Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bird's Nests

The birds all but disappeared this winter. Despite our food stock for them, our goldfinches, sparrows, and house finches were seldom visitors. This week, as Spring arrives (again), we've finally been graced with sweet songs from some of our favorites. Today there was a cheeky little house finch, singing his heart out from a sapling in our front yard. I watched as he flew down to our garden and tore a few pieces of newspaper from a piece of mulch in our garden. He inspired me to provide some more material for our guests.

The kids and I gathered up some used scrap paper, and yarn ends, and set to snipping them into beak-friendly pieces. Four inches is the reccomended length for thread, yarn, etc. While searching for that handy fact, I saw this great article on building a nesting materials site for birds, in Wonder Time. I actually subscribe to this magazine but rarely find time to read it. They suggest using a mesh onion bag to hold the materials. We packed our yarn and paper into an onion bag, pet the dogs for a little more material to add, then the kids snipped small holes around the bag for the birds to be able to poke around in. We tied it together with a piece of yarn at the top, then hung it in a small tree near our feeder.

This was a nice little Earth Day project for the kids--free and simple, and I plan to have it be an ongoing project as we come up with things like dryer lint that we can add to our nesting collection. The kids were thrilled, and are anxiously waiting at the window to see if we get any takers. I'll keep you updated on whether we have success on the bird's end!

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