Today is a good day to fill the bird feeder. It is cold and the birds will most certainly be looking for an easy meal since they will be using more of their energy to stay warm. Feeding the birds is a great way to reconnect your children with nature. It allows them to become instant naturalists because it is so easy to observe birds and discuss their behavior. You can help your children identify the birds that appear at your feeder.
Our birds flew South for the winter months ago. Lately, we have seen Blue Jays, Chickadees, Nuthatches, little Downy Woodpeckers, and Tufted Titmice visiting the feeder. The Northern Juncos arrived sometime last week. They must be happy to be in the New England weather. To them, this is like being on vacation in paradise. What we think of as cold and wintry they think is balmy and warm. Juncos travel all the way from the northern reaches of Canada in mid-fall and stay until returning in the spring.
A family of turkeys visits the feeder every couple of days. There are 13 members in this family. One of the jakes tried to land on the feeder and almost knocked the entire thing to the ground before he decided he was too big to perch on it and eat. Luckily for everyone on the ground because they received a free meal.
Once a child is able to identify several birds, she will enjoy looking for them each day. My daughter is eager to head downstairs each morning to see what birds she will find. The fact that she provided the food they are eating makes her feel important and helps build her confidence.