This winter, the girls and I have started a new project: we’re feeding the birds!
Our backyard is host to a bunch of little sing-song birds (and some bigger, more impressive species). It wasn’t until Lucy suggested that I put up a bird feeder that I realized how much fun it could be to get creative with bird-feeding.
We have suet feeders and a couple of traditional feeders filled with black oil sunflower seeds (they’re the most crowd-pleasing when you consider the entire gamut of species that can visit your yard), but then I discovered that you can feed birds fruit as well.
And of course you can! Birds love fruit trees and garden beds – why wouldn’t they love to visit some handmade bird feeders laden with fruit?
To make you own kid-friendly fruit bird feeder, you will need:
Craft wire (from Michaels or JoAnn)
Wire snips (from the tool chest or jewelry making tools)
Flat nosed pliers
Cut up fruit
The internet tells me that some of the most popular fruit to feed birds is: oranges, apples, crabapples, concord grapes, cranberries, blueberries and raisins.
You can also intermix plain Cheerios with the fruit on your bird feeder, if you have some of those lying around.
Start by cutting a length of craft wire from the spool – but be sure to maintain the spiral shape. This will allow the birds a place to perch while they’re nibbling at the fruit. Use your wire snips to make the cut.
Then, using your flat nosed pliers, create a “knot” or anchor at the end of the craft wire to hold the fruit on.
Next, you put the kidlets to work. Because the craft wire is stiff, the fruit is easily threaded onto the spiral. I called it “sewing” when my girls were making their feeders.
It’s a quick and easy project, and the kids get a lot of satisfaction from being able to hang their feeders right away.
Lila, my eldest, cleverly left spaces on the craft wire for the birds to perch. While it’s not the prettiest bird feeder, it’s gotten the most action out of our fruit-mobiles.
We used up some fruit that was about to turn, and felt so good about feeding our winter flock. If you’ve also got some budding ornithologists in your household, teach them to feed the birds in a creative way!
We can’t wait to try even more exciting bird-feeder ideas in our house. The girls get so excited when their feeders are a success!