Our backyard is filled with all sorts of birds. From fat little Robins to boldly-colored Blue Jays, from loudly squawking Crows to our favorite Cardinals, there is always a lot of chatter going on at our house. Although I do not consider myself to be an official bird watcher, I do consider myself to be a birding enthusiast and do my best to encourage them to hang out at our house as much as I can.
Over the years, my kids have picked up on my affinity for birds and they love helping me make all sorts of birding crafts for our feathered friends. One of the easiest ways to encourage birds to visit your property is to always have full bird feeders on hand with a variety of birdseed in them. Bird feeder crafts are incredibly easy to do and we’ve made quite a few of them over the years. Pretty much any recyclable good in our home is up for grabs when we’re making bird feeders: Pipe Cleaner Bottle Bird Feeders, Recycled Bottle Bird Feeders, DIY Bird Seed Ornaments, Milk Carton Bird Feeders, and Pine Cone Bird Feeders.
In addition to having bird feeders stocked with seed all year long, we also keep the birds in mind when planting trees and shrubs in our yard. The birds that visit us regularly are madly in love with a very sad, dilapidated shrub-tree that should be removed, but we keep it year after year because they all hang out in there. Seriously, it’s like a birding frat party and we aren’t quite sure what to do about it…because it’s barely standing any more. But, until we find a suitable replacement, it stays – and that’s the funny thing about being a birding enthusiast. I’d rather have an eyesore in my yard that keeps them coming back each year than to dig it out and lose my feathered friends.
Anyways, around this time of year, we also like to help the birds out by leaving them little bits of material to help them start building their nests. Our birds are a jazzy bunch and seem to prefer brightly colored yarn, which suits us just fine. To make it easy for them to grab and go, we chop up the yarn into little bits, stuff it into an empty suet feeder and then hang it by one of the bird feeders. As they fly in for a snack, they grab up bits and pieces of the yarn before they go and since we’re surrounded by mostly deciduous trees, we get to watch them build their nests way up high up in the trees.
SUET FEEDER NEST STARTERS
- Suet feeder
- Bits of yarn
Step 1: Cut up a skein of yarn into small pieces. They should be no longer than 5″ so that the birds can easily pull them from the feeder. We usually make an assortment of sizes.
Step 2: Shove the cut up bits of yarn into the suet feeder and make sure you close the lid tightly.
Step 3: Tie a piece of twine to your suet feeder and hang in a tree.
Step 4: Give the birds some time to find the suet feeder nest starter. When they do, your kids will be able to watch them grab the colored bits of yarn and fly off to build their nests.
P.S. It also helps if you hang a bird feeder nearby to encourage them to come and visit.
Happy bird watching,