Belvedere birds well taken care of, thanks to 5th grader

Andrew B Wahl feederAround Thanksgiving every year, as the plants are dying back and the temperatures are dropping, we put out the bird feeders on the school grounds. We keep them out until around spring break, when there’s plentiful food for the birds in the woods and gardens.

This year, Belvedere’s birds have their own advocate in fifth-grader Andrew B, who has been helping me fill the feeders and keep an eye on the birds. We have several stops on our weekly replenishment route: the first grade windows, which all have small feeders suctioned to them; the open courtyard by the trailers, and the outdoor classroom courtyard, where there is a regular feeder, a tray feeder and a suet feeder. Yesterday, Andrew put a new feeder on Ms. Wahl’s classroom window, a special treat because he’ll be able to see it from inside his classroom.andrew and suet feeder

Just before winter break, Andrew gave the school a gift: a hummingbird feeder. It will be ready and waiting for the ruby-throated hummingbirds when they return to Northern Virginia in early April. Thank you, Andrew, for the gift and for taking care of our wildlife! Thanks also to Fairfax Master Naturalist Kate Luisa, who gave us some bars of  homemade suet. The woodpeckers and songbirds love it.

If you’d like to feed the birds in your yard this winter, here are some tips from Audubon about how to pick a feeder, what kind of seed to pick and how to sidestep those annoyingly (and sometimes hilariously) acrobatic squirrels. The most important things are to keep your feeders clean and avoid bird seed that’s heavy on milo, wheat and oats because the feeder birds mostly toss these to the ground in favor of something they like better. Click here to learn more about which seeds attract which birds.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Tara R on January 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Good for you, Andrew B!

    Reply

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