#PEMfromhome \\ Drop-In Art Activities

Birdseed pinecones

Many birds migrate south for winter, but some species stay in New England all year. Chickadees, Starlings, Mourning Doves and Cardinals are among the overwintering population that continue to forage for food all winter long, eating berries and nuts leftover on branches. Keep an eye open for berries that become more visible late in the fall. Late in the year when these foods get scarce, we can help our feathered friends by filling bird feeders or making our own pinecone bird feeder.

  • Pinecones (if using purchased pinecones, remove any decorations)
  • Colorful string or yarn (make sure it’s not too thin as birds can get tangled)
  • All natural nut or seed butter (peanut, almond or sunflower)
  • Bird seed mix in a bowl
  • Butter knife or spatula
  • Scissors


Step 1: Wrap string or yarn around the pinecone near the widest end. Pull the string tight between the pinecone’s scales and tie a knot. Tie the ends of your string into a loop for hanging the pinecone outside. Tip: if you get any pine pitch on your fingers, rub a little butter onto your hands to loosen the pitch, then wash them off with soap and warm water.

Step 2: Use a butter knife or spatula to spread the nut butter onto your pinecone. Tip: be sure to get plenty in between the scales. This will act as edible glue for the bird seed.

Step 3: Roll your pine cone in a bowl filled with bird seed until all sides are evenly coated. You can push more seeds into the pine cone with your hands if needed.

Step 4: Hang your new bird feeder outside where you can see it from a window. When birds (or a squirrel) visit, you’ll be able to see them snacking!

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