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Family Time How do you hang out with your family? Share your family time ideas with us!

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2004, 11:18 AM
momofjems's Avatar
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I agree with all. What a fun creative activity for your son. My kids loved to watch birds when they were younger. We have 2 bird feeders and got some bird seed on sale cheap when I worked at a farm store. The bag was torn, so I got it at a good price. I bought the bird feeders and it was up to the kids to keep them full, which they did for a long time.
Have you tried doing a search online for a good bird book for kids? Maybe try abebooks.com
I just went there and this is one I thought looked like a good one......
A Kid's First Book of Birdwatching by Scott Weidensaul. There were many others there that looked fun.
Hope this is a hobby he will enjoy for a long time and something you can enjoy with him.
That reminds me, I had better get on the ball and help my son (almost 12) find an activity I can enjoy with him....because his latest thing is yu-gi-oh cards and this is something he can enjoy with Dad, I don't care for it.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-31-2004, 12:32 PM
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Bird Watching is FUN

I learned to love Birds from my parents and now have children and grandchildren enjoying this great activity .. I have over the years bought a coloring book for my young grandchildren to learn about birds .. It is by Roger Tory Peterson (about 16/20 pages)
The cover has colored pictures of common birds of North America numbered... Inside is a description of each bird by number and the picture to color..
They always received a set of colored pencils with the book ..
I am sure the book is still available but you may have to order it through a bookstore.
As I remember there were other nature books available in the same format.. As my grandchildren
grew up ( have 13 plus 3 yr old twin great grandaughters) I would give them more advanced guide books .. Inexpensive binoculars are great for a 5 yr old and here again as they grow up get them better ones .. Enjoying the outdoors and Nature is a wonderful experience that is long remembered .. HAVE FUN !!!! from a Proud Grandma
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:11 PM
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What a cool idea. I am going to have to look for that coloring book, my son would love it!
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Old 01-31-2004, 09:17 PM
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Birds

Hello again .. Memories come back and I want to pass one on .. about 40 yrs ago .. with little money for Christmas my five children and I prepared a Christmas Gift for my Parents
who we would be spending Christmas with .. My parents had numerous Pine Trees in their back yard .. Many of them Live Christmas Trees planted frm previous years .. We had to travel about 60 miles to get to their house so everyting had to be fixed earlier .. Popcorn was Popped & together with cranberries were strung to make garlands to hang around the tree..We all enjoyed Fresh oranges and kept the Peels cut in half ..These were filled with Seed ..Peanut Butter and what ever else we thought the birds would like (Wild Birds like Rice
Spaghetti and other Pasta ..cooked) Raisins .. Nuts ..And ANY dried Fruit is also enjoyed
It is FUN to experiment and find out what Bird likes what ..The Outdoor Tree was decorated with as much enjoyment as the one indoors and it also lasted alot longer and was enjoyed by Birds and Family for Quite awhile ..
This can be done also with a Christmas Tree when you are ready to discard it ..If you put food in and on it ..and place the tree in a sheltered area .. it will also be a sheltered area for the birds to roost during storms ...
A Proud Grandma
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Old 01-31-2004, 10:59 PM
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Here's a fun idea!!

How great that your son loves nature!! A person that loves nature is a kind person at heart!

This isn't a feeder or field guide but I bet your son will like this super simple idea--and it's cheap--NO cost involved at all except a little time.....

Take a gallon jug like a milk or juice jug--clean and dry very well...save the lid. Just below where the top curves down--cut a small 1 1/2--inch circle--doesn't matter which side. About 1 inch below the hole--insert a piece of broken stick, dowel etc to make a perch--make sure to make perch hole small so that perch will be secure. Replace the lid and hang your birdhouse IN A SHADED AREA where you can watch the action--I hang mine under the awning over my kitchen window (if you hang it in the sun--it will act like a greenhouse and cook the babies!!- ) You can use wire or heavy twine and tie it up using the handle and I also secure a band around the bottom of the jug also so it will hang straight.

Hang it up in the early spring when birds in your area start nesting. Mine attracts small house sparrows and for the 14yrs since I started--I have never missed a year without a bunch of babies----sometimes 3-4 families a year!!

What a wonderful way for him to enjoy seeing the wonders of life and he's recycling to boot!!!

If you have any questions about this--please let me know--I'll be glad to help
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Last edited by klcrn; 01-31-2004 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 02-01-2004, 07:35 AM
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5 yr. old bird watcher

Hi there a real good book to get your son started on identifying
birds is the National Geographic "My first Pocke Guide"
They have all kinds of books for young children. The one I have for my son is Garden birds.
Good luck[
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Old 02-01-2004, 12:30 PM
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Lightbulb Just one more thought!

I leave my milk jug birdhouses up for the summer--like I said--I've had 3-4 families in one yr in them and at the end of the season--just take them down and throw them away!! No cleaning needed. Just make a new one for the next year!! Now how easy is that??!!
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Old 02-04-2004, 12:25 AM
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Your son can make some goodies for the birds. Toast a piece of bread. Spread both one side with peanut butter and the other side with grape jelly. Then coat each side with bird seed. Punch a hole in the bread and tie a string through it. Then hang on tree.

He can make some suet with your help.
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup shortening or lard
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup raisins
1 cup bird seed
Mix and place in small plastic dishes. Refrigerate to harden. Remove from dish and place in suet feeder.

Or you can buy premade suet at a birding store for about $2.00.

Usborne Books at Home has a pocket-sized book with great pictures for children called Usborne Spotter's Guides - Birds of North America. It would be a good book to get him started.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2004, 03:06 PM
kellyandkids
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My kids and I are avid bird watchers. We use the new Sibley bird guide that has been out long enough that you can probably find an economical copy from half.com. Large enough for little hands. I still use my old Pterson guide from the 70's.

We have Peterson's Field Guides birding songs on CD. I truly recommend the 2 volume set. Plain lovely to hear on Midwestern winter days.

I recently received an ad that has the first voume for...OK I can't find it but the Western CD is there. And I found the "Sibley Guide to Birds" for 22.95 off retail of $35. Check out HamiltonBook.com

Many books like "birds kids should know" at the library.

We also take advantage of family days at the local refuges and wildlife centers. When my daughter became quite good, I took her on the adult hikes that started very early. Are you near a major university? We have the Raptor Center at the U of MN and they come out to our local library every year with the owls. Your Audobon Society can also tell you more; they do have special children's programs.

For your bird feeders, consider reporting your sightings to Cornell University. Join this nation-wide volunteer bird watch for $15 to cover materials and you also get a great wall poster of feeder birds. Sounds perfect for a 5 yr old. http://birds.cornell.edu/pfw
They plotted our house on an aerial and contour maps! Just to pin point the location of our feeder.

Hint, cook your feeder seed for 30 at 350 in a cake pan to prevent the seeds from germanating all over your garden next spring. We only do the millet seed as the sunbflowers are much easier to control. I had millet everywhere this summer.

Heated bird bathes and feeders are probably on sale right now!
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:34 AM
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Birds are wonderful!

Hello, I just love to look at all the interesting things people do
to enjoy birds. A lot of new ideas out there. Also enjoy the pictures.

Unfortunately I dont have digital camera.
But love to watch birds. They are quite playful and interesting to watch.
Just thought I would add a address for anybody that is interested in doing a bird count in your area.
Actually I love learning and listening to all the different birds.
Each area I have lived in brings new sounds, new sights and new
birds. Hope that you will enjoy as much as I have.
mel

www.birdsource.org.
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