Our Furry And Feathered Friends

Being a Stay At Home Mom, you naturally spend a lot of time at home and indoors. You might even spend most of your time there. Finding fun things to do while at home for you and your children can be challenging. But there are activities that are both fun and educational. Getting a little better acquainted with the local "wildlife" is one of them.

You might live in an area that abounds with all sorts of animals and wildlife. The US is a natural habitat for thousands of species, so wherever you live, you're probably sharing the space with a least a few varieties of critters. If your area is home to bears, wolves, mountain lions, cougars, alligators and the like, getting up close and personal isn't advisable, obviously. However, there are probably other smaller and less threatening creatures around you that would be fun and educational for you and your children to observe.

One member of the animal kingdom that is always entertaining to watch and learn about is our feathered friend, the bird. Birds are everywhere. No matter where you live, there will be birds there. Some parts of the country or various places on the globe are home to an amazing variety of birds, while others not so many. Still, if you're in a high rise apartment in New York City or one of the Hawaiian islands, you'll have birds to observe.

A bird feeder is loads of enjoyment for adults and children! You can hang a feeder almost anywhere, fill it with the appropriate type of birdseeds, and watch the fun begin! Before putting up your feeder and buying food for it, you should ascertain what varieties of birds will probably be visiting the feeder and what sorts of diet they prefer. Like humans, birds have preferences, too, as to which type of food they eat. Titmice, nuthatches, cardinals and chickadees love black oil sunflower seeds. Sparrows enjoy millet. Doves will flock to corn. Woodpeckers and many other birds consider suet a gourmet treat. There are birds that love fruit, too, such as robins, bluebirds and mockingbirds. To attract the beautiful little hummingbirds, you need sugar water.

Once you've determined what kinds of birds will likely visit your feeder and what to fill it with, the next step is to choose the bird feeder itself. If you live in an area where squirrels are plentiful, be aware that they are ingenious at robbing your bird feeders. There are feeders available that are squirrel proof, and if squirrels will be a problem, this is the kind you should purchase.

Put your feeder or feeding station where it can be easily observed from a window. That way, even on the coldest, rainiest or snowiest days, you and your kids will be able to enjoy watching the birds come to eat. Besides that, the birds will thank you for it, too, as winter is a hard time for most to find food. Watching birds, seeing how they interact with each other....squabble over or share food....noticing which birds are bullies and food piggies and which are always polite and dainty in their eating habits is entertaining and a learning experience about our feathered friends.

Squirrels: If, as mentioned above, you have an abundance of squirrels living around you and keeping them out of your bird feeder is a problem, why not put out a feeder for them, too, of their own? As the saying goes, if you can't beat 'em, feed 'em! There are several types of squirrel feeders. You can choose one that mounts to a tree, a platform feeder, or just feed them on the ground. Squirrel food is available, too, that is formulated to be especially tasty and appealing to these frisky little scamps. Having their own food might help keep them busy and distract them from your bird feeder. Squirrels are amusing little animals. You and your children will enjoy watching their antics!

It's refreshing to have an activity such as feeding birds and squirrels, something that offers you and the kids the experience of observing our feathered and furry friends! Try it, you'll like it!