Throughout the season, I always tend to leave a little snack out for animals. I enjoy watching the squirrels and birds co-exist and share food together in the birdhouse. At times I also see an opossum or two looking for some late night snacks (I promise I have a life).

During the colder months, I make sure that the birds and squirrels have extra grub. I often see deer and other animals searching for little bits of food when the snow hits and always wished that I could do more. I know that animals will always find food due to their instinct to do so. Why not lend a helping hand to not only people but also animals during the holiday season?

I came across the idea of creating an outdoor, edible Christmas tree for our wildlife friends years ago. I believe I first saw this idea on Pinterest and totally had to share it. Whether you decide to hang these edible ornaments from an existing tree or wait until you toss your indoor Christmas tree out, it doesn’t really matter either way.

To get started, choose a tree of your choice (choose a good one!) Once you have your tree, head to the store or check your cabinets for goodies. If you have items such as fruits and nuts already in stock, then you’re in luck. Fruits such as oranges, berries of choice and grapes are great starting points. You can also add in nuts, popcorn, cereals and different kinds of seeds.

Step 3 consists of putting all of the puzzle pieces together and put on your creative thinking cap. There are different ways to create an edible ornament so just have fun with it. It can be as simple as rolling peanut butter and or honey and seeds into pine cones (sounds yummy).

If you want to make an actual ornament that hangs on a tree, I’ll tell you how. Grab some NATURAL twine because it’s safe and can be re used. Start by looping the twine together with your choice of fruit and adding in popcorn and more seeds. Never substitute twine with fishing line, ever. Birdseed cookies are also super easy to make if you have more time.

I have also put dried grapefruit and oranges on an outdoor Christmas tree. You can cut up oranges and grapefruits and put them in the oven for about 30 minutes at around 140 degrees (depending on your oven). The fruit might have to go back in for another 30 minutes depending on how dry they are. Once the oranges and grapefruits are super dry, you can string them with natural twine or simply place them on your outdoor tree.

To step your game up, you can get creative and make an icicle ornament by using waxed dental floss, choosing a food item of choice and tying a knot at the bottom. Continue by tying a knot around the first item such as an raisin and then continue stringing from there. My neighbor made one of these and it came out really cute, I’m sure our outdoor friends enjoyed it as well.

Once complete, pat yourself on the back. You can now relax and watch all of the wildlife stop by for a bite to eat. You might even be surprised at who makes a special visit.

Do you plan on making an outdoor Christmas tree for wildlife? I’d love to see your festive feeder. Share your pictures with us.




FFF Wildlife Center Birds in Rehab

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