Archive for April 22nd, 2010

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to give you a fun recycling activity for you and your family. Typical backyard birds don’t know the difference between a fancy bird feeder and one that is homemade.  Save your money and create a feeder out of your empty milk cartons.  By recycling a milk carton and turning it into a homemade craft, your kids can make new-feathered friends!

Be sure to dig up an old pair of binoculars and invest in a bird identification book to keep handy when you put up your feeder.  It is always fun to encourage your children to keep a diary of the birds that visit your new bird feeder.

Skill Level: Moderately easy
Time involved: 2 hours

What You Need:

  • Milk carton
  • Popsicle sticks
  • 1 dowel stick
  • Glue
  • Stapler and staples
  • Masking tape
  • Brown paint (non-toxic)
  • Scissors or a knife (and adult assistance)
  • Twine
  • Birdseeds

Step-by-Step Guide of What to Do:

  1. Clean and dry the milk carton thoroughly.
  2. Staple the top of the carton shut.
  3. Take the masking tape and wrap the entire outside of the carton with it.
  4. (WITH ADULT ASSISTANCE)  Cut openings on opposite sides of a clean carton and coat with nontoxic paint over the masking tape on the carton, which will make the birdhouse look more like wood. (Make sure it is non-toxic paint because when it rains, the paint can drip or even chip and you don’t want the birds pecking at toxic paint!)
  5. Glue Popsicle stick shingles onto the roof (the top of) the milk carton.
  6. For a perch, poke holes below the openings and slip a dowel through the holes.
  7. Fill the bottom of the feeder with birdseed mix. (You can make your own mix by combining a variety of nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, millet, thistle seeds and yellow corn.)
  8. Poke a hole through the top of the feeder, and string a piece of twine through the hole.
  9. Then hang the feeder with twine in a spot that’s easy to see from the house or at least 20 feet away, but far enough away from fences or posts to prevent other animals.


  • A quart size carton works perfect because it is not too large and holds a good amount of food.
  • Check your bird feeder regularly and refill as needed.
  • If you have a lot of squirrels in your backyard, you might want to invest in a squirrel-proof pole birdfeeder.

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Office life can bring hours of munching, lots of caffeine, and a whole lot of sitting so we do our best to get outside and exercise at least once a day.  A good portion of our staff enjoys lunchtime walks around our quaint, industrial local. Two of my co-workers, TC and Dennis, took one such walk today, but received something a little extra than they had bargained for.

Dennis and TC after their surprise run in the rain and hail

The weather forecaster had predicted it was going to rain today, along with thunderstorms throughout the area.  Before TC and Dennis’ walk, it had appeared there were only partial cloudy skies, and they didn’t think twice about stepping out for their usual walk.  About halfway through their normal route, a swift moving storm blew in and the sky opened up and poured!  Needless to say, they started RUNNING and made it back to the office, only to be thoroughly soaked from head-to-toe, and a little beat up from the hail!  TC reported, “At first it was just sprinkling and then [it] just let loose!”  Fortunately, they both live very close to the office, and they were able to drive home and get a dry change of clothes!

Moral of the story: listen to the weather forecaster…and never rely on your California weather “instincts” no matter how long you have lived here!

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What makes this beautiful little angel,  Harbour (6 months), happier than sitting in a sea of candy?  Absolutely nothing.

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