Guest Post: DIY Birdseed Bombs

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This is a guest post from Johnie of DirtbagDarling.com

Going on a winter hike can be magical: the snow falling all around you, cozy mittens on your hands, hot cocoa in your thermos. But it can be disheartening to watch winter animals search for hard-to-find food. Give them a hand by mixing up a batch of birdseed bombs before you head out—tie them on trees or drop them behind you as you walk.

What you need:

Pears or apples

Wild birdseed

Biodegradable string or twine

Peanut butter, lard, or suet

Wooden skewer or long toothpick

Start by slicing up your pear into bite-sized chunks. If you want round “bombs,” try using a melon baller on your semi-soft fruit.

Hold one end of your twine over the pointed end of the skewer or toothpick, then, still holding the twine in place, slide it through the sturdiest point of each fruit chunk. Tie a loop in the twine so you can hang your fruit.

Heat up your lard or peanut butter over low heat until smooth. Mix in about two cups of the wild birdseed until combined.

While the peanut butter or lard is still warm, pour it over the fruit. If it starts hardening, simply reheat or spread with a spoon. Dip the peanut butter in your leftover seed.

Hang your seed bombs on branches that have lots of twigs that can act as perches. Leave the fruit low hanging so deer can reach the fruit. No trees in sight? Tear out the twine and toss them on the ground—the animals will find them!

 

 

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Comments

diyearte by L & S -November 30, 2012, 10:30AM

great idea!!

DIY and more:
diyearte by L & S

Natacha -November 30, 2012, 1:23PM

Just be careful if you live in bear country – they won’t be hibernating just yet, and a fruit bomb might become an invitation to your backyard, or someone else’s!

Chris S. -December 4, 2012, 5:55PM

Feeding wildlife is not only illegal in most states, it’s also really detrimental to the animals. While it may be “disheartening” to see wild animals naturally searching for food, this is part of the natural cycle of life. Wild animals have very specific diets and feeding them peanut butter and fruit can hurt their fragile digestive bacteria. Animals will naturally eat readily available treats rather than foraging for natural digestible foods–if the wrong animals eat this supplemental food and struggle to digest it, they can starve even on a full stomach. Wild animals do not need to rely on human handouts to survive winters– in fact, eating these “treats” can prevent animals from creating natural fat reserves that keep them warm in the winter. Let nature wildlife just be, and make tasty treats for your human friends instead.

Tia -December 7, 2012, 10:35PM

I love this idea. I grew up in the county (in the middle of nowhere Missouri woods), and we used to do something similar to this for the squirrels.
BTW: They never starved, and as far as I know they never had a problem digesting things like apples, or wild bird seed. Considering animals will eat anything they can get their hands on in the wild…
Chill out, people!

Rachel -December 12, 2012, 9:14AM

This is something I always did growing up as well. We always made sure to use foods that wouldn’t be harmful to animals. Tia, you’re right- animals will eat mostly anything they can find… so apples and birdseed won’t cause a wildlife apocalypse.

Jamie -December 14, 2012, 1:39PM

Seriously… It isn’t going to hurt the animals. If they find the food, they found it. Fruit is natural and so are nuts and seeds. It isn’t going to harm them. I grew up putting peanut butter and seeds on pine cones and hanging them outside so we could watch nature from our window at school and at home (oh, I’m also from Missouri, but in the city). If you live in the city or the suburbs, it’s pointless to be concerned about what we’re giving to the animals, because we produce waste everywhere. I don’t think hanging a seed-covered apple outside is going to destroy the ecosystem.

Melody -January 1, 2013, 10:29PM

What is natural doesn’t necessarily make it beneficial. You won’t find a snake or fish eating fruit. When you say “wild animals,” you’re imagining the kind of animals that are found in Bambi and Snow White. Sure, these animals may be fine with eating nuts and fruits, but there are animals that can’t. They may seem fine to you upon consuming them, but they mostly aren’t. Most peanut butters contain synthetic preservatives that are not good for their digestion. Furthermore, by providing them with these easy-to-find treats, they will be inclined to fall into a habit of searching for these easy to find treats (think people and McDonald’s). They can suffer for falling into this habit and failing at it. Also, there are animals who appear to be full and not starving, but do you see what is inside their stomachs? Some animals fill up their stomachs with human trash. The trash fill up their stomach volumes, but do not meet their nutrient requirements.

Johnie Gall -January 15, 2013, 1:21PM

Hey guys,

Sorry to cause so much drama! I doubled checked with a wildlife rehab center in my area after writing this and they said this practice is safe and harmless as long as you use all-natural ingredients (you should only buy all-natural peanut butter anyway!) and seed formulated for wild birds. Thanks for having so much concern for the critters!

JG

Colyn Bonynge -January 21, 2013, 7:02PM

I know, right? Have feeders everywhere & the wildlife that visit are astounding & daily put a smile on my heart. I make a varety of suets, serve corncobs & raw peanuts to the squirrels (I have a new addition–a WHITE squirrel; turns out there are several colonies here in FL), mix all my seed with different varieties & berries, even put mealworms out for the bluebirds. Even though I do incorporate fruit, I simply never thought of using it as a “dip”. Thanks for a GREAT idea. By the way, I make my own peanut butter for the wild children. The Internet has a plethora of recipes ;)

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