Last summer we had the pleasure of observing Robins make a nest in our backyard and the entire family found so much joy watching the baby birds. The location of the nest was perfect because the backdrop was white so we could see the babies little heads popping up when the momma would bring food. I was fascinated by how often she had to leave the nest to get food. And to think I thought my kiddos ate a lot, definitely not as much as those baby birds, thus the phrase eating like a bird is quite contradictory.
The children’s interest in birds has seemed to really increase since our family of Robins flew the nest. They seem to have a heightened awareness of the birds around them and they long to know more. Like little detectives they want to know what chirp belongs to which bird, where the birds are from, what they eat, etc.
So I did what any good mom would do, I Googled it! I Googled, birds indigenous to northwest Ohio, and came upon a fantastic site, Northwest Ohio Nature website. It has an alphabetical list of all birds indigenous to our area and includes a picture and the bird’s chirp/song. I decided to limit our research to five birds. We focused on the state bird, the Cardinal, the Robin, Black Capped Chickadee, Red Headed Woodpecker, and House Sparrow. I also visited the Audubon website and read more in-depth profiles on each bird with our 7-year-old. After the kiddos were introduced to each bird I printed off pictures of each for them to color.
After identifying indigenous birds, reviewing pictures, hearing their songs, printing off pictures, and coloring the pictures we thought it might be fun to try to attract those birds and what better way to attract birds than a bird feeder!!
TP roll bird feeder
What you need:
- Toilet paper roll
- Peanut butter to spread on toilet paper roll
- Bird feed
- String or wire opptional…you can simply place roll right on a twig/branch depending on the size of the tree
Spread peanut butter on toilet paper roll
Roll toilet paper with peanut butter in the bird feed.
Milk Contain Bird Feeder
What you need:
- Milk container (carton, gallon, you name it!)
- Bird feed
First drink all milk (might require baking brownies, cookies, etc.)
Clean out container and dry thoroughly.
Cut a hole in the container large enough for birds to enter to retrieve food.
Cut two small holes, one on each side of the container in order for it to hang, place wire through so that feeder can hang from branch of tree. (see image below)
Add bird feed
Hang bird feeders and enjoy!
Here are a few more great examples of ways to make feeders by recycling…(source: Wild Birds Unlimited children’s presentation)
If you don’t have time or an empty container/toilet paper roll on hand you can always take a field trip to your local park’s nature window. My kiddos find much joy at our local park’s window on wildlife. They like to sit, watch, and listen to the birds and other small critters scurry in front of the windows. But on those extremely cold days when a trip to the park is out of the question we stumbled upon a fun website that has web cams on various bird feeders…..
Here are a few more bird themed sites we have come across and enjoyed:
Happy Bird Watching!