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I blogged a few days back about the poster and flash cards that we were going to start using to learn our birds. But really those are just suppose to supplement actual bird watching. Remebering names of specific birds is not important to me, I do enjoy learning them and trying to remember but for Sam I just want her to appreciate birds for the amazing creatures that they are and enjoy watching them.
So to make that easier since we can't get outside as much this time of year I am hoping to bring the birds to us. Using this.
Our bird feeding station. Don't look too closely because it would embarrass my father (the carpenter) at how awfully constructed it is, but with hardly any suitable tools, limited time before the ground froze and little skill this is what we could come up with! (More tips on how to improve and what I will change next time in the Nitty Gritty.)
We put out some good wild bird seed on top and some stale bread crumbs. Then from the hooks we hung orange peels with a peanut butter and bird seed mixture in them. Sam enjoyed mixing them and hung them all up herself.
There is the little hook that we attached underneath. Again, please ignore the HORRIBLE nail job that is holding this thing together. Hammering a nail in 15 degree weather with giant gloves on is NOT easy!
So far no birds but Sam is very excited and checks the window constantly. Sorry for the topless photo. Apparently when I say to take your coat off it means to strip off all your layers! We haven't had bird seed out in quite some time so I am guessing that it will take some time for the birds to find it. But once they do I plan on keeping it stocked so that hopefully we can have lots of birds to watch this winter.
We will also be testing out lots of different types of feeders and food. Those hooks are going to get a workout!
The Nitty Gritty!
So what would I do differently...I wish my forethought was as good as my hindsight because MAN would this project look different! First off the only stakes I could find at our hardware store were these skinny garden stakes which were mostly warped and must be made out of some kind of genetically modified wood because they withstood even a power screw gun! It took so much strength and pre-drilling to even get a nail to go in a little bit. Anyway, I would start with a much wider, sturdier base post. I like the way we did the top (about 2 feet by 2 feet) with a good edge all the way around for the birds to perch on but those round rod things are also IMPOSSIBLE to nail through so I wouldn't use those. I added a few small perches in the middle too. I figure the swarm of birds might need more seating!
Ours is pretty low to the ground, again because all we could find were those awful garden stakes. This will be a problem because I am sure the three giant golden retreivers that live next to us (not to mention the one that lives with us!) will think the peanut butter bird seed is a special treat made just for them! So taller might be better! I also think I would put a shephards hook close by or somehow attached to the station so that things like suet feeders or thistle feeders could be added throughout the season as well. I mean I am trying to create the best bird buffet in town! It's all about the options.
Speaking of options... I did not know so much kitchen waste could go to the birds until I came across THIS today! AMAZING! We will certainly be saving some of our scraps for the birds. Great way to cut down on food waste.
Hoping the birds find our station soon. Otherwise I am sure the squirrels will discover it eventually and all the food will be gone in seconds! Off to put some apple scraps out to see if that entices anyone.