A few years ago, we did a unit study on backyard birds. As part of our study, we built our own bird feeder with supplies we had on hand — a long wooden pole and a large plastic planter dish. To make the feeder, we flipped the planter dish upside down and nailed the center of it to one end of the pole. We then dug into the ground and set the pole with the planter dish on top outside our kitchen window.
What a collection of birds we saw! Within a few days they found our feeder, and we pulled out our bird guide. We saw chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers, sparrows, and more. New ones came each day, until every time we sat down at our kitchen table, there they were, enjoying the seed we had put out that morning. Fortunately for us, we were doing our schoolwork in the kitchen as well.
If you’d like to see what birds live in your backyard, try hanging a feeder or two outside. Or, even better, have your children make their own feeders. You can find ideas online or at the library. Williamson Publishing’s book Make your Own Bird Feeder by Robyn Haus has bird feed recipes, bird feeder ideas, and birdbath suggestions. It even provides instructions for birdhouses you can make together. Another book, Kids’ Easy-to-Create Wildlife Habitats by Emily Stetson, offers even more ideas for feeding our feathered friends.
What happened to our kitchen feeder? Well, one of our chickens discovered it, and soon it was on top of the feeder every morning, eating up all our seed. We haven’t used it for a while, but we’ll start placing food on it again soon. With fall and winter coming, our backyard friends appreciate the seed. And we appreciate the nature lesson!
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo by sean marcusrg