As a family of novice hikers exploring the San Marcos trails, we find ourselves more perceptive of the nature around us. We are drawn to listening to the different sounds and observing details like the differences in trees, flowers, insects, and birds. Bird watching has become part of our hikes as we grow into being more “nature-wise.” We purchased small binoculars for the children as they became interested in identifying the birds located on the trails. With those, they were able to focus on the bird’s distinctive feather colors, size, foot details, beak shapes, and nest sites.
Birdwatching is now a topic of our conversation while outdoors, Nayeli loves to spot the different colors of birds, and Nate enjoys learning about migration and habitats. We have since purchased a hummingbird feeder and enjoy watching a family of sparrows building their nest in our backyard. As a next step, we decided to create homemade bird feeders to attract more birds to our garden. We hope to enjoy their music and learn more about the native birds around us. Building a birdfeeder takes only a few simple items and creativity. This is a special opportunity for families to birdwatch together, listen to bird songs outdoors, and spend time identifying birds with your family.
Because many birds eat an assortment of insects, including spiders, mosquitoes, and bugs, having birds in your yard can act as natural pest control. It’s also a great way to engage children in an appreciation for nature. Interacting with birds, listening to their different songs, and working outdoors to improve their habitat by creating bird-friendly landscaping can also help promote personal well-being and relieve stress for all members of the family.
We are looking forward to joining a guided sunrise hike and birdwatching in San Marcos. These hikes are held on the first Saturday of every month in various parkland areas.
Items needed to create your own homemade birdfeeder:
- Sliced apples
- Natural smooth peanut butter
- Bird seed
- Slice apples into rings, remove the core, thread twine through the hole, and loop in Cheerios.
- Spread the apple slices with peanut butter.
- Dunk into birdseed so it sticks to the peanut butter.
- Hang them in your garden and enjoy birdwatching!
Written by SMGA member Christina Casas-Moreno.