Birds are naturally playful and curious and the holidays provide for all kinds of new things in the environment for them to explore. The following article got me thinking … So I have provided an assortment of ideas to get you started with safe holiday decor for birds and young children too.
Gardening: How to create bird-safe holiday decorations
Sue Kittek, Special to The Morning Call
Wreaths, garlands and arrangements often include artificial or real berries, nuts or grains that have been dyed, preserved or otherwise treated with chemically toxic substances to improve color and durability. Glitter and fake snow add to the insult.
Birds attracted to the supposed bounty may ingest such items — especially smaller, brightly colored berries — before realizing their mistake, which can be lethal.
Real, but chemically treated berries are no less dangerous than artificial ones, which are typically made of plastic or polystyrene (Styrofoam) coated with paint, enamel or lacquer.
If you examine decorations you've put outside in past years, you can often see where birds have picked at items masquerading as the real thing.
An alternative is to use plain evergreen or grapevine wreaths, garlands, etc. (available at most nurseries), which can be accented with untreated natural fruits, cones, nuts, dried herbs and grasses. Nurseries often carry holly berries (single or bunched branches of American or winterberry). For other accent items you may have to collect your own, as most other loose fruits, cones and dried single-stem flowers, grasses, etc., for purchase have been toxically treated.
In this particular article she's referring to mostly outdoor decorations. I have provided some “All Natural & Untreated” examples for indoors or out:
You get the idea …
If you know any kids, these are all good projects for them!