1 inch from a side edge.
3. Double the floral wire and run it through the eye hooks, twisting the ends together. This will be your hanger.
4. Push an orange half cut side out onto the center nail, and hang the feeder. Now comes the hard part: being patient until the birds find it!
Next: Mini chickadee baskets and enter to win the book!
How-To: A-Tisket, A-Tasket…
A chickadee basket! Mini suet baskets are charming and useful. Decorate them with red bows, and you have a perfect gift for your bird-loving friends. You can find the baskets at craft stores for about 50 cents or less, or by the bag.
- 1 suet block, plain if possible
- Aluminum foil
- 4 to 5 mini baskets, about 3 inches in diameter
- 1 cup sunflower chips
- ˝ cup chopped peanuts
- Floral wire or raffia
- Narrow red ribbon, optional
1. Break the suet block into four pieces and melt it in the microwave or in a saucepan over lower heat. In my microwave, it takes about 2 minutes on high to melt a plain block, but your microwave may vary.
2. Meanwhile, make a “nest” of crumpled aluminum foil for each basket. Use the foil to support the baskets in an upright position on a cookie sheet.
3. Remove the melted suet from the microwave. Let it cool, stirring occasionally, until it begins to thicken. Stir in the sunflower chips and peanuts.
4. Spoon the mixture into the baskets, dividing it evenly among them.
5. Attach a loop of floral wire or raffia for hanging, and tie a small red ribbon on the handle, if you like.
WIN THE BOOK! Enter a comment below and you will automatically be entered to win one of four copies of The Backyard Bird Lover’s Ultimate How-To Guide by Sally Roth. Winners will be announced on August 17. Good luck!
Please email Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your new book. Thanks to everyone who entered!
Reprinted from The Backyard Bird Lover’s Ultimate How-To Guide by Sally Roth. Copyright (c) 2010 by Sally Roth. By permission of Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.