Saturday, 23 November 2013

Bird Seed Wreaths - They're For The Birds

I have always wanted to make some birdseed wreaths, but never had a great place to put them....

Here at the 'ugly new house' we have lots of mature cedars, great for the birds in all ways!

So, I looked for recipes... huh, there are quite a few, it turns out!

I knew that I did not want to do the peanut butter rolls, where you simply smear the peanut butter on a wreathe form and then roll it in seeds.

Version One!

1/2 cup of warm water
1 package of gelatin
3/4 cups of flour
3 Tbsp corn syrup
4 cups of birdseed

Mix and heat the water, syrup, and gelatin in a small sauce pan.
Add the flour to the pan and mix. Will be very thick.
This is the 'glue' that holds the seeds together.

Add your seeds and incorporate the 'glue' into all of the seed. Mix well as the flour will tend to goop up.

Push into the bundt pan and let set overnight.
(the instructions said to use an oil spray in the pan to help loosen it, but again, I am not sure how good this is for the birds, nor do I have any of this spray stuff at home, so I did not do anything to the pan first.)

To loosen the wreathe from the pan, I simply ran the bottom of the pan under warm water for a bit. Worked like a charm.

This one holds together the best of them all, but the ingredients leave me shaking my head. Seems like 'junk food' for the birds. 

Note: The flour and syrup are used to create the 'glue' that holds the seeds together. Everything I read seems to indicate that both items are completely safe for the birds, though not necessarily the most nutritious. I have deleted any items that I thought or read about that might possibly be toxic or dangerous in any way.   

Version Two

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup suet
1 cup peanut butter
4 cups birdseed

Slowly render the suet (heat it to melt it)
Add the peanut butter to melt it into the suet.
Add seeds and cornmeal, mix well.

Push into the bundt pan and let sit overnight.
Remove as above.

This one stays together nicely, is firm and looks prettiest colour wise. The peanut butter gives it a nice warm colour)

The suet seemed to settle into the bottom of the pan though and you see that on top of the wreathe when taken out of the form. I wonder if I should have mixed longer, or if it simply was extra and so settled at the bottom?

Version Three

For this one I used the Martha Stewart recipe on Pinterest.... and a larger bundt pan.

Suet (rendered) 
Dried and fresh cranberries
6 cups birdseed
1 cup nuts Note: please use roasted, unsalted peanuts, not raw, which may in fact be harmful to the birds. If you only have raw, roast in the oven for about 15 minutes.  

Melt the suet slowly.
Add nuts, birdseed and cranberries (if using) to the suet.

Mix well. Let harden in pan, overnight, in fridge or freezer.

I love the look of this one, is very natural looking with the seeds all shiny and glossy from the suet.

However, I find that the sides crumbled a bit as I added the ribbon and hang it up, so it is a big fragile to work with. Am not sure how well it will hold up to the birds and the weather...

The real test will be to see which one the birds like the best! Please stay tuned ....

~ ~ ~

Want to know how the three wreaths made out with the birds?
Please see the link Here

December 3, 2016 update. 
For and update on how to make your wreath sturdier,
less apt to crack in half, please see HERE!

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