Attracting birds can bring enjoyment

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Recently, along with other Master Naturalist, I hiked about two miles to a bird tagging station in the First Landing Start Park.

You might remember it as Seashore State Park. What a trip. It was beautiful, informative, oh yes, and slightly exhausting.

Peter Doherty operates the banding station every spring and trains nine students who are interested in ornithology for two weekends, qualifying them to assist in the program.

This park is the migratory pattern for song birds and, thus, we have the opportunity to be a part of nature at her best.

Many of our feathered friends are in transition, others just camping out searching for water and food.

They need our assistance in order to continue an existence meaningful to those that appreciate nature at it’s best.

The very first thing is to provide water. Simply provide containers and check daily. To make this interesting, pretend that it’s your personal source of water.

There are many bird feeders available along with a variety of seeds that can be purchased locally. Another popular feeder is homemade from pine cones. The kids love to make these and require just a little help for the younger designer.

Materials needed for this project are: pine cones, peanut butter, birdseed, string, plastic disposable type bowls, hole puncher, bird pudding* and spoons.

Procedure: Smoosh peanut butter with spoons onto the pine cones. Roll the cones in birdseed and tie a string to the top end. Hang outside.

I think tying the string first would be easier and maybe less messy. Your choice.

Bowl feeder: Punch three holes evenly spaced around the top edge of the bowl and fill with bird pudding. (Recipe below)

Tie strings through holes for hanging. If possible hang feeders where they can be viewed from inside the home.

Mine hang on a small pear tree outside the kitchen window. Our meals are enhanced when we have guests enjoying the menu.

Bird Pudding: One pound lard (or leftover cooking fat), one cup hot water, two cups oatmeal, one cup flour, four cups wild birdseed, large pan and mixing spoons.

Soften the lard or fat over warm heat in the large pan.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well. This mixture can be slathered into any kind of container type feeder. Enjoy. Your new friends will.