January’s colder weather and the year’s turn toward winter mean less available food for hungry resident birds. This time of year offers an opportunity for us to fill some of the vacuum left by nature’s waning resources, and by doing so bring some action, drama, color, and an endlessly watchable scene of hungry visitors to our attention.
Making this bird feeder is simple, and viewing the results of your work can be an exciting and easy way to connect with the natural world during this season.
Materials you’ll need:
A plastic bottle, a screw or eye hook screw, string, a wooden spoon, a knife or scissors, some birdseed.
What to do:
Using your knife or scissors (parents, help your children), start a small hole in the cap of your plastic bottle, and then twist your screw into this incision.
Then tie your string around the screw. The length of your string can be based on the height at which you’d like your feeder to rest.
Take your knife or scissors and make an incision toward the bottom of your bottle.
Make another small hole opposite the first incision.
Now insert your wooden spoon! Our first incision is slightly larger than the second in order to accommodate the wide end of the spoon, and to serve as an opening for bird seed to fall out of, onto the waiting bowl of the spoon.
Removing the cap, fill your feeder with bird seed. Most of our bird seed ended up on the ground around the bottle before it made it inside. A funnel would have helped!
After filling your bottle with bird seed, close the cap, and you’re ready to hang up your feeder.
We tied a string between two trees, and then hung the feeder in the middle (some squirrel protection).
We waited for our first visitor, who arrived only a few minutes after putting the bird feeder out.
An interested chickadee!
Enjoy and have fun - this is a great family activity for the winter!
~Ed Bieber is the Owner/Director of The Nature Place Day Camp. He has a B.A. degree from Rutgers University in Botany, M.S. from Michigan State University in Outdoor Education and New York State Permanent Teaching Certification, N-6. Ed has worked professionally, since 1970, with over 250,000 children (and still counting!), adults and families in the outdoors.