Sunday, January 17, 2010

Homemade Bird Feeder

We are using Exploring Creation with Zoology 1:  Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day from Apologia (written by Jeannie K. Fulbright). I love their science curriculum! Of course the number one reason is because it is taught from the creation perspective. The second reason is that so far it has held Riley's attention and he has really enjoyed it (asking to do more type of enjoying it!). The third reason is the activities and projects she has in the book are fun, you can learn from them and easy to do. Most of the items needed for the projects are things you would have in your home. That makes it great! The less money you have to spend, the better in my opinion!!

This past Thursday as we finished up our lesson on birds, we got to make a bird feeder! The nice part was that we had most of what we needed and what we didn't have, we could improvise a little. So here is how we made our bird feeder:

What you Need:
* An adult with a knife
* Two bamboo skewers (These serve as perches for the birds-we did not have bamboo skewers so we used sticks.)
* An empty plastic bottle with a wide mouth opening like a juice jug. You can use a plastic soda pop bottle instead but the narrow opening can make it hard to fill with bird seed. (We used a soda pop bottle and were able to fill it just fine. We just used a paper plate as a funnel and cleaned up our mess afterward!)
* Wire or string (we used a wire coat hanger)
* Bird Seed

1). Have an adult cut two holes on opposite sides of the jug, about two and half inches from the bottom. The holes should be about the size of a nickel or quarter, depending on the size of the seed you bought. The holes should be large enough for a bird to access the seed, but not so large that the seed just spills out. If you bought very small seeds like those from a thistle, for example, you will need to make the hole the size of a pea.
2). Have the adult use the knife to make a small slit at the bottom of the bottle on each side, about 2 inches below each side.
3). Slide the bamboo skewers (or sticks in our case) through these slits to make a perch under each hole.
4). Make a small hole on each side of the bottle, near the mouth.
5). Slide the wire or string through the holes and tie the ends together above the feeder's mouth.
6). Fill the feeder with seeds and replace the lid.
7). Secure your feeder to a tree that birds are likely to see when passing through your area. (We hung ours outside our kitchen window since we do not have a tree that would support it close to viewing range.)

It turned out great and already some Black Capped Chickadees have perched on our feeder to get their dinner! Anything to draw more birds to our yard!  If you are doing a bird study or lesson this is a great, easy and fun project for your kids with some adult supervision.  Have fun!