By Troy Corley
That's right, February is a month for the birds. It's officially National Bird Feeding Month, and you can get the scoop on feeding your feathered friends during this frosty time at the National Bird-Feeding Society's Web site: www.birdfeeding.org. Feeding wild birds takes more than just throwing a few crumbs their way. Create a bird-friendly back yard with the site's nest egg of information, from types of seed and nectar to bird feeders and sources of water.
Crafting a bird feeder can be creative and easy. Homeschoolzone.com, Kidsdomain.com and Enviro-explorers.com offer very simple ones using day-old bread, a bagel and a pine cone, while FamilyFun.com gives instructions for a colorful craft using a milk carton. Find more bird feeder ideas at birding.about.com. Got hummingbirds? Go to Hummingbirds.net for feeding tips.
Wonder what birds are snacking at your feeders? Wing it to Whatbird.wildbird.com. By clicking on the site's bird attributes - including color, size and what type of feeder you have - even kids can find what they're looking for in the 990-bird database.
February also hosts the Great Backyard Bird Count. You can officially join the count and help scientists keep track of birds, or just do it for fun and learn more about ornithology in the process. Glide to www.birdsource.org/gbbc/learning. You can also start planning for a special at-home science project next year by visiting Project FeederWatch at www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw.
To continue the theme, print out realistic bird coloring pages at www.coloring.ws/birds5.htm. At www.kidzone.ws/geography/usa you can find your state's official bird and print out a coloring sheet that details the bird's specific coloring.