In order to study birds, we needed to be able to see birds. We have set up several bird feeding areas in our yard. We hung a thistle feeder to attract goldfinches. We used an empty soda bottle to make a feeder filled with sunflower seeds. To attract insect-loving birds, we made suet. We mixed together oatmeal, peanut butter, lard, cornmeal, sugar, raisins and birdseed.
Next we placed the suet in zip top bags and then in the freezer to harden. Once the suet was hard, we removed one block from a bag and placed it into our suet feeder. The suet is now hanging in our backyard. It took about a week for any birds to find it, but we have had several visitors this week.Before we began this study, birds in our yard didn't receive much notice. Now as soon as someone spots a bird whatever else we are doing stops, the kids grab the binoculars and the guide book and start trying to make an identification. So far we've seen a Blue Jay, male and female Cardinals, Song Sparrow, Eastern Wood-Pewee, lots of Mourning Doves, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Mockingbird, Robin, Wood Thrush and the Carolina Chickadee.