Hit Or Miss: Bird Feeder

Livi loves all kinds of animals and gets excited whenever we come across one, whether it’s a dog on the street, a duck in the park, or a giraffe in the zoo. But she especially loves birds.

“Bird,” or her version of it, was one of her first words and her face lights up whenever she sees or hears one.

We encounter many birds on our walks and hikes but I thought, why not bring them a little closer to home without actually having to take care of a pet bird.

So I decided to get a bird feeder for our backyard. We took Livi to Home Depot and bought a feeder, some food, and a two arm yard pole.

I wanted to hang the bird feeder close enough so that Livi could actually watch the birds but not too close so that we wouldn’t scare them away. The closest tree was too far away and so I decided on getting a yard pole that we could put on our lawn.

While we were getting everything ready, we showed Livi the bird food and how the birds would get it out of the feeder so that she knew how everything worked.

When we got up the next morning, I reminded Livi of the bird feeder and that we should go see if any birds had found it. She couldn’t get to the window fast enough. And low and behold, there were all kinds of birds in our backyard. It was a lot of fun to watch even for me.

Now, the first thing Livi does every morning is run to to the window and look for birds. And often throughout the day, we sit in front of the window and watch the birds.

Aside from keeping her occupied for a few minutes every time, Livi is also learning about birds. You could almost say, it is our first little science experiment.

The only downside is those birds make quite a mess that needs to be cleaned up every now and then. It really is not a big deal in a backyard or garden, but I am not sure how well it would work with a balcony or patio.

Hit Or Miss: The bird feeder is an absolute hit with Livi and an inexpensive way to teach her about animals.

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8 comments on “Hit Or Miss: Bird Feeder

  1. Nina says:

    Nice! We were considering getting a hummingbird feeder but then wondered the same thing you did: would they make too much of a mess? We don’t have a yard and instead have a patio, so mess would be difficult to clean up. I was particularly afraid of ants finding their way to our place.

    Instead we got plants with tons of flowers, which thankfully draws quite a few hummingbirds, although not on a regular basis.

    Good experiment!

    • hnMom says:

      That’s a great idea. I actually like it much better than a hummingbird feeder. I have a feeling, I’m going to be back at Home Depot sooner than I thought. 🙂

  2. Deni Lyn says:

    You know I’m a complete BIRD freak so this excites me to no end! Awesome idea! Birds are messy. If any of your fellow readers are worried about mess, definitely make sure you have a feeder and seed appropriate for the birds you want to attract. Obviously, the smaller the bird (i.e., finches) the less mess.

    Hummingbirds are little mess because they are little. However, their feeders require meticulous maintenance Pigeons and doves are ground feeders and are a necessary evil if you are offering seed. Squirrels? Ugh. Always a feeder nuisance. However, Mac has recently learned he loves squirrels and he screams Squuuuur when he sees one. So at least he’s learning something. Ha.

    Nina is on to something wonderful to suggest offering plants as natural bird feeders. Any garden center or extension office should be able to provide you a list of native plants that will attract birds AND butterflies, be less attractive to deer and other herbivores. Choosing native plants will require less maintenance and expense on your part as they are accustomed to the climate and should thrive.

    If you live in a colder climate, you still might need to feed resident birds after all your plantings are spent. Again, check to see what seed would be appropriate to offer to the birds you wish to feed.

    Sorry this is LOOOOOOONG! Few other thoughts: 1. Get a simple field guide or phone app so you can id what you are seeing. Perhaps participate in FeederWatch, or use eBird to record your observations for scientific purposes. 2. Check out the Christmas Bird Count and local nature centers for older children. 3. Allow your children to hear bird calls (using a recorded CD or app). It’s really cool to id birds by ear and it encourages auditory learning. 4. If you care about birds, or your kid remotely likes birds, Google “Lights Out Birds” to see if your area participates in a program where they make sure the area is dark as possible so migrating birds don’t fly into hazards while migrating at night and listen at night for birds. 5. Birds or nature in general can be tied to so many things besides science: natural history, human history, drawing/arts/crafts, etc.

    Sorry to drone on. I like birds. . .

  3. Steph says:

    Great idea! We get birds in our backyard pretty naturally. My kiddo loves it when we get especially colorful ones such as cardinals and blue jays. We also have squirrels and all the neighbors around us have dogs. One very early morning, while our fence was down for us to repair it, my husband looked outside and their was a coyote chasing a cat (which escaped by scurrying up a tree) in our backyard. That’s one animal it didn’t break my heart that my daughter and I missed!

    • hnMom says:

      Ha, agreed, I do not need to see a coyote in my backyard.
      We also used to get birds naturally but often not long or close enough to really observe them. Now they seem to have a party in our backyard all day long. It’s actually quite nice. 🙂

  4. Awesome idea! I may try it myself one day…IF we ever sell this place and buy a house!

    I had a budgie when I was a kid, and we would let him fly around the house. I got him for my 12th bday and he lived until after I turned 18! We also had a parrot for a VERY short time, and I loved him. Birds really are beautiful creatures. It’s so great that Livi is able to enjoy them and finds them interesting! I love going to see the parrots at the pet store, and especially love the ones that talk. I can sit there for hours chatting to them!

    • hnMom says:

      Oh yeah, we go to the pet store quite often as well. Livi loves looking at the birds there. And the fish. And the kittens…
      Anyway, birds are a big topic in our house right now and it’s really fun to see her so interested in something.

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