Backyard Bird Feeders
A great family activity
Back yard bird feeders are a wonderful way to help introduce a child to the beauty of the natural world.
One of my favorite memories of childhood is that of our backyard bird feeders. The first one was just a simple bird feeder hung from a branch of the old crab apple tree. It quickly became a family pass time to stand at the kitchen window in the mornings or sit on the back porch in the evenings to observe what birds where visiting us that day for their meal. Soon observing what not enough, we wanted to know more about these interesting creatures. Some birds we already knew by name, but any bird we didn’t would send a family member racing for the bird book, Birds of North America. Seeking out the description of the bird until we were sure we had pin pointed it’s identity. We added a suet box to attract the woodpeckers, then a bird bath. The back yard became a very lively place in the early morning and evening hours filled with birds and squirrels. My mother and I enjoyed watching the squirrels and to my dads dismay, often left out treats for them too. Dad did not share in our enthusiasm of watching these clever little critters hang from the tree branches and empty the bird feeder. So two more feeders were added. Long tube feeders on shepherd poles both designed to deter squirrels. These did slow them down, but didn't stop them completely. As time pasted by, what started out as a simple bird feeder became a part of life. We could easily name all the common birds who frequented our feeder. We learned which birds preferred which kinds of foods, which species was the bravest, most timid, which would throw the biggest fit if the feeders were empty. I came to know and love all of our feathered neighbors. I believe this experience truly helped to foster my love of nature and the beauty of birds.
Making bird feeders can be a fun family craft project.
Pine cone bird feeder.
One of the easiest bird feeders to make.
You’ll need pine cones, string, peanut butter and wild bird seed.
Simply tie the string tightly to the top of the pine cone.
Smear peanut butter all over the pine cone then either roll the pine cone in the bird seed
Or let the kids sprinkle it on. Hang from a study branch.
Cheerio bird feeder
This one is great for very young children, but older kids enjoy it too.
You’ll need cheerios or a similar type of cereal and string
Simply string the cheerios onto a long piece of string.
You can either tie the ends together to create loops or tie off both end to create long chains.
Smear with peanut butter or leave plain, then hang your loops or chains on tree branches.
Egg carton bird feeder
You’ll need a egg carton with the top removed, scissors, string, and wild bird seed.
Carefully poke hole in each corner of the egg carton.
Cut 4 pieces of string about 12 to 14 inches long.
Tie a knot at on end of each piece of string and pull through the holes of the egg carton.
Gather the strings in the middle and tie them in a knot.
Fill egg carton sections with wild bird seed and hang from a sturdy branch.
Milk (or water) jug bird feeder
You’ll need an empty milk or water gallon jug, strong string, scissors, a marker, and wild bird seed.
Thoroughly clean and dry a gallon jug.
Tie the string tightly around the base of the opening at the top of the jug.
Outline cut out holes on the two sides of the jug away from the handle.
Cut out the holes.
Fill with wild bird seed and hang from a sturdy branch.
Types of wild bird food
There are many different types of wild bird food to choose from, some popular choices are:
Black oil sunflower seeds are a favorite of the seasoned back yard bird feeders and a great choice for beginners because it attracts such a large variety of birds. Such as Cardinals, Chickadees, Grosbeaks, Nuthatches, Finches, Titmice and Grackles.
Safflower Seed is a good choice for attracting Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Sparrows, Jays, Chickadees and Finches. Some people like this one because Squirrels, Blackbirds and Grackles don't care for it.
Thistle or Nyger Seed is a favorite of Sparrows, Juncos, Cowbirds, Finches, Redpolls, Indigo Buntings and Mourning Doves. This is a tiny seed and is best used in tube feeders.
Cracked Corn will attract Doves, Starlings, Cowbirds, Blackbirds, Thrashers, Juncos, Sparrows and Finches.
Suet is popular with Woodpeckers, but Chickadees, Titmice, Wrens, Warblers, Mockingbird, Tanagers and Nuthatches enjoy it too.
Some birds like to eat some of the same food we do.
Try putting out your stale bread, pizza crusts or other bread products to attract Wrens, Mocking Birds, Thrushes, Blackbirds, Crows, and Sparrows.
Peanut Butter attracts Finches, Cardinals, Buntings, Sparrows, Chickadees, Towhees, Wrens and Grosbeaks.
Berries and Raisins attract Robins, Wax Wings, Orioles, Bluebirds and Thrushes
Fruits attract Wax Wings, Mocking Birds, Cardinals, Warblers, Finches, Grosbeaks, Buntings, Tanagers, Orioles and Wrens.
Offering several different types of food will attract a greater variety of birds.
Some useful books to help you identify birds that come to your feeders.
|Birds of North America: A Guide To Fi...|
Golden Guides from St. Martin's Press
|National Geographic Backyard Guide to...|
|National Geographic Field Guide to th...|
Some products you might be interested in.
|Cherry Valley Feeders Deluxe Gazebo B...|
|Heath Outdoor Products BFP-3 8-Foot G...|
Heath Outdoor Products
|Verdigris Leaf Birdbath|
Online Discount Mart
|C. & S. Products 707 Suet Cake Holder|
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|C. & S. Prod. 12507 Peanut Suet Dough...|
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|Mills Brothers Premium Wild Bird Food...|