Friday, April 24, 2009

Kids version of the Hummingbird feeder

After watching my son get so excited over seeing a hummingbird drink from his feeder, I decided I should post a version kids can make all on their own, mostly. You will still need to make the drinking well for them. Since it involves using a hot glue gun and cutting the cap.

My 7 year old has been waiting and waiting to see a hummingbird drink from his feeder. Last night he finally was around to see it happen. He cheered and quietly yelled "YES!! IT WORKS! IT REALLY WORKS!!!" Then he said "how thoughtful of her." Meaning how thoughtful of the hummingbird to come by and drink from his feeder.

What you will need:
empty soda or water bottle (something like the 16 oz size or smaller is great for this).
4 Pipe cleaners
lid from the bottle you are going to use
a lid slightly larger than the one from the bottle.

Cut 1 pipe cleaner in half and make two rings out if it. Be sure to over lap the pipe cleaner generously since this will be what holds the feeder.
1: loop and twist the ends of the other 3 pipe cleaners around the ring. Again making sure they are secure.

2: put the neck of the bottle through the ring of the pipe cleaner and arrange the 3 straight pipe cleaners around the bottle. Gather them at the base of the bottle and twist. If they are long enough simply make a loop out of the ends. If they are not long enough, wrap them around the second ring you made. This loop is your hanger.
3: Now for the parent's job. Make the feeding well out of the caps. See Hummingbird feeders using recycled materials for directions.
4: Your child can choose to decorate their bottle or hanger any way they choose. My son opted to leave the label on the bottle (since it is a red color it helps to attract the hummingbirds). He also chose to pick real flowers from our garden to put in some of the slots in the well. Of course this means that he will have to replace them every couple of days but this is what he wants.

Ideas for items to decorate with.
-Permanent markers

-more pipe cleaners twisted into flowers or other shapes and then twisted to the pipe cleaners up the sides. (since the pipe cleaners are metal inside I would not put them in the drinking well).

-stickers (use colors that will attract the humming birds such as red and yellow and orange)

-silk flower tops (you can hot glue them to the places where you glued the caps together to hide the glue.

Make some nectar.
Bring to a boil 1 cup water plus 1/4 cup sugar. This will kill any bacteria. Let it cool then pour it into your bottle. Screw on the cap. Keep it upside down till you are outside and ready to hang it. It will drip a bit till the vacuum forms. This is normal. For this reason I suggest you hang it from a tree rather than your patio. Also your kids won't scare the birds away every time they open the door to watch them. (be sure to wash it out with vinegar before you refill it.

Now wait for your first customer. It may take them a day or two to find your feeder, but they will. Watch for them in the morning and in the afternoon. We see them less during the heat of the day. Around here they are buzzing about till about 11am and then back again around 4 to 6pm till dark.

I hope you and your children get as much joy from this little project as we did. I just love watching my boys get excited about nature. As we watched the hummingbird (from our hot tub), we talked about if we thought the visitor was a boy or a girl. My son said he thought it was a boy. I said that I thought it could be a girl because the bird wasn't very colorful. Usually it is the boy birds that have all the flashy color. He agreed that it was probably a girl then. We laughed and the boys giggled over how acrobatic those little birds seem. In this way we are passing on the love of the out doors to our children. They now have a vested interest to do things that are beneficial for animals and our environment. Mostly I just LOVE my boys and anything to make them laugh and smile and enjoy life is work it.

I gave them a garden to plant their roots and I have given them inspiration that gives them wings. My original hummingbird feeder project, inspired my son to make his own. Together we made it work.



twinkle teaches said...

Ah this looks like so much fun to make!! I have only seen a hummingbird once in my life but it was a beautiful sight! :) Happy Sunday!
tina said...

I love this! I have hummingbirds in my garden. They've been nesting in my blackberries for years and when they have eggs they'll fly lightening fast right my my face if I get to close. I can feel the air move as they wiz by! I'll be linking to this.

RootsAndWingsCo said...

A nest!! I would love to have a nest in my yard! Though they do get angry when you get too close when they have babies.


LollyChops said...

This is so cool! I can see why the farmers almanac featured it!

I love the comment your son made (about the bird being so thoughtful for coming by). What a sweet sweet boy.

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