A Tree for the Birds - An Alternative to Your Traditional Christmas Tree

   My Grandma recently got a new kitten, exhibit A. Her name is Lexie, and although she is absolutely adorable, she is the naughtiest little kitty around. She gets into EVERYTHING!

Exhibit A

   Because of Lexie, my Grandma was unable to set up a Christmas tree inside. Instead she opted for setting it out on her patio, exhibit B. This way she could still enjoy having a tree as well as not worry about Lexie getting into it or knocking it down.

Exhibit B

With a beautiful backyard, full of lots of birds, rabbits, and squirrels, we decided to turn the tree into a "Tree for the Birds." The animals deserve a little Christmas cheer too, right?! We killed two birds with one stone by giving my Grandma a beautiful Christmas tree and feeding the birds and other animals in her neighborhood.

Lets get started, here's how you can make your very own tree for the birds-

Pine Cone Treat Ornaments:

You will need:

-Pine Cones: we got ours outside in the backyard, free!
-2 cups corn meal
-3 cups peanut butter, nutty or smooth
-2 cups bird seed

Directions: Simply combine corn meal, bird seed, peanut butter (warmed) and mix together well. Then roll your pine cones in the mixture.

Lastly, tie a string around the top of the pine cones so you can hang them on the tree. We were worried about the possibility of an animal getting injured from the string so we chose yarn because they can bite through that fairly easily. If you are worried you can just set the pine cones in the tree, or around the tree. The birds will love them either way.

 Note: We had some of the mixture left over, with that we filled a few orange peels. We were able to stick the orange treats onto the strong branches at the top of out tree. It was our orange star.

Bread Ornaments:

You will need:
These ornaments are super easy. Simply cut up a bunch of pieces of bread- one piece of bread can make 4 ornaments. Poke a little hole in each piece of bread. This is where you will be stringing them. If you don't do this then it is really difficult to get the string in them after the bread has hardened (think about trying to poke a whole through a crouton- not so easy). Let the bread pieces sit out over night. The next day they will be ready to string and hang on your tree.

My Grandma had a few mini donuts that we decided to give the birds as well.

Ok, you are now all set to decorate your "Tree for the Birds." Bundle up and head outside with the goodies. Here are some photos of me decorating the tree, and then the finished product.

The Finished Product:

 The animals came shortly afterwords. It was great being able to see them enjoy the ornaments! I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season! Thanks for reading :)


  1. Great idea! Thanks for the recipes. Did you know the birds will also use the string to build their nests? My mom used to hang strips she tore from old sheets outside for the birds to take.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Your blog looks fantastic. You have a new follower!

  2. LOVE this! I will let you know if I try something similar.

  3. This is such a fun project! I did this a few years ago and not only was it great for bird watching it was also like ordering HBO for my cats. They spent hours watching the birds and squirrels with twitching tails from the slider almost identical to yours! One brave squirrel with crust of bread in hand walked up to the window with the three watching cats and knocked on it...True Story! The cats were so bewildered they ran for cover...ha!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!


    PS. If you keep watering the tree it will stay alive for months! I kept mine alive till mid June....almost made it for Christmas in July :)