Feed the Birds
Word of the Week
Ornithophile (or-nih-thuh-file): A lover of birds! Coined in the 19th century by American Naturalists, the word ornithophile is a combination of ornitho, which relates to birds, and phile, which means "a fondness for something special."
Did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month? Well, it is! Taking care of our feathered friends is fun and especially needed during inclement weather.
If you're like me, you may not know a lot about birds. I think that's something I'd like to change. I did a little research and found some handy tips from The National Audubon Society.
Look and listen to identify birds. Pay attention to their size, coloring, and their shape. Listening to the sounds they make will also help. Cornell University has an online bird guide to help you. Check out AllAboutBirds.org
Feed the birds. If you provide food, birds will come. This will give you plenty of opportunities to more closely observe and then identify them.
Make your yard bird friendly. Grow native plants. They will attract birds, insects, and maybe even butterflies! Don't forget the water! Birds need a good source of clean water. Catch rainwater or put out a birdbath. . .just keep it clean so your feathered friends stay healthy.
Like I mentioned earlier, be sure to check out the National Audubon Society! They have great games and resources for kids!
Let's celebrate this special month by actually feeding the birds! I have a fun and easy project for you. Read on. . .
Cookie Cutter Bird Seed Feeder
2/3 cup of boiling water
2 packets of plain gelatin (most boxes contain 4)
2 cups of bird seed
parchment or wax paper
cookie cutters or silicone molds
straws cut into 2 inch pieces
Mix the boiling water and two packets of gelatin until completely dissolved.
Stir in the bird seed thoroughly, making sure all seeds are covered by the mixture.
Place the cookie cutters or molds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Scoop the seed mixture into the cookie cutter. I recommend placing an extra sheet of parchment paper on top of the cookie cutter and pressing down firmly to pack it tight. Remove the top layer of paper.
Insert your straw near the top of your shape. This is how you will hang your feeder. Leave the straw in place (you'll remove it later).
Place the tray in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Remove the tray, flip the cookie cutters over, and allow them to dry completely. Leaving them overnight is best.
Carefully remove your creation from the cookie cutter, remove the straw, and tie a string in the hole.
Hang it in a nearby tree and watch all the beautiful birds enjoy!
Until next time. . .