Making bird feeders is an easy activity that brings local bird populations to a senior’s doorstep. These simple bird feeders can be completed in minutes, allowing your senior loved one to enjoy bird watching throughout the season. Here are five DIY bird feeders seniors will enjoy creating.
1. Peanut Butter Pine Cone Feeder
This bird feeder only requires three ingredients to make, along with a piece of yarn or twine to hang it. To make a pine cone bird feeder, cover a pine cone with peanut butter and roll the covered pine cone in birdseed. Use a piece of yarn or twine to tie the cone to a branch. If you don’t have a nearby pine tree to collect cones from, pick a few up from your local craft store.
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2. Orange Peel Feeder
For a simple bird feeder, cut oranges or grapefruits in half and remove the fruit with a spoon to create a bowl-shaped peel. Be careful not to tear or puncture the peel. When the halved peel is empty, poke four holes an equal distance apart along the top edge of the peel with a wooden skewer.
Thread a piece of yarn through two of the holes, and thread a second piece of yarn through the remaining two holes. Tie the yarn ends together on each side and fill the empty peel with birdseed. Use the yarn to hang the bird feeder.
3. Sliced Bread Feeder
To make this bird feeder, toast slices of leftover bread, and spread both sides of the toasted bread with peanut butter. Dip each side of the toast in birdseed so it sticks to the butter, and use twist ties to hang the sliced bread bird feeder.
Make sure to toast the bread until it is very crispy to keep it from breaking after you hang it outdoors. Hang the bread bird feeder near a window so your loved one can enjoy a clear view of the visiting birds. Spending time in nature, or even watching from the window, can reduce depression in the elderly.
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4. Threaded Cereal Feeder
Thread o-shaped cereal onto pipe cleaners, leaving about an inch of space at each end. Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together to make a circle, and use twine, ribbon, or yarn to tie the circles of cereal onto branches. While this activity is fast and easy, it can help your loved one maintain good coordination by exercising his or her fine motor skills.
5. Homemade Suet Feeder
If your loved one loves to cook, making this homemade suet bird feeder is a wonderful activity. Mix equal parts shortening, peanut butter, and birdseed in a pot, and add three parts cornmeal to the mixture. Heat the ingredients and stir occasionally until the mixture is melted and smooth.
Allow the mixture to cool before forming it into balls, and place the balls of suet in mesh bags. Hang the bags with twine. This simple bird feeder is a great way to bond with your loved one if you cook the suet together.
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