Make a Seed Treat and Bird Feeder For Your Feathered Friends

Chickadees, tufted titmice, blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, juncos and red-headed woodpeckers all come to feast on the scrumptious mixture of seeds, nuts and cracked corn I put out for them.

I recommend high quality black-oil sunflower seeds as the basic wild-bird food. Cracked corn millet and thistle also are favorites of our feathered friends. In addition to putting seed in feeders, I also drop several handfuls of seed on the ground for the ground feeders.

To make special bird treats, gather large pinecones, dip the cones in honey and then shake them in a bag full of cracked corn and white millet. Sometimes I use peanut butter, but honey seems to appeal to the largest number of birds. One of the benefits of creating your own seed treats is that you can avoid commercial mixes that include less attractive filler seed to bulk up the mix.

To make a simple, homemade jug feeder, use a utility knife to cut a window out of the jug, about 2 inches up from the bottom. Poke several small holes in the bottom so rainwater can drain. Add a small stick just below the window for a perch. Some birds will feed inside the jug while others stand on the perch.

Eagle Bridge, New York