Thursday, December 22, 2011

Theme Thursday: The Night Tree

One of our favorite books to read this time of year is Eve Bunting's "The Night Tree."  Our church has even created an annual tradition around this story!

The book is about a family that goes out in the woods to hunt for a tree.  You might assume they're going to cut one down.  But no, this is a different kind of outing.   And the "gift"  is for the birds.

They've brought handmade treats to hang on the tree for the birds and critters. 

After reading the book, why not make some of your own bird treats?  And hang them on your own trees?   Here are some ideas:

Cover a pinecone with peanut butter, then roll it in birdseed.  Hang it from a string on a tree.

Make some homemade suet. Melt 2 cups of lard (get it from your butcher!) and 1 cup of peanut butter together, then add 2 cups of corn meal and cool. Choose your own add-ins. Try seeds, raisins, cereal or oats. Or just skim the fat off soups and soak it up with stale bread.   Put it in a suet holder.  Woodpeckers love this. 

For the mice other animals below, use a stick to anchor some bits of fruit in the ground.

I love the rose-colored house finches.  We had one gift us with a visit last week. 

Father's Fancy Finch Feeder
Use a piece of wood at least a foot long.  Leave the bark on, if you like.  Ask Father screw a sturdy ring on one end.  Can he drill several holes down and around?  big enough to hold small paper cups?   Fill these cups with several mixtures.  Suet and bird seed.  Suet and nut meats.  Suet and peanut better.  Put cups in holds. 

Hang your Finch Feeder near a window.  But not where cats can climb.  Then watch the rosy finches feed on Fathers Fancy Finch Feeder. 

Isn't Father wonderful? 

(from "A Child's Christmas Cookbook" by Betty Chancellor)

See also:
Attracting Birds (And Keeping them Happy)


Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

I loved this post!! I feed my back yard critters all year 'round but like to go all out when the weather gets cold. I loved the photo of the fruit on the stick for the little critters but, unfortunately, due to three cats, I won't be able to do that. :( I adopted all three of them and they were already of the indoor/outdoor variety. Merry Christmas to you and yours!! : )

~ Wendy

Karen said...

What fantastic ideas and such wonderful gifts for our wild friends. The cold of winter can make it hard to get good eats, so I'll be your gifts are especially appreciated.

Happy TT and happy holidays!!

Joanne said...

Thoughtful ideas here, don't birds look somehow even prettier in the winter?

Wishing you a Merry Christmas ... Enjoy!

Olive Tree said...

Wonderful ideas for Christmas activity. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Mrsupole said...

I must have lazy cats because the birds seem to go pretty close to them. Not sure what they are always eating but they are always on the ground. The dogs leave them alone too and they get even closer to them. We do have hummingbird feeders but not bird feeders, as it seems we do not need those. Just wish those cats would catch the mice and rats, the dogs are better at that for some reason.

Great ideas though. Thanks for sharing them with this weeks Theme Thursday, truly a gift for your birds.

Merry Christmas.

God bless.

David said...

These are great ideas! I always leave extra birdseed out this time of the year! Sounds like a wonderful book. Our church read a different book about a tree to the children. It was excellent as well.
Happy 2012!

TALON said...

Lucky birds in your neighborhood, JGH!

Hope you and your family had a beautiful Christmas and I wish you all a fabulous 2012!