Enticing different species of birds to your home and yard is much easier if you have a bird treat ready and waiting. These treats do not have to be exotic, expensive or complicated. In fact, they are easy to make with many of the ingredients in your own pantry.
Items you will need
- 6 cups popcorn
- 3 cups birdseed
- 1/2 cup white corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups sugar -- half white, half brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1/4 cup margarine
- deep, heavy pan
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- candy thermometer
- large wooden spoons
- 10 to 12 leather shoelaces
- #2 pencil
- 10 to 12 2-inch dowels
- paper plate
Gather all of your ingredients. Lay out your measuring cups, pans, candy thermometer and wooden spoons. Measure the popcorn and 2 cups of the birdseed into a large mixing bowl. Set the remaining 1 cup of birdseed aside on a paper plate.
Place the sugar, corn syrup, water and vinegar in a small saucepan, mix and heat over medium-high heat until the liquid registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer. Lower the heat, add the margarine and stir.
Pour the mixture slowly over the birdseed and popcorn mixture. Stir the ingredients well until the popcorn and birdseed have a light coating of the sticky liquid. Allow to cool for a few minutes until it is easy to handle. Stir again to ensure that the ingredients are combined well.
Butter your hands well and begin to firmly form the mixture into softball-sized balls. Roll the balls in the extra birdseed on the paper plate. Place the balls about 2 inches apart on waxed paper. Repeat the process until you've used all of the mixture.
While the round ball is still warm, push the #2 pencil straight down the middle to form a hole straight through the ball. Tie a leather shoelace to the 2-inch dowel . Push the dowel into the hole formed by the pencil, and when the dowel reappears at the other end of the ball, turn it sideways to hold the shoelace in place. Let the ball dangle from the shoelace as you form a loop for hanging at the opposite end. Hang your finished bird treats on tree branches or plant hooks for all the birds in your area to enjoy.
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