Helping our birds survive winter

We often forget about our little winged friends during the winter. Like most animals, they need more calories during the cold months then they do the rest of the year. Unfortunately, the bird feeders we put out in the spring are brought back in when winter hits. Since we don’t see many birds as we do in spring through fall, we tend to forget about feeding them, or we bring our feeders in so they don’t get ruined during the rough winter months. These freezing months are when the birds need our favorite or homemade feeders the most!

You can help the survival of bluebirds, finches, chickadees, and lark buntings (Colorado’s state bird) which love high altitudes all across North America. A couple of easy options would be to buy an already prepared bird feeder or to make your own!

Making a bird feeder? you say…that will be too much effort. But, it’s not. Making a bird feeder can be simple and fun, and a great project to do on cold days when you are stuck inside. Also, kids love to make them. Below I have listed 3 DIY bird feeders but I’m sure you can use your imagination and create many others.

First DIY bird feeder that I love to make is really simple. All you need is bird seed, a towel paper roll, peanut butter, and pretty ribbon. Take the towel paper roll, coat it with peanut butter and roll that in bird seed. String the ribbon through the center of paper roll, leaving 1-2 feet of ribbon on each side of roll, then tying together with a bow at top. It’s already to hang out on an eve or branch and watch the little feathered friends flock your way.

Another fun and easy bird feeder you’ll enjoy making is this cute little ornament style feeder. To make it, pour one packet of gelatin into 1/4 cup boiling water, stir, then immediately add 3/4 cup birdseed and mix well. Let cool slightly then fill your favorite cookie cutter shape or roll into a firmly packed ball. Leave for a few hours, the feeder will harden and be ready for placing outside or string nice ribbon through to hang in a tree.

Recycle one of those big plastic, sparkling water bottles! There are so many uses for those but this DIY will help our feathered kids outside!;) All you need is that plastic bottle (because it holds up to all kinds of weather), an exacto knife, ribbon or string, and birdseed! Use the exacto to cut a little window in the bottle. Make the hole look like a big D laying on its side so the birds can use the flat side of the D to perch on. Take cap off, tie ribbon to the mouth of the bottle, then screw cap back on. Fill with birdseed and hang up for the birds to start visiting!

This next one is pretty cute and I like the total recycled look, not super fancy though! Use a pair of scissors to cut two windows into a milk carton, complete open up the top of the carton, string a ribbon through the open top, and hot glue gun the top back together. Fill with birdseed and hang!

For those tiny little birds like Finches and Chickadees, this bird feeder is simple and easy to make, letting the smaller birds feed without the larger ones taking over the feeder. Take a can, like a dog food can you are ready to open Using a can opener, open the can only halfway around. Now use pliers to bend the open end half up and flat onto the unopened side. Pour out the food and clean can. Fill with birdseed and tie two strings around the can. It’s now ready to hand outside for the little ones.

Just one more I happened to see somewhere. It’s a measuring cup with a wooden measuring spoon glued to the bottom for a perch! Too cute!!

(This a Red-feather Bulbul)

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