Introducing kids to the joy of backyard bird feeding

March 28, 2020 | Kelly Barany, Chin Ridge Seeds

It’s been a very unsettling time in everyone’s life for the past few weeks with the growing concerns of COVID-19. Being asked to self-isolate is difficult for many, but for parents the challenge becomes much more difficult when also asked to confine their kids. Sooner or later those indoor activities will become boring and you will have to come up with new ways to keep your kids entertained.

In light of these challenges, we wanted to write a post about how to get your children started in the hobby of backyard.

We realize that this may seem self-serving; however, we have personally seen how feeding the birds makes many of our customers feel more connected to nature and at peace with the world. In fact there is more and more research coming out that is linking bird watching to positive effects on mental health (see this recent article published in the winter 2019 issue of Audubon magazine https://www.audubon.org/magazine/winter-2019/birding-benefits-how-nature-improves-our-mental).

Many of us take comfort in feeding the birds during difficult times and perhaps introducing this hobby to your family can help all of you see that life goes on and can be a joyful thing, despite this crisis.

Here’s how we suggest you introduce your children to backyard bird feeding and watching.

Step #1: Identify the birds that are native to your area.

Through books and going online, kids can learn to identify the various species of birds native to your area. Once you know which birds are in your area, the next steps are to pick up bird seed and a feeder.

Step #2: Find the appropriate bird feeder and determine where to locate it in your yard.

Hanging a bird feeder outside your home invites nature to your yard. Consider a squirrel-resistant type of feeder if you only want birds at your feeder. You can also make your own bird feeder. Go online and check out many types of home-made bird feeders you can make with materials from around your house. Once you have your feeder, now it’s time to pick out bird seed.

Step #3: Buy bird seed that will attract a broad variety of birds to your backyard.

Buying the right type of bird seed is important especially if you are trying to attract a lot of birds and certain species to your feeder. Inexpensive bird seed, usually found at your local department store, is generally heavy with milo and corn and doesn’t typically appeal to birds. Often the seed is not eaten and ends up on your lawn below the feeder. Mother Nature’s ® brand of bird seed is a high quality bird seed found in many retail stores. Visit our website https://www.chinridge.com/where-to-buy to find a retailer in your area. Here are some tips when looking for good quality bird seed:

  • The seed should be clean and dust free.
  • The seed ingredients should be ingredients that appeal to the birds you want to attract.
  • You should not see red milo (large red seeds), or a large abundance of wheat, barley or cracked corn.
  • The seed ingredient label is simple and there are no added preservatives or food coloring in the mix.

During this uncertain time in our world, creating fun memories with your family is important. We will be posting more kid friendly backyard bird feeding tips on our facebook page. See our page @mothernaturesseeds on facebook for more info.