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Homemade Winter Bird Feeder

Where I live it’s very, very cold  and all the birds do not fly south for the winter.
It would be nice for them if they all could go enjoy some time at the beach, relax, sip on tropical drinks and enjoy the sunshine. Sadly, that’s not the case for some of the sweet little tweeters, they have to stay right where they are – like some of us:)  
Since we are all here, let’s make it a fun project for the family, and feed the birds!   When it’s winter where I live, the ground is covered in snow, or frozen, and the food supply is diminished making it is really difficult for our little feathered friends to get something to eat. By having bird feeders out, it also brings the birds close so you can watch them; which also provides the opportunity to teach your family the various types as well as gives hours of enjoyment and entertainment to all ages. 
Here are a few ideas of quick and easy-peasy projects you can to together to provide the birds something to eat.  
I want to thank my daughter-in-law Tawni for the fabulous picture!
Pine-cone Feeder


  • Pine-cone String or yarn
  • Peanut butter
  • Bird Seed
  • Popsicle sticks  

1- Simply spread some peanut butter on the pine-cone, getting into the spaces really good.
2- Roll in the bird seed.
3- Tie a string or yarn around the pine-cone, allowing enough length to hang the desired space.  

These two feeders were made in the summer, but they would work just as well in the winter too.

Cheerio Chain Bird Feeder 1Cheerio Chain Bird Feeder

  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Cherrios
  • Ribbon, yarn or string

 Directions: Have children thread cheerios onto pipe cleaner, leaving room to twist ends together to form a circle. Repeat, except loop through other circle before twisting ends, forming a link.

Do as many links as desired. Tie a ribbon, yarn or string onto an end loop and hang.

Bagel Bird Feeder 1  Bagel Bird Feeder

( from:  The National Audubon Society)

  • stale bagels – we used mini bagels 
  • peanut butter
  • bird seed
  • string or yarn

Tie yarn or string around the bagel. Slather stale bagel with peanut butter. Roll in birdseed. Hang from a tree. TIPS:

  • Place your bird feeders in places that aren’t too windy, have good cover nearby, and minimize other hazards.
  • Fill your bird feeders with the amount of food that can be eaten in 2-3 days.
  • Keep your feeders and feeding area clean by raking up spilled seed under them and wiping off permanent feeders.
  • Provide water at your feeding area. Place a clay saucer that’s at least 24 inches on a low stump or on the ground, and fill it with about 1 1/2 inches of water. Refill it every few days.

Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2016
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today


  • Kathryn says:

    I’ve never seen the cheerio bird feeder or the bagel one. Very clever. My kids would like making the cheerio feeder. We have tons of little birds that we feed all through the winter. And, much to our delight, we have the most gorgeous cardinals that come in every now and then. Our feeders are on our deck so we get to watch the birds while we eat. It’s awesome! And, yes, so is the picture. Definitely pin worthy – which I’m doing. 🙂

  • Tasha says:

    Great tips Carrie. My 8 y/o is actually studying birds right now in zoology. These bird feeders are much more simpler and quick to make. Since we haven’t actually gotten to the bird feeder section yet, I think Im just going to go with your feeders. Saves me time and money lol

  • What wonderful ideas and still so far no snow just yet here this winter and very weird as the past few winters have been snowy and freezing, but still love your tips here on feeding the birds in the winter today. Thanks for sharing with us and wishing you a great weekend now, Carrie!! 🙂

  • Lindsay says:

    I love the bagel feeder, I’ve never seen one like that before. I’ve been watching the birds all morning; my MIL has several feeders on her deck and I’ve just refilled them all. 🙂

  • Gina says:

    I love this so much!! I used to feed the birds with the pine cone method when I was a child. It was something that I did with my mother. I haven’t done it or thought about doing it in years though. This is such a fabulous post and really makes me want to feed the birds. This would be such a fun activity to do with my brother and sister in law and their boys! 😀

    • That is a great memory Gina and thanks for sharing. It’s things like that which we relish as time goes on isn’t it. Maybe next time y’all get together you’ll be able to make a bird feeder or two – you’ll be the ‘favorite auntie’, heehee.

  • Wow, this is so nice and simple idea to feed the birds. I do not see birds here in winter in Calgary, may be they had migrated to somewhere in south.

    • Sadhna, I didn’t realize all the birds DO fly south, lol. They must come down at least as far as I am in north America in the winter. I’ll have to see if I can talk some to come up there just so you can have some to feed in the winter, lol.

  • Melinda says:

    Carrie, that is being kind. I’ve never seen the cheerios one before. What a great idea!
    Are there any problems with the bagels falling apart?

    • Hello Melinda! We used the mini bagels and they stayed pretty much intact as the birds pecked at them to eat as the days went on. I hope you get a chance to make these with your family.

  • Lynn says:

    Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today…such beautiful and powerful words. I will impart them to my family over brunch this morning.
    thanks for sharing them and Happy Sunday, Lynn

  • becky says:

    I love your ideas and can’t wait to try them. In Virginia we have lots of Cardinals and the males (bright red) feed the females (light tan with a little red) and it looks like they are kissing…so sweet!

    • Oh Becky, I want to see those Cardinals and the different colors! How marvelous that you know so much about the birds in your area, that is amazing. I hope you can make a few feeders and maybe even more species will come along. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you soon.

  • These are cool ideas, I like the bagel one as that looks really easy! I think my boys would be all for making one and observing the result! #WAYWOW

  • Carrie, thank you for sharing these great ideas. I had not even thought about the fact that the birds around here don’t have much food supply although I noticed that we had more birds hanging around this winter than usual. I am so glad that I read this post.

    • I’m so glad you stopped by Regina so we could get to know each other a bit and I really appreciate your kind comment about my feeding the birds post. They do have a hard time finding food in the snow and frozen ground, so we can help them out a bit and have some fun doing it:)

  • Nikki Frank-Hamilton says:

    When I was young my parents cleared a spot of woods and built a home, we grew up with the woods being part of our lives. They hang various types of bird feeders out back and there’s a set of binoculars near the windows, we would watch the birds, examine them, it was so fun to see all the different types. This is such a great idea, for us and the birds!

    • What a great memory Nikki. I would love to see the woods and all the types of birds, nature is so therapeutic that way. I appreciate you sharing your memory so we can all enjoy a bit too.

  • I have never seen the Cheerio chain idea before – how neat! 🙂 I can’t wait to try that with my toddler! 🙂

  • I love these ideas and would like to share them with my followers on Home Garden Joy! Many of them enjoy feeding the birds as much as I do. Visiting you from the #HomeMattersParty

  • Jenny says:

    A few years ago, I made pine cone feeders, but the Florida heat melted the peanut butter and seeds right off. The Cheerio feeder looks like a better idea for me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jess says:

    This is such a cute idea!
    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  • becky says:

    During our recent snowstorm I enjoyed using some of your ideas to attract Cardinals to my yard…the male cardinals are so beautiful – specs of red in white snow. Thank you for sharing and encouraging others to love birds!

    • Becky, I LOVE hearing that you used some of the bird feeders on my post to bring in the cardinals. I wish I could have seen them with you, that would have been a glorious day. I appreciate your visit.

  • Bonnie V says:

    I love these ideas. I want to put out some more bird feeders to attract more song birds.
    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.

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