Bird feeders are really fun for children and a great way to get them interested in nature. They are especially rewarding and exciting for the entire family when the birds come to eat!
Help your child make really simple bird feeders from items you already have at home.
Hang bird feeders in an area not frequented by people and where other animals cannot reach it, especially cats. Birds will come to investigate within a day or two if people stay away from the area. Keep a bird book close by so you can help your child identify the birds and learn to call them by name.
Pine Cone Bird Feeder
- Pine cone
- Plain peanut butter or suet
- Spatula or spoon
- Wild bird seed
- Tie the string tightly to the top of the pine cone.
- Rub peanut butter on the cone with a spoon or spatula. Sit cone up on a newspaper or piece of wax paper and drop birdseeds on to the cone so the seeds stick to the peanut butter, or roll the cone in a bowl filled with birdseed.
- You can also spread suet on the pine cone petals and leave it plain or roll the cone in bird seed.
Cookie Cutter Feeders
- Bread slices (stale)
- Cookie cutters
- Cut the bread slices into different shapes using cookie cutters.
- Use a straw to make two small holes in the middle of the bread.
- Thread the yarn through the hole and tie.
- Hang outside in a tree or bush away from the house.
Orange Bird Feeders
- Plastic string
- Bird seed
- Cut the orange in half. Carefully scoop out the orange pulp while leaving the white lining. Use an ink pen to make four holes in the peel about an inch from the top edge.
- Thread some plastic string through the holes; pull the threads together above the orange and tie a knot to form a loop.
- Fill with bird seed and hang from a branch several feet above the ground.
Milk Carton Bird Feeder
- Small milk, orange juice or half & half carton (cardboard/paper) – 16 oz
- Non-toxic poster paint
- Hole punch
- Small stick or wooden dowel rod
- Yarn, string or wire
- Wash and dry the carton.
- Cut a small section in the shape of a capital I on the front and back of the carton about 3 inches up from the bottom of the carton. Carefully cut a slit along the top and bottom of the I to form a small door; “open the door” by bringing them to the outside of the carton.
- Make a hole for the stick to go through the carton under the “door” and form a perch for the birds.
- Close and staple the top opening of the carton.
- Use the hole punch to make a hole in the top of the carton and thread a piece of string, yarn or wire through it to use as a hanger. Make the hanger long enough to hang away from the branches but not too far away from the tree’s leaf cover.
- Paint the carton and let it completely dry. (Painting it with the same colors of a tree helps it to blend better.)
- Add birdseed and hang the feeder.
Note: This small bird feeder will attract little birds such as finches, wrens, chickadees, etc. Finches love thistle seed.
Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder
- Empty toilet paper roll
- Plain peanut butter
- Bird seed
- Cut a piece of yarn long enough to thread through the tube, tie together and use as a hanger.
- Spread peanut butter over the tube with the spatula.
- Roll the tube in bird seed.
- Hang the tube from a tree branch for birds to eat.
Being Kind to Birds
Food: All birds need food, water and shelter, but they do not all like the same seeds. Natural foods that birds eat include insects, worms, berries and other fruit, flower nectar, nuts and seeds, tree sap, bud of trees and shrubs, etc.
The main food bird feeders provide are grains, seeds, nuts, and fats in the form of suet. Fruit and sugar water and even bakery products are also good. Find the type of seeds the birds in your area like and they are more likely to come visit you.
For a list of birds and the food they like, you may want to look at this list:http://www.birdsforever.com/chart.html
Water: Most birds enjoy water and will make frequent trips to a water source. A birdbath pool in the yard will usually attract a variety of birds. Birds usually prefer water close to protection provided by shrubs or trees. For garden birds, keep the water shallow. They need water to clean their feathers for flying and insulation; when they find a good source, they will come back.