Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feed the Birds... Take 4

During the summer we have lots of little winged visitors in our yard when flowers create a natural buffet, however we have not had much success drawing them in during the winter months when food is scarcer for them. With the arrival of heavy snows we have felt the desire to feed them once again.   So here is attempt #4.  

I have wondered if we lacked eye catching curb appeal.  Our previous attempts have lacked color, so this became our focus this time around.  I had some oranges that were a little past their prime, but not rotten.  We cut them in half, juiced them, found some wire and made hangers.  Nate was able to help me poke the wire through the orange and turn it up, although I had to do the twisting to lock it into place and form a hook for hanging.
Our slightly sketchy oranges
We then set about making a filling which included peanut butter, shortening, and of course bird seed.  Elli enjoyed spooning this into our orange cups.   We have have four happy orange food cups waiting for the arrival of the birds.  We'll see!

Orange Bird Cups

You'll need:
2 oranges
A juicer is helpful, but not necessary.
Wire -  #19 gauge or any other light to medium gauge 
Wire cutters
1 Tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups bird seed

Begin by halving and juicing your oranges.  Remove most of the pulp while keeping the peels intact.  Cut 12 8" lengths of wire.  Carefully use the wire to poke three equally spaced holes around the edge of the orange.  Thread one piece of wire through each leaving about and inch to twist and secure wire in place.  At this point you should have three wires around the edge of the orange pointing up.  Twist these together and create a hook.  A hook can easily slip over a tree branch and then be squeezed together to make it secure.  You now have a nifty hanging cups to fill.

Combine the peanut butter and shortening.  Stir in the bird seed.  Pack mixture into the orange cups.  Bring outside and hang for the birds to enjoy!

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I'd love to hear about your adventures!