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Backyard Bird Feeder: A Gift for the Whole Neighborhood
Like some of you, birds were one of my first gateways into nature. I’d sit for hours in the window seat, watching them snatch insects off the ground, pull seed from the bird feeder and sing songs to each other in the branches of near by trees. Bird watching is a wonderful pass time and a bird feeder in the backyard is a gift for all ages that is always available, no matter what your financial circumstances.
Getting kids started in birdwatching is usually quite a simple task. For our kids we merely picked up a bird guide for our area at a local shop, and our kids took right to it identifying the birds in our front yard. It might help to hang a feeder in a nearby tree to attract the more timid birds. Food always seems to be a good motivator.
Choosing Feed for Your Bird Feeders
Chances are you’ll do just fine grabbing a bag of wild bird seed from the grocery or hardware store. But it might be worth checking in some local guides to see what birds in your area are drawn to. Don’t limit the feed buffet to seeds alone. Nectar solutions can be mixed up for hummingbirds, and some birds are attracted to fruits.
When choosing a bird feeder, do some research and get one that is tough enough to last through the years. Make sure the feeder can take the sun and weather and maybe a few tumbles out of the tree or stand. Feeders can take on more than just their practical use. There are Custom Bird Feeders available that can be completely personalized and used as a wonderful way to mark an occasion, as a unique personalized memorial gift, or as a gift that keeps giving through the years.
Bird Feeder Wreaths
If you’re a crafty sort of a person and love a DIY project, you might want to put together a bird wreath. There are quite a few different kinds: The gelatin cake wreath is one that is easy and fun to put together and is a great family project. Though if you’re looking for a more advanced wreath project you might want to check out the wreath this master gardener put together.
Or maybe you’re not the DIY type; in that case Northwest Gifts has some bird wreaths available if you like the seasonal look of the wreath but might not have the time or patience for a do-it-yourself craft.
Feeding birds is fun, and a neat way to attract birds to your area is to hang up a bird house near your bird feeder. Not all bird houses are the same. Some birds like 4 walls and a roof, while others such as the robin and the dove like a simple platform or shelf. Include the kids on a trip to the hardware store to gather materials and construct a home for some backyard tenets.
When you’re constructing the shelf or house, make sure that it has ventilation holes near the top, drainage holes in the floor and that it is easy to clean out. This Oregon State University article has some great tips on bird house construction and placement, as not all birds like to have their homes built the same. Some birds like to nest near trees, while others prefer the open. Do a little research and make a plan to help care for your new neighbors.
If you want a bird house, but aren’t interested in building one, there are a number of places where you might be able to pick one up locally or online. We included a number of links in the article to online retailers. Happy bird watching!