Remember the buckets of fallen pine cones we gathered in October to use as fire starters? I had a few left over and decided to make some easy pine cone bird feeders. Here is what you will need:
8 Pine cones
2 cups millet or your favorite variety of bird seed
1/2 cups raw peanuts, chopped
1/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup lard
1/4 cup bacon fat (optional)
- Cut 8 equal pieces of floral wire, each about six inches in length. Twist the floral wire tightly around the middle of each pine cone, leaving two equal ends, about 3 1/2 inches in length (these will be used for fastening the finished feeder to a tree branch.)
- Mix together the millet seed and peanuts in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, lard and bacon fat. Heat on medium and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
- Hold the pine cone by the two wires and dip it into the melted fat mixture. Let any excess fat drip off. Then, roll the pine cone in the seed/nut mixture until well coated. Use a large spoon to fill the inside of the pine cone.
- Place each finished feeder on a cookie rack to dry. Place a cookie sheet under the rack to catch any excess fat or loose seeds.
- Put the cookie rack full of feeders in to the refrigerator to harden. Let chill for several hours.
- When the feeders are firm, carefully twist them on to tree branches.