Saturday, November 1, 2008

Feeding Birds

I'm a bird watcher, and have been since 1988 when the kids gave me a bird book. I keep the book and binoculars near the back door. When a new variety of feathered friend comes to the feeder, I grab the book, the binoculars and try to figure out what it is. If I'm sucessful I add its name to the list of visitors, in the back of my book.

We've got several feeders near the deck. They each hold seed to attract different birds. One feeder is on a post in the back yard (with our dearly deceased dog buried underneath because I thought she'd like it there.) It isn't designed for seed, but for other types of food. If you don't have a shelf type feeder, a pie plate will work just fine. Load it up, set it out and watch them flock to you, literally, especially on a snowy day, when much of anything else is hard to come by. Your kids will delight to watch the birds you'll attract doing this and there's nothing quite as lovely as a red cardinal sitting on an snow covered picnic table. (Note - you may get a squirrel or chipmunk too which I always think is just fine.)

Fill your tray-type feeder with any of these:

leftover pasta, any type ; dried up cheese bits; peanuts, in the shell or out; broken cookies; stale bits of cake or donuts; bread crumbs and crusts; leftover pancakes, waffles or french toast; bones with meat still on them; cooking fat; cooked rice; baked potato with skin; uncooked pastry dough; canned cat or dog food; dried fruit of any kind; chopped nuts of any kind; half a coconut; leftover baked beans - they love them! peanut butter smeared on anything!

If you and your family don't have a birdfeeder and you're still making your Christmas list, one feeder, one birdbook, and some starter seed might be a fun choice, then clean out the fridge to get started! To really increase the number of visitors to your yard, add a bird bath. Birds bathe all year long, and there are some really fun heated bird baths at your local wildbird store.

1 comment:

Dana~Are We There Yet? said...

I LOVE this idea, and I can't believe I didn't realize how simple and economical it would be. We can start on it this week!