Jan 1, 2020 | Featured Web Article

Birdseed Snow Sculptures

If the snow on the ground is wet and heavy, bundle up, tug on your boots, grab a bag of birdseed, and head outside.
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Stuck inside on a snowy day? Looking for an excuse to get some fresh air? Do it for the birds! If the snow on the ground is wet and heavy, bundle up, tug on your boots, grab a bag of birdseed, and head outside. Because this is an all-ages activity, enlist any young birders you might have in your home to join you.

Decide What to Sculpt

Once you're out in the elements, decide what snow sculpture you'd like to create. It could be as simple as an old-fashioned snowman, or a wintry take on Rodin's The Thinker, or any snow creature you can imagine. You're limited only by your creativity and the amount of snow available. Start rolling balls and packing snow in place to make that sculpture!

Add Perches and Seeds

Once you have completed your masterpiece, gather some twigs, sticks, and small branches from around your yard. Push these pieces into the sculpture's surface, staggering them at different heights around the form. This technique creates horizontal perches on which your backyard birds can alight.

After that, it's time to add the birdseed! Clustered handfuls of seed pushed into the surface can create a snowman's eyes, nose, and mouth. Get creative and add fine details and shapes wherever you see fit. Finally, sprinkle additional seeds on any empty surfaces, including the ground surrounding your sculpture.

Now, head inside and make some hot cocoa. You deserve it!

Observe and Refresh as Needed

Keep an eye on your snow sculpture to observe how your backyard birds take to this new installment. It might not take them long to start perching and snacking on your snow day creation. If you're a bird photographer, this is an excellent opportunity to add some wintry shots to your portfolio.

Replenish the seeds when you notice that the birds have consumed most of the morsels on your sculpture. Replace any sticks that have fallen. And if you'd like to make more treats for your backyard birds, our "cupcake" recipe is another good project for snowy afternoons.

Clean Up the Mess

Keep in mind that wet seeds on the muddy ground can pose a health risk to birds and may attract mice and other pests. If the snow melts to reveal a pile of yucky hulls, rake up those leftovers and deposit them in your compost pile. You won't have to worry about your birds getting sick because of your snow sculpture!



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  • Love listeningto both songs and calls from birds in our woody neighborhood. The two types of birds I immediately recognize are the cardinals and the chickadees. Yesterday afternoon too, I heard a woodpecker. Then it’s time to check the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Then In no time at all the cardinals and chickadees arrive, as if they had been watching me. As it gets busier around the feeders, I also hear thé screeching of the blue jays. I even saw a couple of robins checking out our lawn....spring has arrived as the last pat gesofisticeerde snow and ice melt away.
    by louisabt, Sun, 08 Mar 2020
  • I am wondering about existing nests for Phoebes. I have two outdoor aisle entries to my barn and there are old Phoebe nests up. They ignore them each year and build new nests adjacent to the old, but space is running out. Should I knock down the old nests so they can rebuild?
    by [email protected], Sun, 02 Feb 2020
  • Just wondering, should we put anything in the bottom of the box...twigs, clippings, leaves....anything at all?
    by Hebb, Tue, 28 Jan 2020
  • New to birding...newbie question. We spotted what we thought was a Sapsucker at our patio feeders in December. The folks at our birding supply store told us that Sapsuckers are only here in Summer months and what we saw was a Flicker. I thought I new what a Flicker was and this did not look like a Flicker. It was thinner and more smooth looking but did have the Woodpecker Bill.
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • We just signed up and get your magazine via email. Will we be receiving a printed copy?Ed [email protected]
    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020