Soon after we moved to Washington DC last year, I hung our "Squirrel Buster" mini birdfeeder from the dogwood tree in our garden in direct view of our kitchen window. I had no idea at the time, just how much our family would learn from this birdfeeder. It used to hang from a tree at our house in Dubai, but in 3 years hardly any birds had visited it: I suppose it was the desert after all...
But hanging it in Washington DC has been a completely different story! Every morning, there’s a steady stream of birds flying back and forth to claim the hearty milieu of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and millets generously dispensed (FOR FREE!) from our birdfeeder. Observing the activity for even 5 minutes is (almost?) as engrossing as watching reality TV!
Here are some regulars from the cast of characters:
By noon the birdfeeder is almost always empty, and activity dies down for the day…. The cast has changed with the seasons with different birds appearing during the winter when the migratory birds have flown south to warmer climates.
It’s been so interesting and fun for our family to watch and learn about the animals we share our habitat with. For those of you looking for easy ways for your kids to connect with nature in a meaningful way, I HIGHLY recommend installing a birdfeeder: watch closely (and regularly) and see the drama unfold!
Ambika Anand Prokop is a globetrotting teacher, environmental planner and mom. She loves creating fun, interesting, meaningful and educational opportunities for children to engage with the many fantastic cultures and landscapes of our planet. Ambika has lived and traveled with her family in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.