Circles of Cereal
Pretty enough to be bracelets, these fortified rings won’t last long enough to be jewelry when birds are around. Simply load up a piece of string with a loop-type cereal, tie the ends, then hang in a tree.
Simple yet effective, this small squash was cut in half and cored out. Two criss-crossing wooden dowels will serve as perches.
After tying wire to the wooden dowels, you can hang it in place in your spot of choice—a fence, gate, tree, etc. Fill it with birdseed and watch the flocks come to call.
A halved orange makes a tasty treat for birds (it might also attract butterflies, but that’s a bonus!). This Baltimore Oriole is sure getting his share of vitamin C.
Just because you’re supplying the grub doesn’t mean you can forget the liquid refreshments. A birdbath is a must-have for anyone trying to attract feathered friends. Rinse it every few days.
Thank You Berry Much
Berried bushes are a win-win for everyone concerned. Gardeners enjoy the beauty of the fruit, such as this fittingly named beautyberry (Callicarpa). Birds get a convenient food source heading into winter.
For an unusual planter, try coring an apple and hanging from a tree. Use raffia attached to the apple with roofing nails. Fill it with birdseed or suet.
This one is more for your pleasure than the birds’. However, at some point they may partake of the buffet hanging from your gate or fence. The idea: Simply harvest your choice of flowers and seeds, tie them into a bouquet, and let them hang as a decoration.
Remember the Suet
But save it for winter use, when birds need it more and you won’t have to worry about the rancid smells of suet gone bad. You can buy suet or make your own suet cakes with lard, flour, peanut butter, raisins, rolled oats, and birdseed.
This is the part many birders fancy the most: providing a house for winged visitors. You can find a good assortment at Lowe’s. Or make your own from scraps of wood. Make sure it’s got some character, though, so you are tempted to hang it in plain sight.
Spread Some Cheer I
Peanut butter not only tastes good, it makes a receptive base for your choice of seeds. Cut a ring from a cored squash, then spread peanut butter on the surface.
Spread Some Cheer II
Now spread your choice of seeds, raisins, berries and nuts on the peanut butter surface, pressing gently to adhere the food to the peanut butter. Hang the squash ring from a tree with a wire.
Sometimes it’s our souls that need some sustenance. Roses will do the trick twice over: beautiful flowers in summer, intriguing rose hips in winter. Drink in the visual feast, then let birds have their fill, too.
(Not So) Corny Idea
Ornamental corn is fun to grow and fun to decorate with. Tie a few ears together with dried husks and hang from a tree (evergreens make a great backdrop). Voila! You’ve created fleeting garden art. Fleeting because birds will eventually pick it apart. But that’s the idea anyhow, isn’t it?
Pining for Pine Cones
Ever notice why conifer trees aren’t invasive? It’s because birds (and squirrels, chipmunks and the like) eat most of the seeds contained in the cones. Make sure you’ve got evergreens to provide this favorite food source.
This American cranberry bush (Viburnum trilobum) gets as much attention in fruit as it does in flower. Its multiseason appeal (it also has fall foliage) is a reminder to include plants with fruit that ripens at different times. That’s a garden that’s truly for the birds!