Outdoor Classroom: It's Time to Put Out Nesting Materials for the Hummingbirds!


JANUARY! It's time to put out nesting materials for the hummingbirds. They start making their nests and laying eggs this time of year. And, I am sure we all want little baby hummingbirds in our yards! 

I love these "nesting rings" that really turn out to be pretty "wreaths" when you hang them on your fence. I have found them at  WILDBIRDS UNLIMITED , one of my all-time favorite places to shop and there is a brick-and-mortar near my house. (Check out the link!) But, there is also an on-line store with a wonderful selection of fun things to have in your Outdoor Classroom, or backyard garden. (Like the child-friendly hummingbird feeder in the picture below and also the wonderful nesting materials the children are stuffing into the ring.) 

And, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Amazon has all these supplies as well!
Here are the links:
Wild Bird Nesting Wreath

Hummzinger Feeder

Wild Bird Nesting Materials Refill

This is an absolutely fabulous "Whole Hand Transfer" activity for you Montessorians out there. And, you can easily see how stuffing nesting materials into the ring can be done by even the smallest of children. What a very fun way to strengthen those muscles of the hand that are needed for writing! As you can see from the photo, this activity works well with a small group, as well.  

I just really love how this "nesting-ring-wreath-ornamental" looks hanging on the fence in the garden. You can even add color if you want by giving the children little bits of yarn, or colored papers, or even torn bits of cloth. I always make sure the objects stuffed into the ring are natural and have no harmful inks or dyes in them.  And, I keep this wreath packed with nesting materials throughout the Spring season as other birds like these materials for their nests as well. It is a real treat to be in your garden and suddenly see a bird swoop down and grab something from the nesting ring and fly away as fast as it can! You may even get a glimpse of where the bird is building its nest! 

I have to confess that I have only seen a hummingbird collecting from my nesting ring once! And, actually, I have read that the favorite nesting materials of "hummers" are cob webs! However, I still love to put stuff in the ring that I think a hummingbird might like...and I know you will see plenty of other larger birds snatching little nesting bits later in the season (from about mid-Feb. through to June sometimes!) The way to ensure that you will have birds visiting your nesting ring is to set up a habitat for birds in your outdoor environment. Watch for upcoming posts about that topic!

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