By Sue Baldani
To bring some beauty into your life, why not hang a bird feeder nearby? Depending on where you live, you’ll have birds of every type and color flitting around your window or yard. The feeder doesn’t have to be fancy or large, or even store bought. Building one from scratch is easy and fun and something you can do on your own or with your kids.
There are many do-it-yourself instructions available online, from the very simple to the truly elaborate. For example, you can just cut some small holes into a plastic soda bottle, slide a long wooden spoon handle through the holes from one side to the other, fill with bird seed and hang. On one end, the birds will have a perch to eat the seed from the hole, and on the other side they can rest on the spoon handle and eat the seed that has spilled out onto it. This and other versions, such as one made from an old saucer and cup and even a Lego feeder (which kids would definitely love to build) can be found at https://blog.manomano.co.uk/10-simple-ways-make-diy-bird-feeder/.
For those living in colder climates, bird feeders can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. It’s difficult for many birds to find adequate food supplies when the trees are bare and the ground is frozen. During the worst of winter, you can also put out suet, which with its high-fat content and nutritional ingredients can help fill and sustain our feathered friends for a longer period of time. You can buy suet relatively cheap, or once again, you can make your own. A great recipe can be found at https://www.audubon.org/news/make-your-own-suet.
If you live in an area that stays warm year round, the local birds will also appreciate the ease of finding sustenance. Maybe include a small container of water or a bird bath close by as well to keep them hydrated and clean.
Nature can always use some human help when it comes to feeding its wildlife. Bird feeders are a way to help one species while at the same time giving us the pleasure of watching these beauties right in our own backyards.
Written for The Country Register newspapers published around the country.