With flocks of seasonal birds returning from their Winter nesting grounds, now's the perfect time to catch up on your bird watching queue. To entice the feathered travelers to your yard or window sill, you'll have to do more than just feed them like horses—you might have to feed them a little horse.
You Should Do This If:
You want to see a bird that's not a goddamn pigeon for once.
Moment of Satisfaction:
Seeing a bird that's not a goddamn pigeon for once.
Biggest Pain in the Ass:
Getting jelly-covered birdseed mix off your hands.
Materials and Tools Required
- 8 cups bird seed
- 1/3 cup unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4 pudding cups
- Fishing Line
Difficulty and Cost
The birdseed runs about $10/bag, the pudding cups about $2/four-pack, and the gelatin was $2/box. It's no more difficult than making pasta and easier than making pudding.
First, open and consume the four pudding cups' contents and wash out the empty cups. Punch a small hole in the center bottom of the cup using the awl. Run one end of a 15-inch loop of fishing line through that hole, tie a knot to keep the line from pulling out of the hole as you're packing seed in around it—not too tight, you'll be untying it in a few steps.
Next, mix the water and gelatin in a large pan over low heat until the mixture turns clear, then add the seeds and mix well to coat them before removing the pan from heat. Pack the seed mash into the cups—which serve as molds—and around the string, so that it runs through the core of the packed seed. Toss the filled cup in the refrigerator for two hours or so to firm up the gelatin.
Untie the knot and gently work the seed ball out of the cup. take the two ends of the fishing line and tie a secure knot to create a long loop of line. Finally, hang them outside a window or on a local tree branch and get ready to watch the local aviaries feast.
Or, if you're lazy:
You can just pack the mash into an aluminum foil-wrapped baking pan, then pop it out like peanut brittle once it's cooled.