Kids’ Garden Activity: Install a Window Bird Feeder
I’ve never considered myself much of a bird watcher, but that changed recently when my son and I installed a window birdfeeder.
We’ve had a tree birdfeeder in our front yard for a while, which we’ve enjoyed. So when I heard about window birdfeeders, I decided it could be a fun thing for my son and I to do together. So I did some quick research, and decided on this one, based on the many positive reviews.
It was a good choice. It was super easy to install – you just stick the suction cups on the plastic frame, and then stick it to the window. Two minutes, tops.
(Odd but useful side note: I followed a reviewer’s suggestion to add a bit of “face oil” to help the suction cups stick better. It sounded weird to me, especially since – ahem – I have no face oil. But I decided to give it a try, just in case. You run your finger over your forehead and nose, then wipe your finger on the suction cup. I’m not sure if it’s this little tip or the high-quality material, but the thing hasn’t fallen down since we put it up — and it’s been full of birds, and as you can see, covered in heavy snow. Whatever works!)
My son and my husband and I have loved watching the birds the feeder attracts. At first we had no idea what kind of birds they were, so my son and I got a bird book at the library, and we also found WhatBird.com, which is really easy to use for bird identification. So now we know we’ve got Swallows, Chickadees, Cardinals, Purple Finches, Blue Jays, and even an occasional Crow coming to our feeder. (I’ll write about the Hawk and the poor bird he devoured in my garden another day.)
From a parent’s perspective, I appreciate that my son is learning about wildlife. He now recognizes the different species of birds, and can differentiate between males and females. He has learned how to look up information when he doesn’t know something. He’s understanding the seasons, and how some birds migrate during the winter, while others stick it out. He’s developing empathy and learning to care for the birds, by putting seed out for them regularly. Most of all, he enjoys it. And for me, any opportunity for my son to enjoy nature is a good thing.