Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Making a Bird Feeder

It was 7:00 in the morning and Eli and I were chatting while he drank some milk.  Here is how our conversation went:

Me:  Can you hear the birds?  What do you think they are chatting about?  Maybe about their breakfast?
E:  Maybe.  What do birds eat?
Me:  Seeds and worms.  Hey, did you know there is a book called "How to Eat Fried Worms"?  We can read it when you are older.
E:  I do not want to eat fried worms.

One of my favorite childhood books.  This is even the cover I remember.  No movie characters here.

At this point we took a brief detour to discuss worms, gummy worms, and if birds can eat gummy worms.  Then Eli asked if we could work on making a bird feeder.  Sure, why not?  We asked Google and found that a common way to make a bird feeder is to cover a pine cone with peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed.  Well, we didn't have a pine cone and Eli is allergic to peanuts, so we kept looking.  We then came across an idea that still used the peanut butter and birdseed, but you put it on bread.  With some modifications, we got to 7:15 in the morning.

Eli and I started by using cookie cutters to make some fun shapes out of our bread.  Not necessary, but the airplane, rocket ship, bulldozer, and race car were pretty cool.  We also used a straw to poke holes in the bread so that we would be able to hang our feeders.  Then, the bread went into a 200 degree oven, just to dry it out a bit.  I didn't take any pictures of the this step because it was 7:20 in the morning.

Eli and I picked up with our project again in the afternoon while Abby was sleeping.  This time, I was coherent enough for pictures, but my camera is still broken, so phone pictures it is.

Fear not...Eli did not spontaneously combust.  We used soy nut butter.

Once the bread was covered in soy nut butter, we pressed birdseed onto each piece.

We hung our bird feeders outside.

Trying to get a bird to eat out of his hand.  No such luck.

And then the hard part.  The waiting.
And waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.

I was starting to think that birds must like soy nut butter about as much as my kids do, which, is not at all.  We did, however, have some birds fly in for a snack a few times.  I don't think the bread was heavy enough for the birds to sit on, so they could only fly in for quick little pecks.  Quick little pecks are pretty hard for an almost-5-year old to see, though he was very patient.  When we do this again, I think we will use a pine cone, or if we use bread again, we might just prop it up in a tree instead of hanging it.

All in all, it was a fun project that was completely thought up by 7:15 in the morning.  He must be a morning person.  I used to be a morning person, until I had one morning person child and one night person child, a combo doesn't work so well together. 

In addition, I was able to sing, "Feed the birds, tuppence a bag" all day long.  It's debatable if that is a good thing or not.

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