Build a Birdfeeder at Shangri La March 5

Another Saturday adventure is coming up!

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center will host Build a Birdfeeder on Saturday, March 5, as part of its Saturday Adventure Series program. Just in time for the vacationing birds to return from their winter destination, guests will learn how to use items from around the house to construct a lovely new home for the birds.

Part-time educator and Shangri La volunteer Wanda Woods will lead the adventure, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Shangri La’s lab.

Like all activities in Shangri La’s Saturday Adventure Series, Build a Bird Feeder is free to the public.

“All ages are welcome, from great-grandmas to little bitty ones — everybody always has a nice time,” said Woods.

Items used in constructing the birdfeeders range from all kinds of unlikely every-day objects: strainers, colanders, milk jugs, plastic containers and baby food jars, just to name a few.

“We’ll use the test-tubes from corsages and decorate them with buttons, flowers or beads,” said Woods. Guests will leave the activity with not one but two birdfeeders, and hopefully with the incentive and the knack to try their hands at creating truly unique birdfeeders on their own.

“I was reading the other day, they’ve even had one made out of a hubcap,” Woods mused. “We’re trying to encourage people to get creative — Easter’s coming up, and you have these beautiful Easter baskets, and what are you going to do once you’re finished with them?”

Woods also added that those who become exceptionally involved with the progress and traffic at their new projects will find that their feeders attract birds of all different kinds.

“I’ve got a woodpecker that seems to love my hummingbird feeder,” Woods laughed. “I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t keep it full, then I caught that woodpecker; he can get his little tongue down there.”

Meanwhile, the more patient bird-watcher can build a friendship with his winged visitors.

“Some of these can be little hand-feeders — you can actually go out and hold a little test-tube, and they’ll come right up to you. I’ve had the most luck with the hummingbirds.”

Throughout the activities, Woods will also provide guests with some tips including how to keep the feeder clean, how to select a good location and a few helpful hints about saving energy.

“One good tip is when you boil eggs for potato salad or something, take the water and use it with the sugar water because the egg shells leak out a little bit of calcium and it helps the birds during nesting season,” Woods suggested.

The Examiner was curious to know how on earth Woods knows so much about birds.

“Being out here at Shangri La,” she replied. “Every day on the job, I learn more and more.”

Upcoming adventures in the series include Written in the Sky on March 12 and Invaders from Plantae on March 19.

More information about Shangri La’s Saturday Adventure Series can be found at shangrilagardens.org or by calling (409) 670-9113.

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