Feeding the Birds

Benefits the birds and your family

Winter is the season birds most heavily rely on feeders to supplement their natural diets. Over a hundred species of birds will visit feeders in winter when food is scarce. Some species will also use them to refuel during spring and fall migrations, and some will use them while nesting in the summer. Feeding the birds is a wonderful way to help connect your family to nature and create an awareness and understanding of your backyard habitat.

Most children enjoy watching nature shows on television, they can be equally mesmerized watching a busy feeder outside the kitchen window. Watching the birds can become a fun and educational family activity. With a bird guide you can keep track of what species of birds are coming and going, how many are eating together and what birds share the feeder and which ones leave when others arrive. Children might discover who the backyard residence are, and which birds are just passing through. Families can begin to look at their backyard as a habitat, discovering what natural food sources exist and where animals and birds find shelter. You may discover your backyard is a wildlife oasis, or maybe you will find it needs improvement and your family can work together to make it a backyard habitat for birds and other small creatures.

The National Audubon Society recommends starting with a Tube Feeder. Choose a model with metal ports around the seed dispensers to deter squirrels. Hang it at least 5 feet off the ground, and 3 feet (or 30-plus feet) from a window to avoid bird collisions.
Seed types: black oil sunflower, mixed seed, safflower, peanuts
Birds: Chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, goldfinches, siskins, purple and house finches

Another great option for families are suet feeders. Hang suet in mesh onion bags or purchase a cage feeder. You can make your own suet “pudding” by grinding suet and adding seeds. Create homemade suet feeders by packing the mixture into the crevices of large pine cones.
Seed types: suet and bird puddings
Birds: woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches, chickadees; occasionally wrens, creepers, warblers

For step by step directions on making a pine cone suet feeder click here: https://www.thespruce.com/pine-cone-bird-feeder-385750


This cardinal nest was built by 3-6yr olds at Beavercreek Creative World of Montessori