Friday, January 22, 2010

Our Bird Feeders

As I posted earlier in the Homemade Bird Feeder post, we have been studying birds through our science curriculum Exploring Creation with Zoology 1:  Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day from Apologia (Jeannie K. Fulbright).  I'm sure this will be an ongoing study, (at least as far as I am concerned! :-)) hopefully Riley's interest in identifying birds will continue on into the spring and summer.
I had originally signed up to do a Project Feeder Watch through Cornell University School of Ornithology, thinking this would be a help in our study of birds.  I will say that it has done a couple of things:  It has definitely fueled Riley's interest in birds.  He can identify more birds now than he could when we first started our study this fall.  It has also increased the number of birds in our yard and provided many opportunities for taking photos (which I have thoroughly enjoyed!).  It has been however difficult to consistently keep watch at the designated times and count the number of birds on our feeders.  Hopefully we can do better now that the holidays are over and we have gotten into the full swing of school.
Winter is a great time to hang feeders (and no, it's not too late).  The birds are looking for other sources of food since the berries and seeds are not as prevalent.  It provides a great source of education and entertainment as well as an awesome opportunity to watch God's magnificent creation at work.  We have identified types of birds, watched their mannerisms and listened to the different songs and calls they make.  In our science curriculum we have been able to learn why certain birds make a call as opposed to a song.  Did you know that how many different calls a bird makes depends on how many muscles he has attached to his voice box or syrinx?  And to think God planned it all this way! Great stuff!

Here are some pictures of the different types of feeders we have put out in our yard this winter:

 We have 4 suet feeders:  3 store bought and one Riley made in Scouts with a pinecone, peanut butter, lard and birdseed.

This wire mesh tube feeder above is filled with Black sunflower seeds.

 This inexpensive Hopper feeder has a mix type seed and is easy to fill.
And of course there is the Homemade Bird Feeder from my previous post which is still a work in progress.
(see the Ooopps! post)

And of course you must have water for your birds.  Yes, water in the winter.  So we have a bird bath.  Some of the best pictures and fun we have gotten is from the birds enjoying the bath.  If you are looking for some bird feeders check out the Amazon links I have on my blog.  You may find what you are looking for at a great price!
I leave you with this picture of a Mocking bird enjoying his bath in our bird bath.