Friday, 15 March 2013

Toddler Cooking: Bird Feeders

I was walking the dogs and saw that the neighbours had a bird feeder in the front yard and lots of Rainbow Lorikeets on it. "I want that for my garden," I thought. So I came home, bought some seed and looked up some recipes for making bird feeders - in my memory, there was one that went solid and involved honey, but I couldn't find it. So we tried out some others.

(1) Peanut butter bird feeders

Peanut butter bird feeders were really easy to make. I got the support from a roll of wrapping paper (toilet rolls would work too), cut it up and smeared the segments with peanut butter. Then the girls rolled them in bird seed and let them dry overnight. The next day, I put string through the rolls so that we could hang the feeders.

(2) Gelatin bird feeders

I made up gelatin in hot water, using the directions on the tin, and then the girls mixed bird seed through when the water cooled a little. The girls then picked cookie cutters and we sprayed them with oil and put them on a baking tray. They spooned the seed into the cutters and let the mixture dry overnight. Turns out that I should have been more strict on the cookie cutter choices, because only the chunky ones worked well, the others just fell to bits. I threaded string through the surviving shapes.

(3) Corn syrup bird feeders

The girls mixed together 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup water and then I mixed in 3 tablespoons of corn syrup. The girls then mixed in 4 cups of bird seed and we patted it out on some grease-proof paper. Then I picked out chunky cutters and let the girls press them into the seed mix. We let it set overnight. These were by far the sturdiest feeders and I wrapped the string around them.

We hung the feeders out in the front garden, away from the dogs. And waited for the birds to come. They didn't, but the possums came in abundance and had a fantastic time leaping off the trees to steal the feeders. The possums thought that the peanut butter ones were the best, but ate them all over a few days. Might have to come up with an ingenious possum deterring plan!

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