Colder temperatures are approaching, so it’s time to think of ways to bring wildlife closer to those people who cannot get out in the elements. Little Gal (LG) and I realize not everyone is capable of getting out in wintery weather conditions, so we’ve found other ways to help them enjoy the outdoors. Birding is a wonderful way to study wildlife year-round. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), there are 47 million birders in our country.
For some of us, birding also includes sneaking out to scout for waterfowl or big tom turkeys. We may enjoy seeing and photographing various species as we sit in a blind or stand. LG and I happen to know a few birders who love these same experiences, and some aren’t even hunters. Our Nan loves observing birds of all types. During summer months, she enjoys sunny hikes, but she’s never excited about getting out during the winter. Throughout the years, her balance isn’t what it used to be, and the cold makes her body ache. Now, on a snowy day, she’s fond of watching the feathery friends from her recliner, as she sips her coffee and listens to her favorite tunes.
The USFWS survey found the majority of birders are age 55 and over. What the survey didn’t show is the number of youngsters who also love observing birds. LG and I are always excited to get youngsters outdoors, and a way to involve them is to get them creating. If children learn to build bird feeders, it’s only natural that they will then find a connection to wildlife and conservation. Nan offered to come over and teach us some simple ways to make bird feeders. We were pleased that the ideas were inexpensive, simple and worked for the intended purpose. One feeder Nan taught LG and me to make, our very own Babbs and her granddaughter created a while back. The pinecone feeder is fast and fun. Nan didn’t have any pinecones, so we made do with other resources. 3 inexpensive ways to build bird feeders
Directions: Cut an approximately ½-inch x 6-inch stick from a tree. It’s helpful if you can find a branch that has a gnarl or small branch near 1 end. Remove the small branch, leaving a bump. Cut a piece of string and tie it to the stick just below the protrusion. Next, use the knife to spread the peanut butter on the lower portion of the stick. Dip the stick into the birdseed and hang on a tree branch.
What you’ll need: Oranges, paring knife, spoon, bird seed and string. Directions: Cut an orange in half and spoon out the pulp. Use the knife to cut holes for the string and to create optional designs. Cut string approximately 2- to 3-feet long. Poke the string through the holes and tie it securely. Take care not to pull the string too tightly, as it will tear through the orange peel. Fill the orange with birdseed and hang on a tree branch.
What you’ll need: Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, butter knife, peanut butter, scissors and string. Directions: Make sure the cardboard roll is free of excess paper towel or toilet paper. Use a butter knife to liberally spread the peanut butter onto the roll. Next, roll it in the birdseed. Cut a piece of string approximately 36-inches long. Slide the string through the tube and tie it together securely. Hang the new tubular bird feeder on a tree.
A note from Mia & LG: Get creative and have fun making feeders. Last Halloween, LG made her orange peel feeder look like a Jack-O’-Lantern. I added a perch to one of my paper roll feeders. Nan spread peanut butter on the outside of one of the orange peel feeders.
We had a great time creating the birdfeeders as a family. We hope your family craft time will be enjoyable, too. If you make a birdfeeder and want to share it at our social media networks, we’d really like to see it. Post it at Facebook, Twitter, or on our Pinterest account.
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