For the Birds - FamilyEducation

For the Birds

Celebrate Earth Day by making your own bird feeder out of recycled materials.

Feed Mother Nature's birds by recycling trash into a bird feeder. Be sure to have your binoculars and bird identification book handy when you put up your feeder. You might want to encourage the kids to keep a diary of the birds that take advantage of your feeder.

Holiday Hassles

If you have a lot of squirrels in your backyard, you might want to invest in a squirrel-proof pole birdfeeder. I like to throw peanuts in the woods for our four-legged friends and save the bird seed for the birds.

Level: Moderately easy

Time involved: Two to three hours

Materials:

  • One quart-size milk carton
  • One half-gallon-size milk carton
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Exacto knife
  • Spray enamel paint
  • Heavy cord
  • Bird seed
  1. Wash out the cartons with soapy water and allow them to dry. Cut the top and bottom off of the quart-size milk carton, forming a rectangular tube that is about six inches tall. Cut a hole the size of a half a quarter in each side of the bottom of the tube. Discard the top and bottom of this carton. Cut the top and bottom off of the half-gallon-size milk carton to make a sloped roof for the tube and a rectangular bottom piece for the base.

  2. Using the glue gun, glue the spout of the top (where the milk comes out) together. Spray all three pieces with enamel paint and allow them to dry.

  3. With the Exacto knife, make a hole in the center of the top of the bird feeder and the center of the bottom of the bird feeder. Thread a 20-inch piece of cord down through the hole, through the tube, and again through the hole in the bottom. Make a knot in the cord underneath the birdhouse. Make another large knot in the cord about three inches above the birdhouse roof. Form the top end of the cord into a loop for hanging purposes.

  4. You can fill the feeder from the top by lifting the roof off of the birdfeeder and pouring seed into the tube. If you want to attract more exotic birds like cardinals and blue jays, try using sunflower bird seed. Keep in mind, however, that these birds are much more aggressive than other birds and may scare smaller birds away.

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