Pinecone bird feeder

July 18, 2017

Keep our feathered friends fit and fed through the winter with this simple bird feeder.

Author: Win Fenton
Organisation: Photos from Flickr: wyldwest

Age Range: all ages

Duration: less than an hour

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: winter

Tags: bird, bird feeder, pinecone, seed

Category: farms & animals sustainability & nature


Go for an autumn walk and gather fallen pinecones.
Dry them out if they are damp.
Or you can buy them from Muddy Faces – link above.

pinecones lying on the grass


For a good quality bird seed mix the RSPB recommend raisins, peanuts, grated cheese and suet or lard.
If using lard, allow it to stand to come to room temperature – don’t artificially heat it as it may melt.

Many people recommend peanut butter as an alternative to lard but consider a couple of things before using it:
– most bought peanut butters have many additives – particularly concerning for birds is the salt and sugar content
– we’ve also heard that the oil in peanut butter can effect bird’s feathers (however we can’t back this up with research).

Step 1

Tie a piece of string around the pinecone with a long end for fastening to a twig or branch.

You can have several pinecones on one length of string – wrap it around the middle of the pinecone, leave a gap and tie another – continue at intervals along the string.

Alternatively screw a screw into the end of the cone where the stem used to be. Tie some string around the screw.

piecone stuffed with bird seed, hanging on a string

Step 2

Let the lard warm up to room temperature and cut into small cubes.

Place the lard in a mixing bowl and gradually add the other ingredients, mixing it together with your finger tips. Keep adding ingredients and mixing until it all holds together.

Step 3

Push lumps of the fatty mixture into the spaces between the fronds of the pinecone.

Step 4

Roll the lardy pinecone in a tub of bird seed. Voila! A bird feeder.

Step 5

Tie your bird feeder in a tree.

Step 6

Re-fill your pinecone when the birds have munched all the seed and lard.

pinecone stuffed with peanut bird and rolled in seeds