For months, our beautiful, tranquil Garden Classroom has been overwhelmed by the terrible noise coming from road work being done on Highway 101 that backs up to the school property. As we approach spring, the noise has finally dissipated and we have heaved a great sign of relief! We are particularly grateful because many children have been working on several projects to welcome the song birds back to the Garden Classroom. Although a couple of crows show up regularly scrounging up leftovers from the children from the transition class who eat lunch in the Garden Classroom while waiting for their brothers and sisters from the 5 day class get out of class, we have not seen a single sign of any song birds nibbling from our feeders.
To help the birds feel welcome, I have offered several resources to entice the children to learn more about birds and their behaviors and invite them to create some amenities to make the birds want to visit and enjoy their stay.
A favorite book, Smithsonian: Bird Watcher by David Burnie has provided many ideas for attracting birds and inspired our young naturalists from the 3 Day afternoon class to create a simple bird bath. This book also inspired several children to create hanging bird feeders using plastic water bottles. .
I have invited the children to take a close look at several bird’s nest I have collected and invited them to create a list of materials the birds used to make their nests. We have started to gather similar items and put them in a metal suet holder as a way to provide nesting materials for our new (hopefully!) birdie friends.
One of the more ambitious and creative projects is creating a welcome sign for the birds that lets the birds know that food is available. This sign will include messages such as, “Birdies! Have food there!”, “Eat it! It’s good for you!” and “Only birds!”
Besides providing food, shelter and water for birds and butterflies we have met the needs to qualify to be certified as a wildlife habitat for the National Wildlife Federation! I will be filling out the form and in the process, provide pictures of our beautiful environment and tell the story of how the children of Hanna have created a lovely, TRANQUIL refuge for the wildlife AND people!