Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Lesson For the Birds

This week, we've been talking about the winter birds that we see in our yard. These are mostly cardinals, the official bird of Ohio, but every once in a while we see other song birds and last week we even saw an owl in the trees above our driveway! The birds are something that Jonah really notices, so I decided to do some small activities and lessons related to birds.

We've been reading Lewis Cardinal's First Winter, by Amy Crane Johnson. It is a cute book about a cardinal who is a bit nervous about staying in the woods during  winter. I chose this book because not only did our local library have it, but it is also a Tumblebook, animated and read online at tumblebooks.com.  For older kids, there is also a word search and puzzle based on this book at tumblebooks. (I am not affiliated with this website other than I find it a really useful tool)

To see some of our own cardinal friends, we hung two store bought feeders and one home made feeder in the trees outside of our kitchen window. One was a suet feeder, another was a netted feeder, and then we made our own out of a toilet paper roll. Here's how we did it:

First I punched two holes into opposite sides of the roll. Jonah used a dull toddler knife to spread peanut butter all over the roll. I have been trying to find an alternate material for the peanut butter as some kids are allergic, but the only thing I can find is Sunbutter. It is sunflower seed butter, but it is expensive. If anyone knows of something else that can be used, please let me know!

Then, he rolled the feeder in bird seed. I found some that was especially for cardinals, since that is what we mostly have in our yard.

I helped Jonah thread a pipe cleaner through both of the punched holes, and secured both ends together in a loop, for a hanger. You could use yarn or string for this step, but a pipe cleaner is easier for Jonah to manipulate through the holes.

Finally, we went outside and Jonah chose a tree branch to hang it on.

And now, we wait and watch for the birds to come....

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