Decorating a holiday tree for the birds is a tradition around our home and a fun family activity this time of year. This year, you can even join the Devil’s Lake State Park naturalist on Saturday, December 19, from 6pm – 9pm to decorate a wildlife tree for the critters of Devil’s Lake! In addition to decorating, you can hang out by the campfire, roast marshmallows, hear some stories and listen to music by Campfire Kevin. For more details about the park’s annual solstice celebration. Click here.
Now, if you want to decorate a bird tree at home, it’s a good idea to choose a tree near a window where you can watch the critters without disturbing them while they eat. If you don’t have a tree near by, a potted tree, an artificial thrift store tree, or even a cheap christmas tree (Here in Baraboo, a small tree can be had for about $13.00) will do. Just remember, if you choose a cut tree, add it to a brush pile after the holidays, to provide shelter for wildlife all winter long. Also, try to choose a tree with a lot of open area where your tasty ornaments can hang and where birds can easily perch.
At home, we decorate our bird tree with pine cones slathered in peanut butter and then rolled in sunflower or other bird seed mixes. We also string popcorn garland, hang peanut strings, and a few commercial seed bells and rings as well. You can also decorate your tree with dried apples and oranges, cranberry garland and more. Check the links below for more ideas! We’d recommend avoiding using breads as they can be hard for birds to digest. Just remember, when it comes to decorating… NO TINSEL and NO HUMAN FOOD.
Decorating a tree for wildlife is a great family activity. It not only gives our local critters some extra food this time of year, but it also gets your family together around a table. Yeah, some kids would rather get back to the Xbox, but if you can get them started they’ll often find they have more fun than expected!
Here are a few more links to check out!
- Trim a Tree For Wildlife – Clemson University Cooperative Extension’s Forestry & Natural Resources
- Decorate A Christmas Tree For The Birds – About.com
- Weekend Project – Decorate A Tree For The Birds – Better Homes & Gardens
- Don’t Trash That Christmas Tree – Human Society