for the birds – easy children’s project to attract birds

Yesterday started out as another typical frenetic Saturday at my household. Horses to feed, hockey game to attend, shopping to do, housekeeping to ignore – the usual.

We won the hockey game. I ignored the shopping. The housekeeping got mostly done by me and the kids with liberal doses of me saying “My name is not Dobby!”.

The afternoon was greyish, so I occupied the kids by using leftover ribbon and yarn to make this project. I remember finding beautiful little white horsehair birds nests around the barn last year after we had groomed the white pony. I’ve also read that you can leave out bits of yarn for the birds to make their nests. I found a few project ideas on line – some people poke the strings out through grapevine balls and hang them from trees, which looked great, but I didn’t have any and didn’t feel like traipsing through burdock looking for grapevine.

I bought a suet feeder cage at the hardware store and we lined the bottom with some sphagnum moss leftover from the small squeaky kid’s diarama project. We cut up bits of yarn, ribbon, raffia, jute, etc. into 4 to 8″ lengths and stuffed them in the cage until it was full. We hung it in a conspicuous spot out back and now we’ll keep watch to see if we can spot any colourful nests around this summer.

We also put out a birdhouse,

put water in the bird feeder,

and put out some birdseed.

We are still waiting for the birds to come. I think the sudden dip in temperature and the grey day yesterday had them hiding away somewhere else. The girls spent part of the afternoon upstairs in their bedroom watching the string feeder through binoculars, so I did provide some quiet time. Mission accomplished.

Linking to Tater Tots and Jello, Six Sister’s Stuff, I {heart} Naptime, Too Much Time on My Hands, Simply Klassic Home, Folk Haven, A Pinch of Joy, Bringing Beauty, Our Delightful Home, It’s So Very Cheri, Frugally Sustainable, Cozy Home Scenes, A Peaceful Mom

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21 thoughts on “for the birds – easy children’s project to attract birds

  1. I absolutely love this time of year with all of the bird activity. I save my dryer lint to put inside of suet feeders and used onion bags to aid in the quest for nesting material. Your birdhouse is so lovely by the way! I’m pretty sure I just may borrow that idea. My husband is a birdhouse fanatic. Thanks for a great post!

    • That birdhouse is great, isn’t it? I got it from my mom – she’s downsizing her stuff in readiness for a move next week. I think they would be easy to make too. I must have a couple of old camp coffee pots stashed somewhere.

      • I love it! I don’t have one, but there’s no doubt there will be some dirt cheap at yard sales this summer. I ‘ll have to put it on my mental list. Unfortunately, sometimes I lose my mental list! hahaha

  2. Shira says:

    We are bird fanatics here in this house – ever since my youngest (then 4) asked for ‘bird stuff so she could fly’ for her birthday. Instead we got several bird feeders, birdbaths, and birdhouses. Our house is a popular bird spot (and neighborhood cat attraction too!). So lovely!

    • Did she try to fly? Mine just flew around the house in a superman cape for a few years. Now she’s switched to horses. I look out the window occasionally to find her riding across my backyard.

      • Shira says:

        LOL – okay I just chuckled – sounds like our girls might be cut of the same *brilliantly imaginative* cloth. She didn’t try but now she just dresses up as the neighborhood cat and pretends to be catching the birds. Hilarious!

  3. I love this! I put out bird houses a couple of years ago but found they were attacked by the tree rats and some unruly neighborhood children. I plan on trying again when we live somewhere else. We do feed the birds and put water out. We have put out nesting material as well and I just love to see it disappear. My son is 2 now so he should really enjoy this this season. That birdhouse of yours is fantastic!

  4. saradraws says:

    What a lovely idea. I’m sure the birds appreciate it.

  5. Four Sisters says:

    This is such a great idea – I’m sure the birds will come soon enough! We’d love for you to share it at our Beautify It Monday Link party going on now at!

  6. Janet S says:

    This looks so fun! I’m going to try it!

    • The girls had fun finding stuff to cut into small pieces. It’s too bad it didn’t take longer for them to do it, but I suppose it was just right for short young attention spans.

  7. This is so pretty! I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

  8. Gleeful says:

    What an excellent idea with the suet feeder cage! The birds around your place will have the prettiest nests. Everything I try to put out for the birds the squirrels get instead, sadly. I’ll keep trying though. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • Nice blog! Hopefully, even if the squirrels get into the string feeder, the birds will still end up with its scattered contents. We don’t seem to have much of a squirrel problem at my place – dogs and coyotes keep them away.

  9. cozyhomescenes says:

    Your kids will have fun watching the yarn disappear. My neighbor used to fill a suet feeder like that too. It was pretty to see the added color in the yarn, and more fun to see the birds help themselves. I don’t have yarn in my feeders, but I have a birdbath set up in front of the kitchen window. Always nice when the birds take a bath.

    I’m always impatient for the birds to arrive too. I really think the water in the birdbath attracts more birds than the houses or feeders. It’s funny because my neighbor is has been trying to attract bluebirds to his house with special birdseed and houses. He hasn’t gotten any to come. On the other hand, we do not have houses and rarely put out seed. Yet we have “his” birds coming by for a bath on a daily basis. How funny!

    Thanks for sharing your clever and helpful idea on my party!

  10. cozyhomescenes says:

    I tried to comment before, but recently got a gravtar and think I didn’t do that right. Ignore this if you were sent a comment from me twice…..

    Your kids will have a lot of fun seeing the yarn disappear. My neighbor had one of those suet holders and bought yarn just to put in it. Even though I’m an adult, I enjoyed the colors and seeing the birds take the yarns, wondering where they went to.

    I’ve found in my yard, the birds are more attracted to the birdbath than houses or birdseed. One of my neighbors has been trying to get blue birds to his house with special houses and seed for them. He never sees bluebirds, but we joke with him that he’s attracted them to our yard. They drop by our birdbath on a regular basis. How funny!

    Thank you for sharing your clever and very useful garden tip at my party!

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