Great Project Overview for Virtually any Organized Kids’ Group: Doing good in your community!
Birds For Brains How To:
Birds For Brains is such a rewarding program for kids, seniors and coordinators alike (the birds too!). If done right it will not take much funding at all to start and run.
– First Off and Most Importantly the Volunteers– BFB is set up specifically to get kids of any age involved. Daycares, scout groups, 4H, classrooms or any group with kids at any age (or if you just have one child that you would like to get accustomed to doing good for the community.) At least one adult to plan and implement the program is needed or a group of adults such as an Audubon Chapter to oversee the children.
– The Site- The easiest step is to find a place to visit and set up the bird feeders. Nursing or Assisted Living Homes, a retirement home or a single family home with a senior or disabled individual are in every neighborhood and will welcome the program and the enrichment that comes with it.
– Bird Feeders- Many ways to keep the costs down, BFB was initially set up to recycle wood from discarded fence panels or scrap that can be found around town. This idea was thought of not only to recycle and help the environment but also to have another hands on activity for the youth. Any fencing or construction company can direct you to scrap wood that could be used and Google is great to find Do-it-yourself plans to build the feeders.
We have not yet built any feeders for the program because once word got out about the program donations of feeders were given. We immediatley received a couple from the local Audubon Society Chapter and then as we approached Critters Feed and Seed to fill the feeders they to donated many feeders, not to mention the Birdhouse Chick donating 2 large rainbow finch feeders.
– Seed- If you live in a larger community you have a feed store in the area that you can approach. This is great on so many areas, you are starting a relationship with a local company and shopping local (rather than the big box stores), the seed will be of the best quality, and the relationship you start will help the local seed store by spreading the word that they have helped a good cause out and hopefully will attract new business.
Critters Feed and Seed in Moorhead, MN has been a wonderful partner and I cannot thank them enough!! When possible they get ‘sweepings’ from their seed supplier that would otherwise go to waste. This causes some additional work for the supplier and the vendor but when they hear that the seed is going to the Birds For Brains program they will be happy to offer the help. I have to mention that at times ‘sweepings’ are not available and Critters has been more than kind to donate seed off the shelf!
If you do not have a seed store contact a grain elevator, local pet store or any location that offers bird seed. Make sure you explain where the seed is going and the Mission of BFB.
– Visiting the Site- We ask that you stop by once a week or at the very least every other week to fill the feeders, clean the bird baths and spend some time visiting and interacting with the residents. Make sure that the activities coordinator knows when you will be there. Get involved and play games do activities or just visit.
This may be too much of a committment for some, so get a couple families or groups together and take turns at the site. If you have a few get together a once a month committment won’t be any trouble, but most kids that get involved will probably want to do it more often
Bird Feeder and Birdhouse Kits are also an inexpensive option for starting a site in your area.
For more information, please visit 3littlebirdsonline.com website.