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  • Writer's pictureMatt Suprunowicz

How to Make a Pine Cone Bird Feeder

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

How can we attract birds to our garden’s ecosystem by using ingredients from home?


This Lesson Plan is part of the Crafts, Home, and Miscellaneous modules of SustainEd Farms' virtual programming.

Background: Making a pine cone bird feeder

In the agroecosystem, birds provide both ecosystem services and disservices -- they may help to eliminate certain pests of crops, but they can also be the pests themselves. Though weighing this fact is sometimes difficult for farmers and gardeners to assess, providing habitat and food within your garden for certain birds can be beneficial for the survival of many species. With the use of pine cone bird feeders described in this lesson, we hope to enhance the pest mitigation services provided by birds while continuing to learn about ways in which bird disservices may be lessened.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Use household ingredients to create their own bird feeders

  • Understand the basic nuances surrounding birds and crop production

Academic Vocabulary

ecosystem service /ˈēkōˌsistəm ˈsərvəs/ noun. - any one of a wide variety of benefits provided to the Earth and its inhabitants that is produced by the inner mechanisms of an ecosystem


1. Gather your materials. You will need the following supplies:

Pine cones · peanut butter (crunchy or creamy; use sunbutter as an alternative if you are allergic) · bird food (seed from the store or your own mix [raw sunflower seeds, white millet, corn, peanuts, dried fruits, etc.]) · butter knife · bowl · string

2. Watch the following Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to create your own pine cone bird feeder. Then, follow along with the remainder of the lesson by reading the steps below.

3. Using a butter knife, spread peanut butter on your pine cone. Be sure to cover the entire thing! Try to slather both the inside and outer edges of the pine cone.

4. Roll your peanut butter covered pine cone in a bowl filled with your selected bird food. Try to get as much bird food as possible on your pine cone.

5. Tie a string around the top of your pine cone bird feeder, and hang the bird feeder wherever you wish to attract more birds (in your garden, on your porch, at your school, etc.)! Use different types of bird food to attract a variety of songbirds or migratory birds.

pine cone bird feeder

Additional Resources:

Download the PDF version of this lesson plan:

How to Make a Pine Cone Bird Feeder
Download PDF • 793KB

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