A few weeks ago I came across a post on Fab Haute Mama (fabulous blog I follow, check it out) about a great activity to try with kids. I took that idea and ran with it! This weekend Miss O and I picked up an inexpensive bird feeder and some seed to set up a nice little spot for birds to come and have some chow. Originally, Miss O picked out a beautiful cedar bird house (what can I say, the kid has got good taste) but sticker shock made me put it back. We settled on a simple but nice plastic and metal feeder that allows birds to feed on three sides and has a tray on the bottom with small holes that allow water to drain out and keep the seed relatively dry.
I have to admit, I didn’t do a whole lot of research beforehand so I wasn’t sure of what types of birds lived in the vicinity of our house and what the best seed would be for them. Fortunately, the feeder listed the types of birds (I’m assuming based on size) that would be best suited for the feeder (Nuthatches, Chickadees and House Finches). Again, no research, so I wasn’t sure if these birds were even in the neighbourhood. The label on the feeder also listed the ideal bird seed for these birds: Black Oil Sunflowers, Hulled Sunflowers and Wild Bird Blend. Hooray for the blend! Sounds easy enough so we picked up a 4 kg bag of Wild Bird Food and skipped home eager to set up the feeder.
Turns out, if you fill it, they will come! Over the course of the weekend we saw a variety of birds (most of which I can’t name, other than a cardinal) stop by. Some partook in the wild seed goodness while others just hung out in the backyard (check out the little guy below).
Side note, the one thing the label didn’t say the bird feeder would attract were squirrels! I should have guessed. I didn’t have a stake to keep the feeder suspended so putting it on the ledge of our back deck made it super easy for greedy squirrels to score a meal. Miss O got a kick out of seeing that this morning. We were both surprised to see that the feeder was almost half empty since we last checked it last night. And don’t even get me started on the mess of seed on the ground that they left behind. Lesson learned, I’m hoping squirrels can easily digest bird seed but just to be on the safe side, we’re going to wait until we suspend the feeder out of the reach of squirrels before filling it up again.
All in all Miss O enjoyed our little project and seeing new birds was educational. We’ll take a few more pictures going forward and will try to identify our visitors online. Since I didn’t do a lot of research going into this project, this will also be a great opportunity for us to head to our closest library and do a little reading. Have I mentioned that Miss O LOVES to read (more like, to be read to)? Maybe once or twice? Well we’re going to seize this opportunity to BOTH learn something new and exciting.
Now that spring is here, what are some of the ways you plan on getting outdoors with your little ones and introducing them to new things in nature?