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Wildlife Gardening: Recipes for making bird treats

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Forum: Wildlife GardeningReplies: 13, Views: 228
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AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 19, 2006
1:37 PM

Post #2927264

White Flower Farms has wonderful safflower stars that hang from trees with red ribbons for sale - 5 little ones for $30! I figure that I could make them for much less. I don't want to use suet to stick the seeds together because I want to send these to great nephews and nieces as Christmas gifts. (And the litlle birdie said cheap, cheap!) Anyone one have a recipe for seed "glue"?
Equilibrium

November 19, 2006
2:15 PM

Post #2927370

What a sweet "auntie" you are. Very thoughtful gift.

Here's one recipe for bird glue but I'm sure there are others-

3/4 C flour
1/2 C water
1 pkg knox gelatin
3 T corn syrup

mix in 4 C of your safflower seeds

I have some sort of a mini muffin pan here somewhere that is sort of in the shape of a stars. The mold looks more like 6 mini star shaped individual bundt cakes to me but it was called a star mold. When you posted this question I immediately thought of that mold. I wonder if a muffin mold could be sprayed with Pam and used? This edible glue mixture is decent enough that you could mold what ever shape you wanted by hand and simply lay it out on wax paper to dry. We used it to make a big door wreath once. We used cranberries, raisins, and nuts, and I don't recall what else was tossed in the mix. I don't think we could have spread our mixture out and used a cookie cutter to make shapes but I bet you could if you only used safflower seed. Maybe a cookie cutter would work? Will you please post photos of your gifts?
joepyeweed
Peoria, IL

November 19, 2006
2:19 PM

Post #2927385

I really have to stop reading these forums. I get so many wonderful ideas that I just don't have the time to do.

I had just bought several bags of safflower seeds for xmas gifts. I was going to give each of my siblings (I have 5). A gift bag with safflower seeds and a small bird feeder in it.

Now I feel compelled to make some stars instead of just a boring bag of seed. Its a wonderful idea. Thank you.
AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 19, 2006
3:18 PM

Post #2927554

Equilibrium - thank you so much! I was at Christmas Tree Shop yesterday and they had lots of silicone molds that I will have to go back and buy to make the bird stars. Now I have to find safflower seeds - maybe at the feed store where I buy cat food.

joepyeweed - never stop reading the forums - you never know what you will find.
Equilibrium

November 19, 2006
3:26 PM

Post #2927578

Lowes has the cheapest safflower seed around here although I don't know if you have a Lowes around you.

I went online and poked around. I searched with the word glue + bird and ended up with craft projects but I did find one interesting site that might have some ideas that could be modified-
http://www.birdsnways.com/birds/rtreats.htm

We have a wild bird store about an hour away that I go to about once a year. They often display wild bird crafts and next to the craft they will offer a "how to" sheet to take home. I'll try to remember to look for anything that might be of interest next time I go.
joepyeweed
Peoria, IL

November 20, 2006
2:16 PM

Post #2930656

I bought my safflower seeds at a fund raiser for the Peoria Audobon society.

Otherwise, I get my bird seed from local feed store that sells grain and seeds to farmers. The store also carries premium bird seed and premium dog food. If you have a feed store like that nearby they should have safflower seeds.
AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

November 21, 2006
10:35 PM

Post #2934842

Got the safflower seeds at the feed store. Now I just need to clear the kitchen after Thanksgiving and get the star molds. I will post pictures when I'm done. Thanks for everyone's help.
candyinpok
Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
(Zone 5b)

November 21, 2006
11:08 PM

Post #2934970

"I really have to stop reading these forums. I get so many wonderful ideas that I just don't have the time to do."

(How do you do a quote here?)

Here goes. Now I see myself decorating the trees with little star-shaped bird gifts.

magpied
Phoenix, AZ

November 30, 2006
2:57 AM

Post #2954933

Another great recipe with variations here: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/620320/
Equilibrium

December 6, 2006
2:17 PM

Post #2973613

Realy quickie on the edible glue recipe to make hanging ornaments and wreaths for the birds since a few people have e-mailed me-

Heat the water and dissolve the gelatin first then add the corn syrup and flour and mix. The actual seeds (as well as any other dry ingredients) weren't added until after that concoction cooled down.

We didn't use molds. We let the kids create wreaths by working them into an O with their hands on sheets of wax paper. After the wreaths were created, they pressed cranberries down into their wreaths for the added touch of color. We did not use any food coloring in favor of leaving the seeds their natural color. I have no idea exactly how long they took to harden because our group only met once a week but they were able to take their projects home the following week.

I have a star tin here and I literally just bought the gelatin to be able to make a few bird treats using this glue recipe. I'm going to spray the mold with Pam. Somehow or other I get the feeling that I don't want to be prying these ornaments out of the mold with a chisel. The wreaths did get hard. That same hardness of the bell shaped bird treats you buy shrink wrapped. The other thing is that I'm going to use a pencil to create a hole to loop ribbon through before they fully harden so that I don't end up using a drill to be able to loop a ribbon to hang them outside.
ginger749

December 8, 2006
2:56 PM

Post #2981501

Equilibrium
Sounds like fun for the Rug Rats.
I`m going to try that "one Day".
Equilibrium

December 9, 2006
3:19 AM

Post #2983794

Yes, it was fun. Now mind you, they start whipping little chunks at each other because well, boys will be boys.

I found this online at National Wildlife Fedration-
http://www.shopnwf.org/garden.html
levilyla
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

December 10, 2006
7:56 PM

Post #2988085

I do half peanut butter and half crisco (hard) and heat that and then add corn meal. Refrigerate until firm. You can also add cranberries..nuts..bird seed etc.
Equilibrium

December 10, 2006
8:06 PM

Post #2988098

I use peanut butter in suet recipes too. AYankeeCat was looking for the glue to avoid using lard or crisco. I think she wanted a non-suet recipe to make bird treats to send through the mail as gifts. Me, we were looking for a project for kids to fill a requirement for a patch or something a while ago and wanted to make door wreaths but didn't want our front doors all greasy so we opted to bind the treats using the non-suet alternative which was a bird glue. If that suet gets on a door, you almost have to use Dawn dishwashing detergent to get it off. It smears everywhere when the sun hits it.

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