We at the Hagen Group take your privacy very seriously and as such we have updated our privacy and cookies policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data, including how we use cookies and similar technologies (“cookies”) to help give you the best experience on our site and to show you relevant advertising. If you continue to use this site, we’ll assume that you’re happy to receive all cookies. Privacy Policy

Foraging Peanut Butter and Tropimix Pine Cones

November 24, 2015 Blog, Recipes for Birds

Birds love foraging and food! No better way to offer it up than in a pine cone!

It can be one of the messiest bird-treat projects but also one of the most successful! It combines two things birds love most, foraging and food! Birds will be attracted to the Tropimix bits that are hidden deep inside the pine cone.


  • 1 medium to large sized pine cone
  • ¼ cup Tropimix (Small Parrot works best)
  • ¼ cup unsalted natural peanut butter
  • 1 to 12 inches of twine or sisal string (no polyester blended string)


It is best to choose pine cones directly from the tree (select trees that have not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals). Avoid pine cones that have deterioration or have been on the ground as they could be contaminated with fungus.

To clean a pine cone, place in a baking dish and pour boiling water over it and let steep for about 15-20 minutes. This will help destroy any insects or bacteria that might be lurking in the cone. Drain the water and then bake the cone in oven at 120°C (250°F) for 30-40 minutes.

After cooling, take twine or sisal string and tie around the tip of the cone, or at the bottom – whichever you prefer. Leave enough string length to tie to your bird’s cage.

Spread a layer of peanut butter on a baking sheet. Pour Tropimix in a shallow, medium size bowl.

Roll the clean pine cone in the peanut butter, then in the Tropimix. Try to push the larger Tropimix ingredients in between the pinecone sections so your bird will have to work a little to get his favorite nibbles. Once your bird is finished with his Peanut Butter and Tropimix pine cone, cut the string and remove uneaten remnants from the cage.

For variation, try using almond butter as an alternative to peanut butter!

Don’t have a pine cone handy? Use a cardboard paper towel tube and punch holes on either side. Pull string through holes in the tube, then spread peanut butter all over the tube. Roll it in the seed and there you go!

Melanie Allen

About Melanie Allen

Melanie got her start with Parrots in the 1980's with her first parrot, a purchased yellow-naped amazon - who suffered from chronic health issues that stemmed from poor nutrition and inadequate care. Melanie also served as president of Florida Federation of Aviculture, Inc., as a Board Member for National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation, and on the American Federation of Aviculture Nomination Committee. Today, she works closely with aviculturists, retail stores, and companion pet owners, and attends all U.S. “Avi-Industry” conventions, including the American Federation of Aviculture, Avicultural Society of America, and Parrot Festival, on behalf of The Hagen Group.

Follow Melanie Allen on Facebook.

Discover HARI:

Hagen Avicultural Research Institute