Green Life: Mother’s Day is for the birds

by Jen in birds,Green life,mother's day,outdoor play

nesting materials for bird
Okay, maybe it isn’t for the birds…but birds have moms too. We’ve been thinking a lot about birds and baby birds lately. A robin has made a nest about 6 feet off the ground in a small pine tree at my girls’ school. It is pretty cool to take a daily peek into their little world. But, perhaps our biggest inspiration has been the Happy Hooligans Facebook page. They have been photographing a robin’s nest that is above their back deck. The photos began on day 1, just eggs, and followed the babies until they were expert fliers. Amazing. Now the same nest has a new occupant…a new robin mama! 

We live in the city, on a busy street corner. It would appear that it would be impossible to build a sweet little nest in our yard. Guess what, mama sparrow has found a way. Every year a sparrow family creates a home in the utility pole in our front yard. This year we decided to help out all the mama birds in our neighbourhood, providing some nesting materials. Here is what we did.
nesting supplies and suet cage

You will need

old suet cage
scraps of fabric
scraps of paper
pieces of string
1. We reused our suet feeder cage, but you could use anything cage-like, it needs to hold the items inside but let the birds easily access the contents. We washed ours thoroughly in warm soapy water.
2. Rip up fabric scraps, paper scraps and string. Stuff into the suet cage.
kid ripping fabric scraps
nesting supplies
3. Close up the cage and place in a tree, where the birds can perch and pick out the supplies.
nesting supplies in a tree
We placed our nesting supplies in the tree in our front yard in the hopes that our little sparrow family might pick something from our pile. We shall see. If this helps just one mother bird make a safe and warm home then we will be very happy. A wonderful gift for mother’s day.
utility pole
their home is just above that long bolt on the right side of the pole
PS – Sadly, in nature things don’t always go well. A friend discovered one of our little baby sparrows on the sidewalk the other day. Poor little one didn’t stand a chance. Such is life. Standing at the base of the utility pole I can hear the cheerful chirps of little babies calling for their food. I cannot wait for the day when we see them, big and strong, making their first attempts at flight from their pole top home.
happyhooligans May 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

How exciting for you, Jennifer! My heart breaks for the poor, little one that didn’t make it. :( You’re right though – that’s nature’s way, but it’s still difficult to see. A large crow was picking on one of the baby robins in my neighbour’s yard yesterday, I’m assuming it was one of our robins, because they all went over the fence into that yard when they left the nest. All the robins in the neighbourhood banded together and chased off that crow, but the baby was injured, and hobbled away with a lame wing. :( I know that’s nature, and the order of things, but when you’ve followed them from day 1, you become so protective and attached!
Good luck to the rest of your babies! I hope you see them flitting about your yard soon!

hannahw May 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

We have made the same “bird nest helper” with various scraps, stuffed into a suet feeder!

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