How to Make Popcorn Balls for Birds

Here’s a messy, gooey, rainy/snowy day project that’s fun for the whole family! And it's fun for the birds, too!

Ingredients

  • 12 cups popped (unbuttered) popcorn
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 package of plain Jell-o
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups wild bird seeds

Steps

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    Gather the things you'll need.
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    Pop the popcorn and set aside.
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    In a large saucepan, bring the syrup and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat.
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    Add the gelatin to the syrup/sugar mixture. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
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    Add birdseed and stir until the seeds are well-blended.
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    Combine the syrup/birdseed mixture with the popcorn. With a large spoon or spatula, turn the popcorn mixture out onto waxed paper and allow the recipe to cool enough to handle in your hands.
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    Apply vegetable oil to your hands. (Non-stick spray works, too.)
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    Form balls with your hands; about the size of a tennis ball.
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    Tie or wire the popcorn balls to a tree branch and watch the birds enjoy this flavorful treat!

Tips

  • Recipe option: Add shelled, unsalted roasted peanuts or finely chopped dried fruit to the mixture. (Apricots, oranges, apples, berries)
  • Anchor the popcorn balls onto a natural wreath form (straw, grapevine or an evergreen wreath after the winter holidays). Hang the wreath on a fence or on a tree.
  • Is this project too messy? Using a child’s craft needle (made of plastic with a large eye) string the popped popcorn on heavy-duty thread along with bits of chopped apple. Drape the popcorn “necklace/garland" over a shrub near a window and enjoy watching your feathered friends as they dine.

Warnings

  • Unroasted peanuts can be potentially harmful to birds as there have been many cases of fungal growth inside unroasted peanuts (which can even be harmful to humans).
  • Use caution when using a stove when children are present.
  • Supervision of children is required for this project. The syrup mixture is extremely hot.
  • This food is not suitable for human consumption.

Things You'll Need

  • Waxed paper
  • Vegetable oil or non-stick spray (for your hands)

Article Info

Categories: Feeding Birds