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This is a charming little idea for how to make a Christmas Tree for the Birds out of my 1926 Book of Knowledge encyclopedias.
The article also included a wonderful cute little illustration by Thomas Maybank of children looking at the Christmas tree outside their window.
If you decide to make your own Christmas tree for the birds, make sure you choose safe materials for your decorations. Don’t use long pieces of yarn, strands of lights or any other type of garland that might get tangled around a bird and harm them accidentally.
You can also make a ton of edible bird seed ornaments to decorate your tree!
It’s such a cute idea and definitely an inspiring way to decorate for Christmas. While I do love making bird feeders and this type of thing, I probably will not make one just because I think it would make the poor birds targets for the cats!
How to Make a Christmas Tree for Birds
Christmas would not be Christmas without a Christmas tree. But have you ever thought, when you have been enjoying yourself, that the winter, which brings lots of fun for all of us, is a very uncomfortable time for the poor things who have no warm homes?
Perhaps on some cold morning you have looked out of your window and have watched the birds flying about among the bare branches of the trees in the garden, searching the ground in the hope that some kind person has thrown out a few crumbs for them?
Have you not sometimes wished there was a Santa Claus to bring a tree full of good things for the birds? Perhaps it never occurred to you that you might be the birds’ Santa Claus? Well, you shall learn how to make a Christmas tree for those poor little mites.
First, you must get a small fir tree that can be put into a pot. Probably you will find one in the garden, and will be allowed to dig it up. If not, you can buy one about Christmas-time for a quarter.
When you have planted your tree in a large flowerpot, get some small baskets -the tiny ones that candy is sold in will do splendidly -and tie these baskets to the branches of the tree. You may put all sorts of things into these baskets -bread-crumbs, nuts, little pieces of crust or toast from the breakfast table, or some of the seeds that are given to tame birds.
Then hang up tiny pieces of coconut. These are for the tomtits, and there is nothing that they like so well. Other birds are very fond of little pieces of suet.
You can make your Christmas tree look pretty with some bright pieces of cloth and ribbon, or with colored paper, made into little bags to hold bread-crumbs.
When it is quite finished, put it out in the garden or on the window ledge of your own room. At first the birds will not understand, because nobody has ever taken the trouble to make a Christmas tree for them before, and perhaps they will think it is some sort of trap. But presently some of the bravest ones will come. Then you will see them perch on the branches and look around in every direction to see if there is any danger.
You can watch them through the window, and they will not be frightened if you do not move. As long as you keep quite still, they will not think you are going to hurt them. In a little time the birds will put their little heads in the baskets and give a little twitter of delight when they find the good things there.
Other birds will be watching them from the trees, and when they see that the braver ones have not been hurt, they will come too. When the tree has been out a little while, you will see perhaps forty or fifty birds of all sorts fluttering round it.
When they have eaten everything, refill the baskets. Then next morning put the tree out again, and you will be surprised to find that all the birds will be waiting. They will have told all their friends, too, and those who came the first day will have been spreading the news of the wonderful tree for miles round.
If you watch them carefully, you will find that you can recognize many of them, because there is just as much difference between birds as there is between people, if only you look at them closely. And they have all sorts of different characters, too.
Some are quarrelsome and some are timid. Some try to push the other birds away when they have found a little basket full of good things, and others are generous. little fellows who call the others to help them enjoy anything very good.
If you put your Christmas tree out every day for a week, you will find that by degrees the birds grow more and more tame, till at last you can stand quite close to the tree and watch them. If you are careful–the great secret is never to move quickly the robins, which are the boldest of all our birds, will learn in time to take bread-crumbs from your hand. But you must not be surprised if they will not do this at first, because you must remember that you seem great giants to them, and some people are so cruel that you must give them time to learn to trust you.
For those who live in a part of the country where much snow falls, making a Christmas tree for the birds will be more than an act of great kindness on the part of the boy or girl who loves feathered friends. It may save many birds from starvation.
I hope you enjoy this article from 1926 for making a Christmas tree for birds and if you decorate a Christmas tree outside for your birds I would love to see it!