In Search of One Photo

I’ve been looking through box after box of old photographs in photo albums (remember those?) for that one photo of our children hand feeding birds (mentioned in my previous post).  Much to my dismay, that one  particular photo was missing as well as the negative.  The photos were pre-digital (1990’s).  It was actually the year 2001- quasi digital.  I found a 3.5″ floppy disk that contains the one sought after photograph. Unfortunately we do not have any “old” technology in the house any more that will enable us to view the pictures.

After sharing my frustration to anyone in the house who would listen, I decided that the sought after photograph must be in our kid’s home school portfolios in the attic. (More boxes!) While I would love to get my hands on that one  photograph, I do not want to go up in the attic. It is winter and flippin’ cold plus I just can not handle going through more boxes at least for now.  So this picture below and my description will have to do…

Hand feeding birds 2001 edit2

Oh! So close! Can you find the Tufted Titmouse? (Photo taken with my Canon AE -1. Pre digital era 2001. Now scanned.)

How To Hand Feed The Birds 101 : The best of my recollection since my memory is stored in the attic

  • Set up bird feeders to attract birds to your yard
  • Wait and watch for about two weeks
  • In the mean time, gather old clothing: a pair of pants, a shirt, hat, gloves or mittens and a fabric bag. Make sure the gloves or mittens you use on your non-scare-crow will be the same color as the one your child will use to feed the birds. Out of this you will make a “scare-crow” (but not scary) by stuffing the pants and shirt with news paper.  The fabric bag is used for the head and will need stuffed too. 
  • After two weeks, place your non-scare-crow under or near your bird feeders and place bird seed in the glove (or mitten) of the non-scare-crow.
  • Wait and watch for about two weeks.  Continue to place bird seed in the glove on the non-scare-crow and watch to see which birds are most curious!
  • After two weeks, the regular birds at your feeder may be ready for the next step which is a little human sitting next to the non-scare-crow quietly and motionless.
    • Do this at the same time every day for about a week starting with five minute intervals increasing the time every other day or every day.
    • During the second week, add bird seed to your child’s glove or mitten (do not forget the non-scare-crow too). Day by day add more bird seed to your child’s glove or mitten while placing less and less bird seed in the glove or mitten of the non-scare-crow.
  • While your little human is sitting with bird seed in his or her hand, have your child watch and listen.  This is most exciting for all when curious birds draw closer and closer to your child.  Make sure you have your camera!

Watching birds in your back yard is a wonderful way for you and your children to sharpen observation and questioning skills.  With persistence and patience you and your child will be delighted when, finally, a bird lands on or near your child’s gloved hand!

  Points to ponder while watching attracting birds to your back yard:

  • Which bird was the first to discover your feeder?
  • What time of day do birds visit your feeder?
  • Is your feeder busier in the morning, afternoon or evening?
  • Which birds prefer to eat on the ground and which birds prefer to each from a perch?
  • Which birds are “neat” and which birds are “messy”?
  • How do birds communicate to each other?
  • Do beaks dictate which seeds a bird eats?

 Have fun!

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