Kids Garden for the Birds

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Kids can invite birds to their garden to eat thousands of pesky insects, aphids and bugs that would destroy their fruit and veggie plants. The average backyard may be visited regularly by 15 to 20 different bird species. When kids provide food, water, cover, and places to raise baby birds, their garden can attract up to 100 or more different species. Many families enjoy watching the birds they have invited to their garden and the birds are delighted to rid the garden of insects. Watching the birds with binoculars, learning to identify them, photographing, and writing about what happens can be a fun science project. Kids can install a bird bath that they create or buy and surround it with containers of bright colored lavender, sage, nasturtiums and marigolds. Birds need water for drinking and to keep their feathers clean which aids in regulating and maintaining their body temperature. Tubular flowers, like fuchsia, honeysuckle, and salvia, are irresistible to hummingbirds, as they hold nectar at just the right angle for gathering. A reliable food supply will keep birds in the garden. Kids can create a bird feeding station with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for year round stability, especially during periods of extreme weather. Kids can hang a bird feeder tube with a seed tray and a weather guard to protect seed from the elements on a pole away from the house or trees to protect the birds from predators. It’s fun to watch the antics of the birds at the feeder and refill the feeder when needed. All birds love fruit trees and berry bushes! Kids can cover the tree or bush with bird-proof netting as soon as the green fruit forms and pick the fruit as soon as it ripens. A fun project for kids is to build a bird house or nesting box to protect the nest and eggs from the elements and predators. Wherever birds nest, they will busily hunt those pesky insects in kids’ nearby herb and veggie garden to feed their baby hatchlings.

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