Week 3: For the Birds!

For the Birds

For the Birds!

The benefits of bird watching are boundless. This hobby inspires a love of the environment, encourages empathy for living things big and small, and provides educational opportunities at every level. Do you know how many species of birds make a home or migrate through your yard and neighborhood?

While engaging in bird watching really only requires the use of your eyes and ears, having a pair of binoculars, a book or bird book app, a camera or smartphone, and a sketch pad and pencils can  to enhance your bird watching experience.

Bird watching can inspire a love of nature and the interconnections of living things, strengthen sensory skills of sight and hearing, create an awareness of environmental responsibility and heighten mindfulness and appreciation of nature, as well as observation skills.

Please note: While exploring your neighborhood it is important to observe recommended social distancing guidelines.

Free app versions of bird guides:

Collection JournalDay 1: Create a Bird Journal (Make it or Print it) 

Before venturing outside create a journal to document all of your bird sightings. You can use your nature journal from Week 1, make a new one, print one, or use any notebook you have around the house. 

In your bird book you will make note of the birds you see, along with attributes such as:

  • Estimated size of the bird
  • Predominate color
  • Location spotted
  • Type of beak or feet

These details can help you identify the bird using a bird book or bird book app such as Audubon Bird Guide or the Merlin Bird Guide linked above.  

Make it: 

  • Use the journal making project from Week 1 to create a new bird book!

Print it:

  • You can print this Bird Journal for free at Buggyandbuddy.com and staple it together. You will also find some tips for birding with kids. 

Garden BagDay 2:Make Bird Nest Helpers

Spring is the time when many birds are building nests. Create this collection of materials to help them out!

Materials needed for this project:

  • Suet bird feeder, or a tennis-sized ball and some wire, you can also use a berry basket or anything around your home that has large openings for a bird to grab their material. You can even make a frame using sticks and string
  • Yarn, bits of cotton fabric cut into thin strips, feathers, dryer lint, dried pine needles, small twigs
  • Scissors
  • Yarn, wire, or twine for hanging

 Instructions:

  1. Use an empty suet bird feeder or wrap wire loosely around a small ball to create a sphere then remove the ball. You can also make a frame with sticks and string.
  2. Fill it with a variety of nesting materials such as pieces of yarn, cotton, feathers, dryer lint, scraps of fabric cut into thin strips, dried pine needles, and thin twigs.
  3. Hang the nesting material container in a tree for the birds to gather nest building materials from.

Mini GreenhouseDay 3: Make Biodegradable Feeders

Feeding the birds is a great way to attract birds to your yard.

Nut Butter/Sunflower Butter Birdseed Feeders

Materials:

  • Pine cones, orange skin, or TP rolls
  • Scissors
  • Peanut butter or sunflower butter
  • Birdseed
  • Twine

Instructions:

  1. Take peanut butter or sunflower butter and spread it onto the cardboard rolls or the pine cone.
  2. Pour birdseed on a plate and roll the pine cone or paper roll in the birdseed to cover the peanut butter.
  3. Tie some twine around the pine cone and hang from a branch in a tree.
  4. Stick the paper roll on a branch in a tree or poke a hole at top of tube to stick twine through to hang from a branch.

Cereal Bird Feeders

Materials:

  • Cereal like Cheerios
  • Scissors
  • Twine, string, yarn, or chenille stems 

Instructions:

  1. Take a piece of twine and string cereal onto twine.
  2. Tie the ends of the twine together and then hang from a branch.

Grow Your Bird Feeder 

Plant sunflowers to feed the birds later in the summer!

Materials:

  • Sunflower plant seeds and a place to plant them
  • Garden trowel or spoon
  • Sunny spot in your yard

Instructions:

  1. Plant sunflower seeds in a sunny spot in your yard and watch them grow all summer. 

Bird FeederDays 4 & 5: Observation

Observe if your new bird feeders have attracted more or new birds to your yard. Note their attributes and identify them with the help of a bird book.

Materials needed for this project:

  • Bird Journal
  • Pencil
  • Camera or smartphone
  • Bird Book or Bird Book App