bird watching
Nora Cullinen

Nora Cullinen

Take a Closer Look at Birds in Your Neighborhood, Learn About Local Climate, & Recycle Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

With just four materials (see instructions below), you can make your own bird feeder and watch birds in your neighborhood! Recognizing and noticing the different types and numbers of bird species in your area can be a sign of how the local climate is behaving. Climate change does a lot more than just heat up our planet, it can also cause more intense weather, including floods, heatwaves, and droughts. This extreme weather can be trouble for birds.

Birds are an important part of our natural environment. They serve as pollinators, seed dispersers, natural pest controllers, and they help maintain the delicate balance between plant and herbivore, predator and prey. Birds play an essential role in a healthy and harmonious ecological community, and it’s important that their habitats are preserved. For over 60 years, Greenbelt Alliance has been working to ensure our natural lands and open spaces are protected, safeguarding wildlife corridors and precious ecosystems. 

In the 1970s, Greenbelt Alliance helped establish Suisun Marsh, the largest contiguous brackish (saltwater and freshwater mixed together) water marsh remaining on the west coast of the United States. The Suisun Marsh serves as a resting and feeding ground for thousands of waterfowl migrating on the Pacific Flyway and provides essential habitat for more than 221 bird species, 45 mammal species, 16 different reptilian, and amphibian species, and more than 40 fish species. The Marsh supports sensitive plant species such as the Suisun thistle, which is a Marsh endemic and found nowhere else in the world. Keeping these habitats healthy is extremely important to help reduce climate change stressors for wildlife and their ecosystems. 

So now that you know how critical birds are to our environment and the Bay Area, I hope you’ll enjoy making a bird feeder! With a feeder in your backyard, you can watch your local feathered friends up close, and listen to their soothing songs.

How to Make a Bird Feeder

Materials you’ll need:

  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Some string
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bird Seed 
bird feeder

Step 1: Punch two holes on one end of the toilet paper roll using a pencil. Make sure the holes are across from each other so that you can put a string through it.

Step 2: Put a string through both holes. Tie the loose ends of the string together (so that you can hang it later).

Step 3: Spread peanut butter all around the outside of the toilet paper roll.

Step 4: Pour the birdseed onto a plate or other flat surface.

Step 5: Roll the toilet paper roll in the birdseed. Make sure the seeds stick to the outside!

Step 6: Hang your new bird feeder outside near a window so you can see it from inside. 

Step 7: Wait for birds to come and feast on your fancy new bird feeder!

Learn more about birds and climate change here.

Header Photo: Don McCullough via Flickr

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