Brilliant Birds

TOCK thinks birds are amazing

Here are some bird facts and fun activities…

When TOCK is outside he often likes to watch the birds in the trees. He has learned that, just like all the other creatures on the Earth, birds are very important and we must take care of them. We can help them especially in the colder months by putting out extra food for them and extra water on hotter days. Also try and get your family to grow a few plants/trees in your garden that are native to your area (Plants that have normally grown in your country for a long, long time). This will help encourage native birds to come into your garden.

NZ Pigeon – Kererū

Just some of the reasons birds are important are:

  • Many birds eat insects. They are a natural way to control pests in our gardens.
  • Some birds are important pollinators like hummingbirds and honeyeater birds such as the NZ tūī, bellbird and silvereye. By landing on a plant or sucking the nectar from a flower, and then moving on to the next, a bird can do the job usually done by bees.
  • Birds also spread seeds. They eat berries and then when they dispose of’ their waste, the berry seeds are disposed along with it. On islands like New Zealand a lot of the native plants and trees depend on birds to help spread their seeds to other areas, the NZ native pigeon (kererū) is very important in helping to spread the seeds of some of the large native berries in forest areas and trees, such as the kawakawa.
  • Birds are interesting to watch (see our binocular idea below).
  • They often have beautiful songs and bird calls.
  • They provide food for other animals and so help keep everything in nature in balance.

Here are some ideas for birds feeders you could make by reusing containers that may have ended up in the bin or landfill.

TOCK’s Drink Carton Bird Feeder

What you will need:

Clean used juice/milk carton
String
Scissors/sharp knife (ask an adult to help)
Marker Pen
Paints and Paintbrushes
Small sticks or strong lolly stick
Bird seeds
Decorations (extra small twigs, paint, bottle tops/lids…. (optional)

Instructions:

  • Draw windows shapes onto two sides of the milk carton with a marker pen.  Make sure the windows are at approximately 4 cm above the bottom of the carton.
  • Using the scissors cut the two windows out of sides of the juice/milk carton ( Ask an adult to help)
  • You can decorate the feeder – perhaps with recycled items like bottle lids – to make a face or decorate the carton to look like a little house. Get creative!
  • Perhaps ask an adult to help you poke a hole below one of the windows for a small stick or lolly stick to act as a perch.
  • Add some bird seed to the container.
  • Put a hole in the top of the container and attach some thin wire or string so you can hang your feeder outside where the birds and you can see it.

You could also use plastic milk bottles, soda bottles, aluminium pie plate or even simply a cardboard tube covered with a bit of peanut butter and bird seed as a feeder. Let your imagination run wild, as remember, it is your treat for the wild birds.

Here are the pie plate and cardboard tube bird feeders too. Don’t forget to add the bird food.

Home Made Binoculars

Watching birds and nature is really interesting. So why not make your own binoculars using two cardboard tubes. You can decorate and wrap these in scrap paper then add string to make a strap to hang them around your neck.

Don’t forget to look around for other fun ideas, facts and activities on TOCK.earth.