Nur’s Nook: Feathered Friends

"I'm building a house for my new neighbor!"

Did you know there are nearly 10,000 kinds of birds in the world? About 1,300 species are threatened with extinction! Scientists are working to save them.

Creating a birdhouse from materials in your recycling bin is a great way to connect with nature. The birdseed you put in it can help birds by boosting their natural diet—especially during an icy winter when food is scarce. Hang your birdhouse within 3 feet (.9 m) of your home to help protect birds from serious window collisions at high speeds. Also, watch for hedges and brush, where cats or other predators may hide. Keep birdseed clean and dry to reduce the risk of bacteria or mold in your feeder.

Grab some binoculars to spy birds and try to discover their names. How many different birds will you spot each day? At some times of year, you can share your results with a wildlife organization. Happy birding!

 

You’ll Need: Empty, clean half-gallon (1.89 L) milk carton, 3" (7.6 cm) wide cup, pen, scissors, sandpaper, white and colorful acrylic paint, paintbrush, water, hole punch, tacky glue, ½" (1.3 cm) wood bead, ⅛" x 3" (.3 x 7.6 cm) stick, hammer, nail, fishing line, birdseed (many birds like black oil sunflower seeds), ruler, optional: about 24 ⅛" x 2" (.3 x 5.1 cm) sticks

Step 1: Trace cup about 1 ½" (3.8 cm) from bottom of carton. Puncture circle with pen, then cut out.

 

 

Step 2: To prepare carton for paint, sand outer surface.

 

 

Step 3: Paint carton with mixed white and colored paint (to make colors opaque). Let dry.

 

 

Step 4: Punch hole ½" (1.3 cm) below opening. For perch, push longer stick through hole. Glue bead to stick and to inner front wall of carton.

 

 

Step 5: With help from an adult, use hammer and nail to punch two holes through carton top. Add line for hanging.

 

 

Step 6: Optional: Glue shorter sticks to rooftop. Avoid gluing over fishing line.

 

 

Step 7: Fill birdhouse with birdseed up to perch. Now it’s ready to hang outside!

 

For a printable version, download a PDF of this craft

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