To encourage birds to visit your yard, try hanging a homemade birdseed biscuit. You might want to keep an eye out for feathered friends on Valentine's Day; the 2010 Great Backyard Bird Count is February 12-15, when people across the country spend 15 minutes or more taking stock of the birds in their towns. For tips, tally sheets, and a list of events, go to birdsource.org/gbbc.
Our recipe makes two 3-inch biscuits (one is shown here) or a single 4-inch biscuit. Mix together the birdseed, flour, and 2 tablespoons of water.
Spray or wipe a cookie cutter with oil and place it on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Pack the mixture into the cutter, inserting half a straw near the top to create a hole for hanging.
Bake the biscuit (with the straw) in a 170º oven until the biscuit is hard, about one hour. Let it cool.
Remove the straw, thread a ribbon through the hole, and hang it outside in a sheltered spot.