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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  • That doesn't address my concern about the bird houses. I'm on a tiny piece of property (40x100) so there's not much room to plant a heck of a lot or places birds could put nests once the bird houses are gone.
    by Linda DiPierro, Mon, 25 May 2020
  • Plant some native plants in your yard that will attract pollinators and produce berries and nuts. There should be a local society that has a list of recommended plants, shrubs, and trees.
    by Ladylanita, Mon, 25 May 2020
  • Same concerns here. See above post. For your situation I would consider planting a few native plants that will naturally produce berries and seeds that the birds in your area need to survive. Try planting some that will yield foods for all seasons.
    by Ladylanita, Mon, 25 May 2020
  • I've thought about this myself. One thing I considered doing is leaving behind some bird food and a gift card to my local wild bird store with a note asking the new homeowners to please continue feeding the birds. Don't know how well that work but it's worth a try.
    by Ladylanita, Mon, 25 May 2020
  • thanks for the article. I believe that I may have spotted my first hairy woodpecker this morning. we see the downy woodpecker often. it's small. the hairy woodpecker, when compared with the downy, is HUGE. also, the downy feeds at the feeder like most birds--standing upright. This bird, because of its size, hung from the feeder perch with most of it's body below the feeder--like the red belly woodpeckers that we see often. we live is strasburg va. is it possible that we saw a hairy woodpecker this morning?
    by PEretired, Sat, 23 May 2020