Archive for November, 2013

Ideal Gifts to Encourage Young Birders

Christmas shopping for birdersIdeal Gifts to Encourage Young Birders

Although computers will greatly enhance a child’s appreciation for nature, actually observing and participating in nature is the best classroom and playground.

Ideal gifts for young birders and children will captivate the imagination and help develop an appreciation for all things wild.  Inexpensive bird feeders hung close to the house will bring in birds that can be seen and enjoyed from the comfort of a warm room in the winter.  A bird house mounted on a fence or tree in a safe but visible spot will be watched closely in the spring as parents fly back and forth first with nesting material and then with food for the babies.

The most impactful bird feeder for children is a window mounted feeder that fits in the window.  The feeder is a box that rests securely on the window sill and which has a one-way mirror on the inside wall enabling the birds to feed peacefully while wide-eyed children, and adults, peer at them through the one-way mirror.  They can be filled and cleaned without leaving the house.  The variety of birds is dependent upon the types of food, but kitchen scraps, sunflower seed and mixed seeds will bring in a nice array of birds, and best of all, bring them up close for the entire family to enjoy together.

Other feeders will also provide year ‘round enjoyment if mounted close to windows, such as the always popular hummingbird feeders that brings in the jewel like marvels of nature that move quickly, hover, and unlike any other bird, can fly backwards.

Children will eagerly await activity at a recently mounted nesting box.  Nesting boxes become active in the early spring when males are looking for suitable roosting sites with which to entice a mate.  The pair will fly back and forth with nesting material and then be seen working tirelessly in the warm weather carrying food to the babies.  The lucky child may even see the clumsy down covered fledglings after they leave the nest, continuing to be fed by the parents and taught the miracle of flight.

Looking for Decorative Gifts for Non-Birders?

Christmas shopping for birdersLooking for Decorative Gifts for Non-Birders

Many birders share their backyard with non-birders, people who enjoy the birds but who are not so keen on feeding them and maintaining housing for them.

Fortunately there is an abundance of great backyard gift ideas for non-birders.  Examples of items that can enhance the backyard or porch include a wide range of windchimes, flags, bird housesdecorative bird baths and interesting novelty items such as bat houses and squirrel feeders.

A windchime placed in a breezy part of the backyard will provide a pleasant sound that will inspire or calm the listener.  Made of a wide variety of materials, the windchimes can make a bubbling tinkling sound or a series of deep resonant booms.  Chimes comprise bells, gongs and most commonly hanging tubes and they can be large or small.

Flags also remind us that the air is in constant motion.  Flags depicting colorful natural images will enhance a backyard, particularly during the drab winter months.

Bird baths are a common sculpture enjoyed by most gardeners and they have the added advantage of being functional.

Accommodating to the needs of creatures other than birds can be fun and rewarding.  The bat houses provide ideal shelter for the bats during the day.  The bats themselves will stay busy all night feeding on pesky flying insects.  The squirrels are present in most backyards, often dining on expensive bird food.  Catering to their tastes directly can help divert them from the feeders and at the same time provide some year around entertainment.