For the birds

WMS students create houses, feeders to help pollinators.

Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District District Manager John Shea helps fifth graders Vanessa Ortiz (center) and Yezmin Lopez-Perez (right) cut a hole in their plastic 2-Liter soda bottle to construct a bird house. (Alyssa Sobotka/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Area birds will benefit from this week’s summer school lesson at Worthington Middle School.

Led by the Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District and U of M Extension, approximately 100 fifth- and sixth-grade students recycled milk jugs and two-liter bottles of soda to create inexpensive bird houses and feeders.

“It’s something that students can hang up even if they live in an apartment,” said Nobles County SWCD District Manager John Shea. “They’ll be able to hang it up somewhere and watch the birds.”

Students were able to personalize their houses or feeders by drawing designs with markers on the outside of the plastic bottles. Several students chose a combination of sunshine, grass and rainbows to bring color to their houses.

With an abundance of bird feeders in her yard, fifth-grader Aileen Gonzalez chose to make a house so birds that have been making nests around the garage or house will have a more fitting home.


“I’ll hang it in a tree,” she said.

The instruction that tied into the school’s nature-themed summer session also taught students the importance of pollinators.

“They affect our everyday life,” said Shea of the need for pollinators in order to grow fruits and vegetables. “Bees aren’t the only pollinators. There are other bugs that do good work, too.”

Prior to this week’s construction, students also learned where to hang their bird feeders, what to feed birds according to season and the size hole that will attract different species. They were provided resources to look up bird species that may visit their feeders and homes, and also took home small bags of bird seed.

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