In the midst of winter it is hard to believe that spring is around the corner as the weather is still cold and the garden is still in slumber. For kids itching to be in the great outdoors February can be a bleak month but a wonderful way to see color and life in the garden at this time of year is to encourage birds to come and visit the backyard and the best way to do that is to feed them and they will keep coming back for more. Winter is a hard time for all animals seeking food and shelter so feeding the birds is a considerate thing and the kids will enjoy seeing them return day after day. Here are some great tips on how to feed the birds:
- Birds like to feed where they feel secure, away from predators. So place a feeder up high where cats and squirrels can’t get to it or if you choose a ground feeder put up a mesh fence around it to help protect the birds.
- Suet is a great choice for birds that eat insects. You can purchase suet at most meat counters or buy it as a cake with seeds and berries in it. It is a delicious treat for birds in the winter but not in the summer as it can spoil in the heat and become rancid quickly, not very appealing. String popcorn and cranberries together and hang them on trees and bushes in the garden, this is a fun task for kids to participate in and an added bonus is that the garden will get decorated but hopefully not for long.
- An age old favorite for kids and birds alike is to smear a pinecone with peanut butter and cover it in bird seed, then hang the pine cone from a tree string or ribbon and see how the birds love it.
- Don’t forget that water is very important at this time of year as well and in very cold climates purchasing a bird bath heater is a good idea, never ever add anti-freeze to the water as it is poisonous to all birds and animals.
- Always store your bird seed in a dry, cool spot in a rodent proof container. Do not use seed that has been stored for a long time, if in doubt throw it out. Feed the birds and your family will have hours of bird watching pleasure and the joy of knowing that you have made another living creatures life easier during the hard winter months.