Vermont's State Bird: The Hermit Thrush

After a very long winter, the sun is finally shining and the snow has melted away. As the temperatures start to rise, birds that spent the winter in warmer climes begin to return. The Vermont state bird, the Hermit Thrush, is one of the first song birds to return, along with robins, red-winged blackbirds, and golden-winged warblers.

These birds, and several others, make their way back to Vermont in March. Many folks who live here put out bird feeders for these early arrivals, providing a much needed source of food in the unpredictable weather patterns.

If you’re considering setting up bird feeders this year, why not make your own? Early spring is a great time to start, but these little pinecone birdfeeders can be made any time of year. Even better, this DIY project is perfect for kids of all ages (even the grown-up kind), and only requires a few “ingredients.” Hang these in your backyard and see what kind of wildlife they attract!


Open Pinecones, any size 

Peanut Butter (or alternative nut butter)

Bird seed 


Small bowls

Popsicle sticks for spreading peanut butter

A small plate or tray

Yarn or twine


pinecone birdfeeder (pinecone covered in peanut butter being rolled in birdseed)
  1. Scoop some peanut butter into a small bowl.
  2. Pour some birdseed (we like an outdoor songbird mix) into another small bowl
  3. Measure and cut about 10 inches of yarn or twine, one piece for each feeder. Tie a slip knot and tighten around the pinecone near one of its ends. This will be the top of the feeder.
  4. Using a popsicle stick, scoop up a bit of peanut butter and spread it on a pinecone. There is no right or wrong way to do this! You can start at the base of the pinecone and spread the peanut butter on the outside of the woody scales, or work from the top down, getting peanut butter into all the nooks and crannies, or both!. You can add as much or as little peanut butter as you like–as long as it sticks to the pinecone.
  5. Once your pinecone is covered in peanut butter, it’s time to add the birdseed! Holding the pinecone at the top and bottom, dip it into the bowl of birdseed and press lightly to encourage the birdseed to stick. (Alternatively, sprinkle small handfuls of birdseed over the peanut butter covered pinecone. This can be a little more messy, but that just adds to the fun!)
  6. Finally, pick a space outside to hang your pinecone birdfeeders! We like to hang them near a window so we can see all the birds that come to snack.

Looking for more activities to do with little ones? Be sure to check out our Handmade Holiday and Colonial Games & Toys blogs for more kid-friendly activities!

Want to draw even more birds to your yard? Check out our garden accessories, including birdbaths, sure to brighten up your outdoor spaces.