Let’s Create: Bird Feeders (Project) - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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Birds, Pollinators & Other Wildlife | Kids & Caregivers

Let’s Create: Bird Feeders (Project)

With all the leaves off the trees, it’s a good time to look for birds on your winter walk. Many birds don’t fly south for the winter and can survive New York City’s relatively mild winters. However, as the season wears on, it can be challenging for birds to find enough food because all the seeds, fruit, and berries found on trees and shrubs have been eaten. That’s where humans can help—by making bird feeders.

The pine cone bird feeder below is our favorite style of bird feeder. Consult this helpful birdseed guide from NYC Audubon or use trial and error to learn what seeds your neighborhood birds enjoy. To brush up on your local bird ID skills, check the Garden’s Birds of Brooklyn series.

The project is suitable for all ages with adult supervision and will take about 30 minutes of work.


Pine cones, nut butter, seeds, twine or string


Tie a piece of twine or string around the top of the pine cone.

three pine cones with twine tied to the top
Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

Working on a plate, spread nut butter onto the pine cone. Roll the cone in seeds of your choice (millet, cracked corn, peanuts, sunflower seeds). Put in the freezer for 20 minutes to set the seeds.

a pine cone smeared with nut butter
Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

Tie your pine cone on a tree branch. Make a few at a time and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to place outdoors.

a pinecone bird feeder handing from a tree
Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

Ellen McCarthy is the Children’s Garden co-coordinator.

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Image, top of page: Ellen McCarthy