How To Make A Bird Feeder Out Of A Simple Pine Cone This Fall

One of the pleasures of adulthood is returning to childhood crafts. Whether or not you made bird feeders out of pine cones and peanut butter as a kid, this childhood-classic craft is fun for all ages, and perfect for fall. It's quick, easy, and helps local birds prepare for the cold months ahead. 

Many birds start to eat more as summer turns to fall. If they're migrating south for winter, the extra nutrition will help them make the long journey. Since peanut butter is high in calories and easy to eat, it's an excellent food source for birds, and a natural pine cone is an easy and biodegradable way to deliver it. Whether or not you're making these feeders alongside children, the project creates a great moment for learning about the wild birds in your area. 

You'll need a nice large pine cone (or a few) with an open pattern, natural string or twine, scissors, peanut butter, a plate, and some birdseed. Make sure the pine cones are clean before you start, and if you get them from a craft store, make sure they're untreated. Cut and tie the string to the top of the pine cone so you can hang it. Then, spread peanut butter over the pine cone (a butter knife works well), then roll it in birdseed on a plate. In just a few simple steps, you've made a brand-new bird feeder.

Where to place a pine cone bird feeder

If you hang these feeders within view of a window, you'll get to see (and maybe even identify) the birds that pay a visit. Try a tree or bush near your house. Or, if you have the property for it, you can hang feeders from trees near a walking path. You can also hang new pine cone feeders from an existing bird feeder, since birds will already know to look for food there. 

Try to make sure these feeders can't be reached by squirrels and raccoons, who will make short work of them. Also, if you know the wildlife in your area, consider which predators might target birds at feeders. Generally speaking, the harder the feeder is to reach from the ground or see from the air, the safer the birds at it will be. 

Consider picking up a book on local wild birds, so you can easily identify your visitors. Once the feeders look empty, you can refill them or hang new ones in their place. This simple craft project turns your yard into a bird haven, providing a new and satisfying way to interact with nature.