It's for the birds.

This Spring we have been attempting to make our yard a friendly environment for birds. Mara is the one that has really put some effort into it and here are some of her projects.
She made a birdhouse out of a dried gourd. This gourd I bought at a farmer's market in Ottumwa, Iowa around the time she was born. I had the intentions then to make it into a birdhouse but instead it got incorporated into my decorating in other ways. It moved with us to Kansas and then up to Minnesota where finally Mara was old enough to do the job herself.
To make it into a birdhouse she:
  1. Used a sharp knife to cut a hole in the front.
  2. Then she used a knife and a stick to break up the membrane inside and dump it out.
  3. Next step was to decoratively paint it.
  4. Now to put some varnish on to seal it.
  5. And finally some little holes in the top to run a wire through so it could be hung up.
  6. As I was writing this I realized I should have had her also make some drainage holes in the bottom. If it isn't inhabited yet we had better do that still.

Another project was inspired by a Family Fun Magazine (we really enjoy them!). This is a little bird feeder and it has been pretty well used. Just a little wreath with a little container inside and some strings to hand it up.

This project was thanks to Home Depot (and thanks to Denise for taking her as Ken and I were busy that Saturday). This little birdhouse hangs on a window and the back side is clear plastic so in theory you can watch the bird's in their nest. It is a pretty cool idea. So far we haven't had any birds try it out but just recently something else decided to take up residence- a wasp. We were trying to figure out ways to kill it but now aren't so sure we want to as it is rather fun to watch too and it might be quite educational.

This hummingbird feeder was a gift from some dear friends of ours. (Isn't it classy?!) Yesterday I finally got the "nectar" made for it (Mara had researched the recipe online) and it is ready to go. Mara saw a hummingbird at it for just a moment this morning but I haven't seen one yet. It is hanging just outside our dining room sliding glass door so we hope to see a lot of activity. We have also planted a lot of flowers in hopes of attracting them.

Do you have any special projects you do for the birds? Do you have any bird identification books to recommend? We have a couple small ones but I want to get a better one. I would love to hear your bird stories or just have you say hi. It has been feeling a little lonely on this blog lately.