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Family Fun Feeding the Birds

Plants are the easiest way to bring birds into your landscape, but you may want to increase the number and diversity of winged visitors by supplementing with a few feeders.

And how about getting the whole family involved and make a few of the feeders yourself.

Let's start by recycling a few leftovers from the breakfast table. Use the rind from that grapefruit and fill it with thistle seed for the finches or grape jelly for the cedar waxwings and hang it in a tree.

The stale bagel need not go into the garbage. Simply coat it with peanut butter or homemade suet and roll it in birdseed. Run a colorful ribbon through the hole and you are ready to go. This also works with stale bread cut into interesting shapes and evergreen cones.

You can also make sunflowers into feeders. Punch 4 evenly spaced holes in the flower head with a screwdriver. Run twine or colorful yarn through the holes to create a hanger.

A bit more information: In spring give the birds a helping hand by providing some nesting material. Place colorful yarn, dryer lint or pieces of string in a suet feeder. Watch the birds come and retrieve bits for their nests. Then grab the binoculars and take the family on a walk through the neighborhood. Look for nests that contain the colorful yarn and other nesting materials you provided.

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