Pine Cone Bird Feeder
- A large, open pine cone
- Vegetable shortening, lard or suet
- Oats or corn meal
- Bird seed
- A few feet of string
Tie a few feet of string to a pine cone. Cover the pine cone with the mixture below. Roll the pinecone in birdseed and then suspend it from a tree branch outside.
Food mixture: Mix 1/2 cup Vegetable shortening, lard or suet with 2 1/2 cups cornmeal or uncooked oats until well blended. Optional: add dried fruit (chopped up), chopped nuts, seeds (especially sunflower and millet), and/or suet, which are high-energy bird foods.
Candy Bird Nests
- A large mixing bowl and a spoon
- 1 cup chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips
- 1 1/2 cups chow mein noodles and/or cereal (like crispy rice cereal, cornflakes, or crumbled-up shredded wheat)
- A muffin pan or a flat baking pan
- Aluminum foil or Waxed paper
- Candy that looks like bird eggs (peanut M&M’s, jelly beans, or yogurt-covered almonds)
- Optional: Marshmallow chicks
Put a piece of aluminum foil (or waxed paper cut into squares) on top of a muffin pan or a flat baking pan (a flat baking pan makes flat nests). If using a muffin pan, make indentations in the paper or foil in each of the depressions. If you’re using waxed paper, try cutting individual squares of paper for each of the muffin holes (this makes the waxed paper maintain the cup shapes).
Have an adult melt the chocolate chips (and/or peanut butter chips) in the microwave or in a double boiler (do not overheat the chocolate or it gets grainy). When they are melted, mix the chocolate with the chow mein noodles or cereal in a large bowl.
Working quickly (before the chocolate solidifies), put a few spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture in each cup of the muffin pan, forming little nests (or if you’re using a flat pan, after putting the mixture on the pan, make an indentation in it with the back of a spoon).
Put a few egg-shaped candies in each of the little nests. If they won’t stick, use a dab of peanut butter or marshmallow cream to glue them in.
Let the nests cool. If you like, add a marshmallow chick to each nest (glue it with peanut butter or marshmallow cream). You now have cute candy nests to eat and enjoy.
For a non-chocolate version of these nests, use marshmallows melted with a little butter instead of the chocolate mixture (use the Rice Krispies treats recipe: 3 tablespoons butter, 1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows, 6 cups cereal).