Bird feeding is a fun way to brighten a February day
Making Feathered Friends
by Veronica Hunsucker
Feeding the Birds: A Family Project
One way to overcome the winter boredom that often sets in about February is to become actively involved in celebrating National Bird Feeding month. If you already feed the birds, use this month to find ways to increase the variety of feathered visitors you have. Take time in February to increase your knowledge of the birds in your area, their feeding habits, their preferred diet, and housing or nesting habits. If you aren't currently bird feeding, begin doing so this month. You will be rewarded for your kindness in numerous ways.
In February, it is too cold to engage in a lot of outdoor activities with your children. As a fun, affordable family activity, you can make bird feeders together. There are numerous websites that have suet recipes that you can make at home. There are several very simple and inexpensive feeders you can make for seed-eating birds. You can let your children spread peanut butter on a stale bagel. Sprinkle wild birdseed on top of the peanut butter and hang the bagel in a protected area, such as under the eave of a porch. You can also make similar feeders by spreading peanut butter on pinecones and sprinkling seeds on them. Tie a ribbon or string on the top of the pinecone and hang it from a tree limb.
You can look up bird types online, borrow a book from your local library, or for a small amount of money, invest in a bird identification book. Identifying the birds at your feeder and learning about their feeding and nesting habits is very educational. Children can make a game out of counting the different types of birds they see or seeing who can spot which type of bird first. They will quickly learn which birds arrive at the feeders early in the morning and which birds eat the latest in the evening. They can learn which birds are ground feeders and which like suet. They can be entertained and amused by the antics of birds like the Nuthatch while they admire the beauty of the Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Woodpeckers.
If you set up a bird feeding area that you can view from a window, you will have created the perfect place for personal relaxation. Whether you start your day or end your day watching the birds, you will find it to be a tranquil time of day for you. At almost any given time of day, you can pause during your daily activity and spend a few moments being mesmerized by the flurry of activity at your feeders. We all need to set aside a portion of each day for physical relaxation and mental rest. Creating an area near a window provides the perfect place for entertaining relaxation. February tends to be a depressing month for many people. The colorful flurry of activity at a feeder outside of your window can certainly brighten any day, especially a gray February day.
Bird Feeding Tips:
- Once you begin feeding the birds, continue feeding the birds.
- Hang your feeders in an area where birds can enjoy the feeder while protected from the winter elements, such as a cold rain, snow, or chilly wind.
- Provide a variety of food to attract various types of birds.
- Keep feeders clean.
- A birdbath is a welcome addition to a bird feeding area.
- Place your feeders where the birds are as safe as possible from predators, such as cats that might lurk unseen in bushes near the feeders.
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