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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  • I am excited to have my daughter’s tree this year, since my landlord has removed the lovely yew next to my patio, which was the only shelter for birds at my feeder.
    by pmalcpoet, Mon, 20 Dec 2021
  • Goldfinches will continue as long as Swiss chard is available. I'm watching one eating chard right now (mid-November in Vermont).
    by Brian Tremback, Sun, 14 Nov 2021
  • Birds are on the decline though sunflowers are rarely touched and for weeks hardly .eaten. I'll try a few sparing nuts on the table and a fat ball broken for jackdaws and tits but mealworms were a summer favourite being my go to choice
    by Paul Harabaras, Thu, 04 Nov 2021
  • I’ve been enjoying goldfinches eating coneflower/ echinacea seeds in my new pollinator garden! I will leave the plants out all winter for them if the seeds keep that long? Or should I deadhead and put them in a dry area? Im in CT and thought they migrated, but didn’t know they put in winter coats! What do they eat in winter without bird feeders?
    by Anne Sheffield, Sat, 04 Sep 2021
  • Hi Gary, I will pass your question along to Birdsquatch next time I see him. He knows infinitely more about nocturnal wildlife than I do. Where do you live? That's pretty important in figuring out the answer. But the thief could be raccoons, deer, or flying squirrels. Do you live in the woods? Are there trees near your feeder, or must the culprit climb a shepherd's hook or pole? Dawn Hewitt, Watching Backyard Birds
    by Dawn Hewitt, Mon, 30 Aug 2021