The 5 Spot

It’s April, and that means the waiting for spring is almost over. Two sure signs the winter is past: next month, Moscow’s Farmers Market will reopen! And, the birds who flew south for the winter are starting to return and soon we will wake each morning to their song. Here are five ways to commune with the birds as winter yields to spring this month.

1. I have found some lovely birdhouses at the Farmers Market. We enjoy the one we hung on our trellis in the backyard. You may also find a ceramic or mosaic birdbath here, or at Tri-State or another garden center. Birds get thirsty too! 

2. Gather the kids and make bird feeders to hang in your yard. We have made pinecone-peanut-butter-birdseed feeders by gathering pinecones on a walk around the neighborhood, then filling the spaces with peanut butter and rolling them in birdseed. Your local garden center will have a variety of birdseed mixes, to attract different kinds of birds. Attach some twine and hang from a branch, and watch the birds feast. 

3. It’s a great time of year to take up birdwatching. You could join a local club, head to the UI arboretum, or just sit out in your backyard. For information about local birding events, field trips, lectures and photo contests, check out the Palouse Audubon Society’s website, http://www.palouseaudubon.org. Or head out on your own, with this map of Moscow’s birding trail: https://idfg.idaho.gov/ifwis/ibt/site.aspx?id=32

4. Plant sunflowers and other seeds to attract and feed birds. The Co-op has a variety of flower seed mixes. 

5. Sign your child up for Carolyn Berman’s woodworking class this summer, through Moscow Parks and Recreation. For one week every August, she teaches children to build and paint a birdhouse all their own. 

So grab your binoculars or your hammer or your gardening gloves, and get to work welcoming the birds. Here’s wishing you many happy hours communing with the birds this spring.