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Indian Nations CouncilThe Greatest Show on Earth

Use the nail to poke a hole in the middle of the bottom of each container. Poke a hole in the middle of the big container's lid. Thread nylon string through all the pieces as shown. The big container, turned upside down, makes the roof. The straw threaded on the string, helps to hold up the roof. The small container is the dish of food. The lid of the big container is a tray at the bottom. When all parts are threaded, tie a knot in the string to keep them all together. Then tie the string to a tree branch and fill the dish with birdseed.

Bird Feeding Tips

If you can, set up two or three bird feeding stations. Some birds are bullies. Once they find an eating spot, they will drive other birds away. If there are several eating places, all the birds have a better chance to get their share. Once you start feeding the birds, DON'T STOP. They will come to depend on you for food. If you stop suddenly in the winter, they may starve.

Who Likes What

Sunflower Seeds: Jays, cardinals, chickadees, goldfinches, nuthatches, sparrows

Millet:Juncos, sparrows, goldfinches

Peanuts:Jays, chickadees, goldfinches

Suet and bacon fat:Woodpeckers, chickadees, starlings

Puddles Ponds And Streams

Approach a pond quietly. Walk slowly and keep your body low. When you get to the edge of the pond, sit quietly. Any animal you may have disturbed will resume its normal activities when it feels no more movements.  Close your eyes and listen for the different sounds, then open your eyes and look for ripples on the water's surface. Before long you may see turtles and bugs that need oxygen. They come to the surface, take a gulp of air, then dive back under.

To make exploring along the waters edge FUN, take along a strainer (like a fish net), a magnifying glass, some jars with lids, plastic cartons and a pond viewer (water scope) to use as you look down in the water.

To Make A Pond Viewer

Cut a big hole in the bottom of a plastic carton. Cover the top with clear plastic wrap and hold it in place with a rubber band. You lower this end into the water and look through the other end.

Instead of a plastic carton, take a large can and use a can opener to remove the top and bottom. Tape the cut edges and use a rubber band to hold a piece of clear plastic over one end.

Use your pond viewer for a clearer view of underwater life. Go on a pond safari. Watch the surface for movement. Many creatures are able to use the surface film to support their bodies. Look for water striders skimming along and tiny springtails bouncing on the surface. Whirligig beetles spin around like dodgems on the water as they search for food. All these creatures dart away the moment the surface of the water is disturbed. Look for free-swimming pond creatures like water boatmen, backswimmers and red water mites. Daphnia and Cyclops swim rapidly in bursts to 'jump' through the water, which is why they are often called 'water fleas'. These are the skimmers. Diving beetles and backswimmers come regularly to the surface to replenish the bubble of air they carry on their bodies. They do this because they cannot get enough oxygen to breathe from the water, although their larvae have gills and live entirely in the water.

Different animals keep to particular areas of the pond. If you dip with your net half in the water, you will collect those animals which live on or hang just below the surface. Sweep your net through the water and empty the contents into the large container of water. Sort out your 'catch' by transferring the bugs to a jar. Pond creatures like to hide, so don't put any weeds, dead leaves, sticks or stones into the containers. Now the bugs are easier to view, take closer look using a magnifying glass.

Bugs, Bark, Birds, and BoysPage X

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