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Bird-friendly (and Kid-friendly) Crafts

Are you at home more with nothing to do? Are you looking for new ways to entertain your restless kids? We've all been going a bit stir-crazy, but while we may have to socially distance ourselves from each other, that does not mean we have to miss out on nature all around us this spring and summer.

If you have a yard, or even a porch, you can attract visitors by putting up bird baths and bird feeders. Some of the more common year-round birds you might see are Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, House Sparrows, Tufted Titmice, Mourning and White-winged Doves, various woodpeckers, Blue Jays, and more. In spring and fall migration and in the summer, you could even attract Indigo and Painted Buntings.


To make a bird bath, all you need is a shallow bowl or container filled with an inch or two of water. For homemade feeders and even bird houses, the internet abounds with crafts - many of which are safe and fun for the whole family. Here are just a few examples of simple projects to make your own bird feeder using common household items:
  • If you have string, peanut butter and some seeds or raisins, try this!
  • Maybe you just finished the milk with your cereal in the morning, and have the empty carton. In that case, this is the craft for you!
  • Even if all you have is a plastic bottle and a pencil on hand, you can still make this feeder! 
Get creative and share your picture of your bird feeder in the comments section below!

If you find that you’re enjoying bird-watching and want to take the hobby further, one of the best things you can do to be an advocate and support bird-friendly initiatives across Houston.

Start by voicing your support for our Habitat Conservation Plan for Rice University, which includes protection of critical bird habitat and bird-safe infrastructure changes, by signing the petition at https://www.change.org/conservationatrice.

About the Authors: Alessi Armengol and Amy Roush

Hi, I’m Alessi Armengol, co-author and fellow Rice University student. I’m a newbie to birding but wanted to share this post after making a DIY bird bath and feeder while in quarantine at home in Miami, FL. If you want to learn more about my proposal to reduce bird window collisions on Rice’s campus, please email me at ava3@rice.edu!

Amy Roush is a student at Rice University and has been an avid birder since she was growing up in central Texas. Her favorite bird is the Canyon Wren, which is unfortunately not a feeder bird (look up the song, it’s beautiful!). You can reach her at canyonwren4@gmail.com or amr20@rice.edu.

Sources:
National Audubon's website has “get outside” type activities: https://www.audubon.org/get-outside/activities
Homemade bird feeder from PBS, requiring only food items and a string or wire: https://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-and-experiments/how-to-make-a-simple-bird-feeder
https://www.audubon.org/news/how-make-diy-bird-feeder-recycled-materials
Plastic bottle feeder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yV6V6rtpyc

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