Nature Study Science – Making simple bird feeders (which colour do the birds prefer?)

This week, to go along with our study of birds, we had fun with this simple Nature Study Science project.  We already have dozens of birds visiting our backyard every morning and afternoon, so we knew the birds would come.  The question we asked was this:

Which colour will the birds prefer?

I mean, if the wild birds have a choice between several bright colours of feeders to eat from, which colour will they be more likely to choose?
We weren’t sure, but we chose red, blue, and yellow as our colours, made our guesses, and started creating our homemade feeders.
These recycled bird feeders are easy to make.

What you need:

  • empty containers from juice, soy milk/almond milk (we washed/dried them a few days ahead)
  • paint/paint brushes
  • scissors and string/yarn
  • a stick for a perch (we used a twig from the backyard)

What to do:

  1. Cut a small hole near the bottom of the container where the birds will access the seed.
  2. Paint your container (it took 3 coats to cover ours).
  3. After they are dried, you can make a small hole with scissors under the hole and push the stick all the way through for a perch.
  4. Punch a small hold on the top of the feeder, on the opposite side from the pouring hole.  Feed a doubled-up string or yarn through the holes and secure it by screwing the cap on.
  5. Fill the bottom of the feeder with a set amount of high quality seed.   We put in 1 cup.

If your child chooses, they can add details with paints or, as Audrey has, with Sharpies.  I would recommend permanent markers though, otherwise, the elements will cause streaking.

The children took these photos as they observed!


Once the feeders were hung, we had fun simply watching the birds as they came to visit.  Most likely to eat from the feeders were our friends the Black-capped Chickadees and the Sparrows.  I seemed like yellow was the winning colour now we aren’t so sure.  We are still observing.
One of the best things about doing Nature Study Science project like this one is the joy of observing nature.  Our children have really developed the habit of attention this year as they watch closely for many species of birds, squirrels in our yard.  We are so blessed to have them come so close and to such a huge window!  I never knew when we built that (expensive!) deck that it would be one of the greatest gifts to our home and homeschool!  What joy!
This school week, we observed 12 Dark-eyed Juncos all at the same time on our deck.  The kids were bouncing with joy and awe!  We also observed a Downy Woodpecker, a male and female Cardinal, several Chickadees, and a White-breasted Nuthatch all at ONE time!  It was so neat!

*As a side note, it was a windy day when we hung the feeders and we did chose to string them down to the bannister of the deck.  This helped the birds to land without the feeders swinging out from under them.
Hope you are having a breath-taking week, friends.


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