Family Fun With Winter Birding!

Winter bird feeder
Here’s a picture of my bird feeder. It stays busy during these cold winter months.

Looking for a family-friendly activity to do from the comfort of your home this winter? Try bird watching! February is National Bird Feeding Month, so this is the perfect time to get started. More importantly, as you and your family enjoy watching the different birds that come to visit your bird feeder, you help your feathered friends stay warm and healthy.

Begin your bird watching hobby by first choosing an outside location that is clearly visible from inside your home. For example, our family chose our second-story deck, which is visible through sliding glass doors.

Next, decide if you are going to invest in a manufactured feeder, or, if you want to create your own. There are numerous DIY designs and many use common household items. For instance, this suet feeder is created from a cookie cutter, whereas, this super easy peanut butter feeder uses recycled materials. If you feel more industrious, make a log feeder by drilling holes in a log, fill the holes with peanut butter, and then, suspend the feeder from a tree branch. You can also simply spread peanut butter on a tree trunk or branch.

Keep in mind that some birds prefer not to use a feeder at all. For the ones who prefer to forage, scatter seeds on the ground, such as under your deck, or, in or around bushes. The feeder my family uses hangs over our back deck, so when visitors peck for food, seeds also fall to the ground for our foragers.

Regardless of how you feed your feathered friends, remember, all birds need extra energy throughout the winter months. So, make sure you put out high energy fatty foods, such as, sunflower seeds, peanuts and cracked corn, along with the aforementioned suet and peanut butter.

Once your feeder station is set up, it might take a few days before any birds use it. When they do, sit back and enjoy. Go a step further and learn to identify your visitors using Additionally, you can keep track of the species that stop by, share your findings with others and add to worldwide scientific findings through

As always, be sure to check out family-friendly, bird watching resources from DBRL. Here are a few to get you started.

Want to explore more books and activities about birds with your kiddos? Try out this virtual activity bundle.

4 thoughts on “Family Fun With Winter Birding!”

  1. The Department of Conservation has been doing some interesting webinars about bird watching, I highly recommend them.

    My local birds are very happy with suet and black oil sunflower seed, along with some millet for the ground feeders. Cracked corn doesn’t seem to attract much other than house sparrows (non-native, and they tend to attack the bluebirds nesting in the yard). Cardinals and goldfinches love sunflower seed, though.

    1. Thanks, Christi! I need to check out the Department of Conservation webinars on bird watching. They are such a great community resource!

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