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Bird Feeders

Bird Feeders

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Spring and summer bring with them numerous stimuli that tempt and tickle the senses. The sweet aroma of blossoming flowers, picturesque displays of landscapes in vibrant colors, romantic energies pulsing in the warm breeze, and sounds of lovebirds and robins all fill the air. Oh to capture these wonders of nature, to cull their astonishing beauty and calming simplicity. Though we cannot capture all that nature has to offer us, we can invite a few of the gifts into our close proximity. Bird feeders are magical little inventions that attract one of Nature's most rewarding presents; birds.

Bird feeders are amazingly fun projects to make, with dividends to boot! Bird feeders come in all shapes and sizes. Young children will enjoy the simple projects below, while older children and adults can take part in the more complicated design. Now let's get down to business.

1-2-3 Bird feeders for young children

1. For this project you will need a stick or rod of some sort, string, peanut butter and bird feed. Cover the stick with peanut butter or carob spread. Then roll it in seeds, oatmeal, cornmeal or bird feed of any sort. Tie stiff wire or string to both ends of the stick and hang from a tree approximately 1 ½" down, a small distance from the trunk. Horizontal support beams and clothesline also make good bird feeder holders. This project can also be done with a pinecone for more variety and longer lasting results.

2. Bowl bird feeders are also terrific projects for youngsters. Punch three holes in the rim of a plastic bowl. Tie a string in each of these holes for hanging the feeder. Make a mixture of birdseed, peanut butter, and cornmeal, suet, or oatmeal, and fill the bowl with your mixture. These bird feeders are ideal for creating a rapport with your local bird life. Since these can be re-filled, birds will keep coming back to them, considering you a provider and a friend.

3. A final kid-friendly bird feeder is done with a needle and thread. Using the needle, pull the string through various food items. Popcorn, raisins, cranberries, orange chunks, or cubes of bread are easy to pierce and yummy treats for your feathered friends. You can make a number of different bird feeders, or combine the materials into a birdie poo poo platter! Tie around tree branches, poles, or railings.

Fun for everyone

If you have older children (or would like to make a few bird feeders on your own), you may enjoy this more challenging project.

What you will need:

Six wood pieces of various dimensions to be discussed. (Note the dimensions will vary depending on how big you want your feeder to be. Just remember that this is going to be supported by a branch, so calculate accordingly.)

Wood glue

Nails

The base should be a square of approximately 10" on each side.

The back panel should be the same length and about five inches taller.

Side panels are a little bit tricky because you have to incorporate a slant into your measurements. Again, the length should be 10" (or whatever length you decided on), and the height should be somewhere between two to four inches shorter than your back panel. The top edge should be cut on an angle of about 75 degrees.

Next you'll need a small edge for the front. This should run the same length as everything else, and only a few inches high (maybe two or three). This is meant to form a small lip on the front of the feeder.

Finally, cut out your roof. This should be a square-shaped piece that measures the same size as the height of your sides.

Using wood glue and nails, attach first the back to the base, and then the sides and front edge, as well. Fasten the roof last.

Drill a hole in the backboard approximately two or three inches from the top, and pull a stiff cord or wire through. After filling with your favorite birdfeed, hang the feeder from this cord.

You can paint, varnish or decorate your bird feeder if you so choose.

With these creative and simple to make bird feeders, you can teach your children about different types of birds that frequent your area, seasonal migration and even the food chain. Most of all, though, you and your family can enjoy the melodious symphony provided by your newly acquired fine-feathered friends.




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