Take a Winter Walk

Look for seasonal changes and make a wildlife feeder!

Published on January 22, 2021

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By Mrs. Farnham (teacher, mom, CMoR member)

Are you looking for a cure to winter boredom? Taking a nature walk as a family is a great way to burn off energy and observe the changes winter brings. I take walks around my neighborhood and at nearby parks frequently with my children. They like to bring their nature bags, which are really just repurposed grocery bags, to collect nuts, leaves, rocks, and any other interesting things they find. We talk about what we see and what we don’t see. In winter, we see an absence of leaves and animals. Many plants and animals are dormant (asleep) or less active in winter. Watch this video to get some ideas about things to look for on your walk. 

Winter Wildlife Feeder

Be sure to look for a pine cone while you are on your walk. We will use this to make our winter wildlife feeder. Look for a pine cone like that one below that has opened because it holds more seeds.

Many animals like birds and squirrels benefit from feeders in the winter due to the lack of seeds and fruit. Providing food helps them survive the winter and be more prepared for having young in the spring. It is also so fun to watch what animals come to your feeders after you make them.

Materials

Pine cones

Peanut butter

Bird seed

Yarn, string, or twine

Butter knife

Instructions

Tie your string to the top of the pine cone in order to hang it when done.

Use the knife to apply the peanut butter to the pine cone. You can be as messy as you want with this – just try to cover the whole cone.

Pour the bird seed over the pine cone and repeat as necessary so the whole cone is covered.

Hang your feeder near a window so you can watch to see what animals visit.

Our feeders have been visited by many curious birds and squirrels. My son has named the squirrel who seems visit the most!

Trees at CMoR

If you enjoyed observing nature and the seasons, be sure to check out the Apple Tree Exhibit  at the downtown CMoR location and the Berry Bush Exhibit at the Chesterfield location. My kids can retrieve berries and apples endlessly at these exhibits. Make connections by asking: What season are these exhibits showing? Why don’t we have any fruit on trees or bushes in winter?

As always, please share this post and pictures of your wildlife feeders  with us on Facebook or Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you find!

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