Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kids in the Garden: String for the Birds




It's the Spring Equinox today- and we like to mark these days a little bit at least, bring the seasons into our life in a real way- and teach the kids to be a bit conscious of it at the very least. It's a cool thing that the days and night change in our part of the world, and I think we should notice it, if not celebrate it. I suppose they change in most parts of the world- except the equator- and that's always in our discussions of why we could never move to Hawaii- we like the fact that the days are shorter in winter and longer in summer*.

Anyways we decided to mark today with a little tribute to the birds- a basket full of soft nesting materials, which they can use to build nests- fitting for the first day of spring I think.

Step 1: Gather supplies- yarn, string, hair, thin strips of cloth, all cut 4 to 6 inches in length. Cat hair, dust bunnies, soft batting, and roving are all good too.


 Step 2: Prepare all the materials, talk about how the birds will pick things up, how wide do the kids think the fabric needs to be- how big do the clumps of stuffing should be.



Step 3: Stuff it into the basket- I used an empty free hanging Suet basket- though I think you could also just hang a bunch of stuff from a tree- loosely tied around the middle. My basket was 4 dollars though and we'll use it again and again.





Step 4: Hang the basket from the trees outside and watch the birds build nests- you can probably identify some of the string if you happen to see it in nests later in the summer.




I think we'll probably have this basket hanging for a while before it sees too much use. It's still too cold here for Robins- but once they come they'll use tons of nest building supplies. It's still a nice way to mark the Spring Equinox though. Here are some links related to birds and nest monitoring- Project Nest Watch, BioKids, Birds Nest Safari- Highlights


* We just learned the other night that originally clocks in England made the hours longer during a winters night, and shorter during a summer night- that's how they figured it out- so the sun would always set and rise at the same time- but the hours were not a consistent amount of time. Midnight in January would just drag on and on eh?


Linking this post up to Green Thumb Thursday over at Little mountain Haven- if you're stopping by from there leave a note in the comments- I'd love to hear from you!

9 comments:

  1. What a neat idea! And, I love your table.

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    1. Thanks! it's wild colour ( red on the legs and skirt) but we love it- plus the glass on top is the best for clean up!

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  2. I love this idea and am going to do it when it might seem plausible that the robins and other summer birds will return to our region for the summer months. Your photos of the girls helping are adorable. I also love your chippy turquoise green table. I hope the birds come soon!

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    1. It does seem absurdly optimistic hanging out there in the in the -20 weather, but it'll keep for a while- not too much longer though I hope...

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  3. Great post, Angela. I'll be forwarding it to a friend of mine whose son has been asking about birds and nesting.

    I know I've been AWOL for a bit, but I'm hoping to spend a little time catching up on my blog reading today and maybe even get a new post up. Always love seeing what you're up to.

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    1. Thanks! will check out your new post this week- sometimes blogging just takes second (or fortieth) place on the to-do list right?

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  4. Pinned this and loved it! We hope you'll join us again at Green Thumb Thursday. Look for this post to be featured! You can grab our featured button and add it to this post or on the sidebar of your site. Cheers! Homestead Lady

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    1. Thanks for that! I appreciate it.

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  5. oh so sweet, and what a great idea! i always put my gobs of hair from the brush outside, but i wonder if the birds will find it. this is a great intentional gift for our bird friends. :) and FASCINATING about the clocks and hours! how did they do that, i wonder?

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