Decorating a live Christmas tree for you house is festive fun. But why not take it a step further this holiday season and create some homemade wildlife Christmas ornaments for the evergreens and shrubs right in your own yard?
It’s also a great way to get back to the basics of spending time some family time together — by taking a moment to appreciate the natural world around you. Why not add it to your roster of holiday family fun this season?
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) invites families to make “edible” homemade wildlife Christmas ornaments for the animals living in your backyard. It’s an activity that you can all do together. And, in the process, you can show your children the wonders of nature.
Pick a tree close to a picture window, snuggle up with a warm cup of cocoa and watch as your backyard becomes an instant landing zone — and buffet — for songbirds and squirrels with these creative, edible Christmas ornaments.
String of pearl
With a needle and thread, string together different kinds of grapes. For a dash of color, alternate grapes with raisins and cranberries.
String together popcorn — but make sure that it’s all natural; no butter or salt added.
Crackers or Cheerios bracelet
String together salt-free crackers (think Ritz, or the types that have small holes) or Cheerios in the shape of a bracelet to slide over the tips of branches.
Apple and orange slices
Thinly slice apples and oranges, string through a bit of thread in each, and hang each piece separately from branches.
Purchase millet from your feed and seed store; top with a red ribbon and hang it from the tree.
Buy netting material and fill it with birdseed. Hint: Adding finely crushed eggshells to the mix will provide the birds with calcium!
String raw peanuts and loop them together. Finish off with a colorful ribbon.
Collect pinecones of all sizes. Attach a ribbon loop to the top of each one. Combine peanut butter and oatmeal, spread the mixture over the pinecone and roll it in birdseed. Then, hang on the tree.
Melt beef fat or bacon grease and let it cool. Add birdseed, peanut butter, fruit or granola. Mesh onion bags make great suet containers and are easy to hang.
This post was originally published in 2011 and is updated regularly.
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Great ideas. Thank you.
Strings are not okay for birds, they can kill them. I don’t know any alternative. Maybe just prop stuff on the branches?
They’re perfect for birds. They use them for nests. You could even make ornaments out of dryer lint and pet hair, and they’d be thrilled to have such efficient materials for nest construction and maintenance.
Is it possible for animals like squirrels etc to eat the string and get sick? I was thinking of making a popcorn garland, but worried about what kind of string to use and if it could harm any wildlife? Any insight on this? Thanks!