Bird ID Dial
This is a simple tool to help you identify some common birds.
Start by downloading this page from the Woodland Trust's fantastic Nature Detectives website and print it out: Garden Birds ID Dial.
The instructions on how to make it are included on the printout, but basically you cut out both circular shapes and fasten the smaller circle on top of the larger one with a split fastener.
When you have finished it should look something like this:
To identify a bird, turn the arrow to the photo of the bird you have just seen and it's name will appear in the slot on the smaller circle - simples!
Coming soon ....
Recycled Bird Feeders
This section will show you how you can easily make bird feeders from stuff that you throw away or can get for free (or at least very cheaply).
The first project is to make a hanging bird feeder from a plastic water bottle. Younger children should ask for help from their parents when using the scissors. Here's what you need:
- A plastic water bottle with a screw top
- Some string, about 40cm should do (or a wire coathanger)
- A stick, twig or pencil
- A drawing pin to make holes in the bottle
- Some scissors (please be careful!)
- Some paper to make a cone funnel for filling the feeder
- Bird food from Poundland or Wilkinsons in Leigh
Start by making two holes on either side of the top of the bottle - you can do this by first pushing in the drawing pin and then making the hole bigger with the stick.
Then push the string in and out of the bottle using the stick and tie it together at the top. This will be used to hang your feeder up in a tree or somewhere else. Alternatively, you can use a bent piece of wire coathanger to hang the bottle up.
Next use the drawing pins to make two more holes on opposite sides of the bottle about 2cm up from the bottom. Push the stick in and out of the bottle to make a perch for the birds.
Now use the scissors to make two small holes for the birds to eat the seed from. The holes need to be about 4cm above each perch. Start by pressing the drawing pin into the bottle and then use the scissors to make the hole circular and no more than 1cm in diameter or else too much bird food will fall out.
Another idea is to cut a U shape into the bottle and then press the 'flap' inwards - this stops too much food from falling out
Finally, wrap the paper into a cone shape and put it in the top of the bottle. Then fill the bottle with bird seed and screw on the top. That's it! You feeder is ready for hanging.
Choose a place where cats and squirrels can't get at the feeder or the birds, such as high in a tree or on the side of a house but not a fence. Feeders can be hung from hanging basket brackets or outside lights, but make sure they are not to close to where people will walk or else the birds won't use them.
Good luck, and please record any birds you get on your feeders on our sightings page here.