“Bird TV”: 2 Secrets to Attracting Birds
What’s the view outside your window this Winter? Are you seeing the black and white of a cold day or splashes of red, blue and yellow fluttering around? How much time do you think children spend watching “Bird T.V”?
I facilitate a workshop called, “Not Just Child’s Play: The Impact of Media on Child Development.” It’s also a topic that I struggle with at home with my own children. I turned to my teenage son for some insight and asked, “What would you do as a parent today struggling with screen time with your kids?”, His response was simple, “Replace screens with something else.” Could we replace our screen time with “Bird T.V”?
Ironically, when I checked Facebook, I saw this post from a gardener friend of mine; Lynn Taggart. She writes, “It’s been great “bird tv” watching here lately. Sometimes it makes us stay too long at the breakfast table. We have four feeders, a heated water source, and LOTS of local talent. Cardinals, goldfinches, house finches (they look like they’ve been dipped in red watercolor paint), nuthatches, juncos, doves, JAYS, GRACKLES (they yell), tufted titmice – or titmice if you like – downy woodpeckers, chickadees, and several species of squabbling sparrow. Saw a thrush at Christmas, but the robins, wrens, and red-winged blackbirds have gone to warmer places. And one magical day I was weeding and a flock of cedar waxwings landed all around me to gobble juniper berries while I held my breath. Every now and then we experience the bird tv blackout due to an as yet unidentified hawk who makes the screen go blank.”
What if children could name all the birds from watching their favorite show on “Winter Bird TV”? What if they could follow the drama within Nature in the winter from the comforts home by simply looking out the window? How can we create a garden that attracts birds in winter?
SECRET #1: WINTER ROOSTING BOXES
Lynn explained, “I should note that we have 4 birdhouses that we switch out for roosting boxes during the winter. I do think that the water is a huge draw, though.”
Thinking about adding a Winter Roosting Box to your Outdoor Classroom? Check them out HERE.
SECRET #2: HEAT BIRD BATHS
Lynn explained, “As for the water, in the summer we have a beautiful granite bath, but for winter we swap it out. Our cold-weather one is a shallow plastic bowl, about 24″ diameter, with a built-in heating element, purchased from a catalog. Luckily we have an exterior electrical outlet, so we run an extension cord to it. The bowl sits on top of a big flower pot to keep it off the ground, and we weight it down with a couple of rocks. The little birds like to stand on the rocks to drink, and larger birds drink while standing on the rim. It’s not beautiful, but the birds are!”
Want to add a heated birdbath to your Outdoor Classroom? Check out the 20-inch Heated Bird Bath Bowl HERE.
Now I want to hear from you? What is your view out the window this winter? Do you have any birds visiting you? Share in the comments below.
Want to learn more? Check out the Exploring Nature in Winter Master Class.
About Victoria Hackett:
My mission is for every child in every school to have access to an Outdoor Classroom. Therefore, I inspire educators to teach outdoors and lead an on-line virtual community of Natural Teachers all over the world to create their own Outdoor Classroom story. Subscribe Today: FREE NewsletterWi