There’s something great about spring when the birds start returning and you can hear them chirping. We always talk about getting a bird feeder to be able to look at the birds more often. However, a lot of bird feeders go through bird seed quickly and attract more than birds. So, I wanted to try a bird feeder with gelatin to make bird seed ornaments.
There’s no research or data out there supporting bird feeder ornaments last longer than traditional bird feeders, so we thought we’d give it a go and find out for ourselves. Our bird feeder ornaments did last 2-3 weeks once hung outside. This was about a week longer than our traditional bird seed feeder, but placement of the feeder did play a key role too.
How to Make Bird Seed Ornaments
To start you need:
- Bird seed
- Cookie cutter or some shape to put the ornament into until it sets
- Parchment paper
- Gelatin Powder
- 1 cup of water
- Stovetop and a pot or microwave and a microwave safe bowl
Get all of your supplies ready and set up. Next, heat up 1 cup of water until it’s warm enough to dissolve 1 packet of gelatin. The water doesn’t need to be boiling or too hot in order to do so. Add the 1 packet of gelatin to the warm water and mix until dissolved fully.
Mix the bird seed with the gelatin water. We added some bird seed directly to the gelatin water and combined the two and gradually added more bird seed until the all the bird seed was coated and there was no gelatin water at the bottom or side of our bowl.
Put the parchment paper down and place your shape you plan to use on the parchment paper. Add the bird seed mix to your shape, whatever that might be. We used a cookie cutter and an egg ring. You just want to make sure that you can get the bird seed back out of the shape you choose. So, pick something that’s not enclosed or a shape that you can put parchment paper into, so it doesn’t stick to the object.
Fill only half of your shape with the bird seed mix. Now, add your string on top of the mix to create a loop or you can tie a knot in your string, that works too.
Cover the string and fill the rest of your shape with bird seed mix. Here’s the hard part; you need to let this set before taking the bird feeder ornament out of the shape. If not, it will break when taking it out, or trying to hang it outside, or maybe even when the birds attempt to eat it. Don’t rush this process. We let our sit for a few hours, and they still were slightly wet. We decided to let them sit overnight just in case. Better safe than sorry or you’ll have bird seed you’ll probably just through on the ground outside and it will be gone in no time.
Now that the bird feeder ornaments are dry, gently push them out of the shape they were setting in.
Pick a spot to hang them. I’d recommend finding a spot that you can see from your window so you can admire the birds eat from the bird feeder ornament. Sit back and enjoy!
My daughter was always asking what different kinds of birds that would come to the bird feeder ornament or that we’d see outside while watching. And we didn’t always know. We bought a bird book that has a section of different pictures of birds to determine which bird you saw and then had an informative page about each bird.
What’s great about this bird book is that it has all the pictures at the front and they’re secontioned off by types of bird. It’s easy to locate the bird your looking for if you have some idea of what bird your looking for. This also makes it easy if you have no idea what kinda bird you’re looking for with the picutres of similar birds all together.
How Long do Bird Seed Ornaments Last?
In general, bird seed ornaments made with a mix of different seeds will last longer than those made with just one type of seed. This is because the different seeds have different rates of absorption and evaporation, which helps to keep the overall moisture content of the ornament more stable. Additionally, ornaments that are kept in dry, cool conditions tend to be more durable than those that are moist or kept in warm areas.
In some cases, bird seed ornaments can last for years with minimal maintenance. However, there is no definitive answer to this question, and it depends on many different factors. Ultimately, the best way to know how long a particular bird seed ornament will last is to ask the manufacturer or store where you purchased it. They will be able to give you more specific information based on the type of seed used and the conditions under which the ornament was made.
In general, though, bird seed ornaments can last for at least a few months to a year with little maintenance. If you are worried that your ornament may not last as long as you had hoped, there are some simple steps you can take to increase its longevity. For example, storing it in a cool and dry place like a closet or cabinet can help to keep it from drying out too quickly. Additionally, adding a thin layer of vegetable oil to the ornament can help to prevent moisture loss and maintain its shape for longer periods of time.
Which Seeds are Best for Birds?
There are a few things to consider when choosing bird seed, such as what kind of birds you want to attract and what time of year it is. Some common types of bird seed include sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, and millet. You can also find mixes that contain a variety of these seeds.
Sunflower seeds are a good choice for many birds, especially in the winter. They are high in fat and calories, which can help birds stay warm. Safflower seeds are also high in fat, but they are not as popular with birds as sunflower seeds. Nyjer seeds are small and black, and they are a favorite of finches. Millet is a good choice for ground-feeding birds, such as doves and juncos.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.