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Baloo's Bugle

March 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 8
April 2006 Theme

Theme: Our Feathered Friends
Webelos: Sportsman and Family Member
Tiger Cub


Sam Houston Area Council

Wolf Electives

  • Elective 13 – Birds
  • Elective 14 – Pets (bird pet)

Bear Achievements and Electives

  • Achievement 5 – Sharing your World with Wildlife
  • Achievement 9a – Make oatmeal cookies for the den
  • Elective 10 – papier-mâché bird masks
  • Elective 11b – photography of birds
  • Elective 12h – build a bird caller
  • Elective 13 – make a bird appear/disappear

Wildlife Conservation Belt Loop
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils

One of the requirements to earn the Wildlife Conservation Belt Loop is to make a report to the den about an endangered species including how the species came to be endangered and what is being done to save it. A presentation or summary of presentations could be made during the Pack meeting as well.

The following ideas are from California, but I ma sure there are similar places near where you live to accomplish this requirement. CD

ü The Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach is home for four Endangered species of birds including the Clapper Rail, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, California Least Tern, and the Western Snowy Plover. Information can be researched at the Wetlands Website at info@bolsachica.org

Another local bird to research is the California Condor at www.sandiegozoo.org

Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County is home to dozens of wintering bald eagles that can be seen perching on trees by the water, flying overhead, diving for fish, or stealing fish from osprey. There are two hour bird watching cruises available November through February Friday and Saturday also. For reservations contact (805) 686-5050.

Other Activities –
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils

The Great Backyard Bird Count. Although this annual event sponsored in part by the Audubon Society is held in February for people all over the country record bird sightings and report on-line to scientists at www.birdsource.org . The website has other birding activity suggestions for year round.

Project Feeder Watch. Set up a bird feeder and observe and count the birds that come to eat in your own yard. Check out the website for more details:

And maybe you want to help at the World Series of Birding You can put a team together and compete or you could help out a competing team with their logistics for the day.

Attracting Garden Birds
Sam Houston Area Council

When you make a special effort to identify the types of birds that inhabit your neighborhood, you will begin to recognize individual birds as old friends, and you will find yourself noticing interesting details about their behavior. You can start by taking a little trouble to attract birds to your garden even if you live in a town and the garden in only a small yard.

Build a bird table by nailing a large tray on top of a tall and unpainted wooden post that is standing up firmly in the ground—and out of reach of the local cats. Birds appreciate drinking facilities, and a place to bathe, so use (or make) a tray that is big and strong enough to support a shallow dish of water, which you must not allow to get too dirty.

Start to feed the birds in early autumn, and keep putting out fresh food throughout the winter. Provide more variety than bread crumbs. Avoid salty things. Various species of birds will eat boiled potato, melon and sunflower seeds, crushed dog-biscuit, chopped apple and oatmeal.

Smear a paste of bird seed and peanut butter onto a pine cone suspended from a string. Other things to hang up are crusts of bread and the hard animal fat—perhaps from a butcher’s shop—known as suet. You can also buy a net bag of nuts to hang under the tray.

Do not put your feeding station where birds will be continually disturbed by people. You might be able to convert a nearby window into a viewing “hole” by fixing up a sheet of cardboard with a slot to look through.

Questions and observations
Sam Houston Area Council

Get to know the names of the types of birds that visit your bird table. Use a good book with colored pictures. Visitors may include the robin, sparrow, finch, cardinal, blackbird and blue jay. Other visitors will depend on where you live and the time of the year. Activity will be brisk during a severe weather—you can consider designing a bird table with a roof. (image 3)

Notice how the different species approach your feeding stations. Do they fly up from the ground, from shrubbery nearby, or do they fly directly down? Do they come alone, or in groups? Which types of birds are “bullies”? How well do the birds get along with each other? Does a bird have special way of eating its food? Is there a connection between birds’ beaks and the food they choose?

Heart of America Council

Visit an aviary at the zoo.

Visit a wild life sanctuary

Visit an Audubon Society site

Heart of America Council

Collect food for animal shelter.

Clean up a park.

Heart of America Council

Bird Watching Hike: Describe the birds seen; size, coloring, beak type,, and where they are. Take a bird identification book or someone who knows birds.

Rules for Bird watching:
Heart of America Council

1. Look at the bird, not the field guide. The book will still be there in a few minutes, but the bird will move.

2. Avoid brightly colored clothes. Many birds have poor color vision but they'll see high contrast clothing.

3. Be quiet.

4. Avoid sudden movements - move slowly and smoothly.

5. Get the sun at your back.

6. Wait for the flicker of motion, then look there.

7. Work the flocks - a bunch of white-crowned sparrows may have something else among them.

8. Follow your ears. One calling bird can lead you to a whole group.

9. Look all around you - overhead and on the ground, as well as in the trees and bushes.

10. Try "spishing". Small birds are attracted to small squeaky noises. Make noises by kissing the back of your hand or making a low whistled noise through your closed teeth. Or clench your teeth, open your lips, and whisper the word "spish". A more sophisticated variant on this technique is to play a tape recording of an owl and wait for 'birds to come investigate this potential danger.

Mother’s Nature’s Housing Developments: How many animal homes can be found on the hike. Look for bird nests, cliff or barn swallows nests, squirrel nests, cocoons, insect galls, spider webs paper wasps nests, mud douber wasps’ nests, woodchuck burrow. It’s fair to count evidence of homes such as little mud casts made by earthworms and a long raised mound across a lawn made by a burrowing mole. A hollow tree might be the home of several animals – woodpeckers, owls, bats, or white footed mice. In a pond is near by, look for mud chimneys of crayfish built near shore. Award a prize to the boy who finds the most animal homes. Caution the boys not to remove or destroy these homes.

Pringles Can Feeder:
Sam Houston Area Council

  • Randomly cut 6 or so 1/2" holes in the sides of the Pringles can at various heights from bottom.
  • Punch a couple of small holes near the top of the can and insert an appropriate length of coat hanger to serve as the feeder hanger.
  • Wrap the can with heavy aluminum foil (temporary).
  • Heat 1/2 lb suet with 1 cup wild bird seed in a double boiler.
  • Pour into Pringles can and let cool.
  • After cooling, remove the foil and hang.
  • Watch the birds as they come for this treat

How To Make A Chicken(Turkey) Call:
Baloo’s Archives



  • 1 – 12 or 16 ounce plastic cup
  • 1 – two to three foot long piece of dental floss
  • 1 – 1 inch (approx) square piece of spongetape


  • Poke two small holes in the top of the plastic cup
  • Thread the dental floss up through the hole from inside the cup.
  • Then push end of dental floss back into cup through other hole.
  • Tie off dental floss inside cup. One end should be very short, the other very long

Alternate –From the top of the cup, push one end of the dental floss into the cup and then back out the top (cup bottom). Tie the dental floss together on top of the cup and then push the long end back through one of the holes into the cup

  • When cup is held with opening down, thread should be hanging down a foot or so more beyond the cup.
  • Tie the sponge to the floss (optional – but keeps Cubs from losing it)
  • Decorate cup if you wish
  • Dampen the sponge
  • Hold the cup in your non-dominant hand, using your dominant hand grab the dental floss with the folded sponge near the bottom of the cup and slide it down. You will get a turkey sound.
  • Use this for Bok, Bok, Bok when singing “Ghost Chickens” (See Songs)

How To Make A Bird Call:
Sam Houston Area Council


  • 1 – 2 inch piece of close-grained hardwood, a dowel rod from the hardware store will do fine.
  • 1 - “Chunky” eye-screw.


  1. Drill a hole slightly smaller in diameter than the screw threads in the end of the block. Do not drill all the way through the block.
  2. Insert and turn the screw eye into it until it is tight.
  3. Unscrew the eye, put some powdered rosin into the hole (perhaps purchase a pitchers’ rosin bag at the sports store).
  4. Reinsert the screw eye
  5. As you twist the screw eye back and forth in the hole, very slowly, you will make a chirp-chirp or trill in loud, clear notes.
  6. If you wish, paint or decorate the bird call with marking pen designs or your own initials.

With practice, this simple devise will product an astounding variety of bird noises.

Plastic Straw Duck Call:
Sam Houston Area Council

  • Flatten a large plastic straw. \
  • Then trim one end of the straw as in the picture.
  • This trimmed end is like a double-reed instrument mouthpiece.
  • Hold the trimmed end firmly between your lips and blow very hard to make the plastic vibrate together.
  • This will make a quacking noise like a duck.


Plastic Straw Slide Whistle: To turn the duck call above into a slide whistle, cut off a third of the length of the straw at the untrimmed end. Now slice this small piece of straw along its entire length. Insert this straw into the open end of the duck call and you can now slide it in and out to make different notes.

Plastic Straw Flute: Modify the Duck Call above with several fingering holes along the straw, to make a flute. The easiest way to make the holes is to pinch the straw and use a paper punch to make a half-circle punch, which forms round holes.

Wood Duck House:
Thanks to Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Sam Houston Area Council

Wood Ducks are an endangered species that can be found almost everywhere in the lower 48 states. They build nests near wetlands. Their nesting areas have special needs, and the houses are built with a door that rangers can use to clean the boxes each year after the nesting season is over.


  • 10½ feet of 1x10 lumber (cedar is best).
  • Hand drill and assemble with wood screws.


  1. Drill five ½” drain holes in the floor, and cover with 4-6 inches of wood shavings (not sawdust!).
  2. Drill the entry hole as a 3½”x 4½” oval.
  3. Make horizontal cuts on the inside of the front piece (kerf cuts) so that ducklings can climb out.
  4. Install on a steel pole in or near water, with a clear flight path.
  5. Be sure to add a predator guard to the pole.
  6. Don’t leave any sharp edges or exposed screws on the inside of the box.

Nest Makings
Heart of America Council

Birds spend a lot of time in the spring and early summer looking for nesting material. You can help them out

Materials –

Net bag for each Cub. The kind onions come in are perfect. An alternative is to buy a piece of netting, cut a circle out of it for each boy, and have them run a piece of yarn around the outside of the circle.


Fill the net bag with

  • Pieces of yarn,
  • String or twine of any kind,
  • Shiny plastic "icicles" that are sold for Christmas trees
  • Feathers,
  • Or any other suitable material you think of

Once the nest materials are in the netting,

  • Pull the yarn up tight and fasten, creating a small bag.
  • Hang the bag from a tree branch in the spring
  • Watch the birds make use of your offering.

Bird Feeder
Heart of America Council


  • 2 foil pie tins
  • 1 juice can (or other tin can) with top removed
  • Twine or nylon cord
  • Tools: Hammer Large nail
  • Can/bottle opener

  1. Turn the can so it is top down.
  2. Center the pie tin on the can.
  3. Using a large nail and a hammer, punch two holes through the pie tin and the can bottom.
  4. Use a can opener to make openings along the bottom of the juice can. Fold these as flat as possible (or cut off).
  5. Punch two holes through the other pie tin, about two inches apart.
  6. Thread the cord through the first pie tin and the bottom of the juice can, then pull it through the second pie tin.
  7. Tie a knot, leaving about a foot of hanging space.
  8. To fill the feeder, pull aside the top pie tin and fill the can with birdseed.
  9. Replace the pie tin and hang the feeder.

Bird's Miracle Meal
Heart of America Council

Place in a large mixing bowl:

  • 1 C. flour
  • 3 C. yellow cornmeal Add:
  • 2 C. melted suet (or lard, but not shortening or fat)
  • 1 C. melted peanut butter

Optional - chopped raisins or nuts.

Mix well.

Chill the mixture until it is thick enough to handle.

Use one of the following options for putting it out for the birds to enjoy:

1. Spread the mixture into pans until it is about 1" thick. Chill until hard, then cut into pieces. Place a piece inside a net bag such as oranges or onions come in, tie it closed and mount it against a tree trunk.

2. Cut a 6 to 12" piece from a small log. Drill some shallow holes in the log and set a screw eye in the top. Press the soft mixture into the holes and hang the log from a tree branch.

3. Force the soft mixture into existing holes or forks on a tree.

Leftover mixture will keep well in the freezer until you are ready to use it. This mixture will attract all the suet-eating birds - woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice.

Hang it up high enough, because the smell of the peanut butter will be attractive to your dog as well!

Berry Basket Bird Feeder
Heart of America Council


  • 2 plastic berry basket
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Peanut butter mixed with shortening;
  • String
  • Birdseed


  1. Tie the baskets together, bottom to bottom.
  2. Spread the peanut butter and shortening mixture on both sides of the bread.
  3. Dip in birdseed.
  4. Put a slice of bread into the bottom of each of the berry baskets.
  5. Hang the baskets with the string.

Binocular Tie Slide


  • 1/2" dowel, 2 pieces 1" long
  • 1/4" dowel, 2 pieces 3/8" long
  • 1/8" dowel, 1 piece 5/8" long
  • Black pipe cleaner, 2 1/2" long
  • Paint (black, white or blue)
  • Wood glue, coping saw, sandpaper
  • Drill - 1/4" and 1/8" bits .


  • Cut dowels to length .
  • Drill 1/4" hole in one end of each 1/2" dowel, slightly off center, about 1/8" deep.
  • Drill a 1/8" hole (for pipe cleaner) on underside at the same end as 1/4" hole.
  • Glue 1/4" dowel in the end holes of the 1/2" dowel.
  • Lay the two 1/2" dowels side by side about 1/16" apart with the two end holes to center.
  • Glue 1/8" dowel in place, one end even with the top of the 1/2" dowels.
  • Sand and paint black with lens; end white or blue.
  • Glue pipe cleaner ends in the two small holes to form slide.

I think I would glue a piece of PVC pipe on the back for the slide loop. CD

Bird’s Nest Neckerchief Slide
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Brown Yarn
  • 1 inch PVP pipe sliced at about ½ inch length or keychain ring
  • Tacky glue or low temp glue gun and glue stick
  • Poster board – dark brown or black
  • Crayola modeling clay - white
  • Scissors


1. Cut poster board into circles about the size of a quarter.

2. Cut yarn into ¼ inch pieces. For each bird nest you will need about 1 heaping tablespoon of cut up yarn.

3. Mix in about ½ teaspoon of Tacky Glue with the yarn pieces. Roll yarn and glue mixture together to form a ball. Add more glue if necessary. Flatten the ball a little. Press thumb into the middle to make the nest shape. Set on top of a circle of poster board.

4. Roll small pieces of Crayola modeling dough to make 3 small oval shaped eggs.

5. Use glue gun to attach the eggs to the nests.

6. Use hot glue gun to attach the back of the poster board to the pipe or ring.

Bird Feeder
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Empty, clean tuna or cat food can
  • Wooden stake – 24” – 36” tall
  • Piece of scrap wood – rectangle shape about 3 by 10 inches
  • Raffia
  • Paint
  • Paint brush


1. Nail the middle of the can to the top of the stake (the easiest way is to use a nail gun or staple gun)

2. Use whittling knife to make a point on the other end of the stake.

3. Paint the rectangle shape wood for a sign and paint the words “For the Birds” on the sign. For a longer more complicated project have the boys sand the wood before painting it.

4. Nail or staple the sign to the stake

5. Tie raffia around the stake above the sign

Cheerios Bird Feeder
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Big pipe cleaners
  • Cheerios


1. Hook one end of pipe cleaner and add Cheerios until 1 inch from top.

2. Bend pipe cleaner over Cheerios so they will stay on.

3. Make the pipe cleaner with Cheerios look like a J.

4. Hook over tree limb for birds to enjoy.

Plastic Jug Bird Feeder
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Large plastic jug such as a gallon milk container
  • Scissors
  • Twig
  • Bird seed or dry cereal
  • String


1. Cut out a large section of the front of the jug with scissors

2. Poke a hole on each side of the hole near the bottom of the jug

3. Push a sturdy twig through the holes on each side for the birds to use as a perch

4. Fill the bottom of the jug with bird seed or dry cereal.

5. Tie a string to the neck of the jug and hang it in a tree

Easy Birdhouse to Make
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Empty paper half-gallon mild carton
  • Masking tape
  • Stapler
  • Brown Shoe Polish
  • Scissors
  • Sharp pencil
  • Wire coat hanger


1. Get an empty paper half-gallon milk carton. Open up the top of the carton and wash and rinse it thoroughly. Let it dry.

2. Re-close the milk carton and staple it shut.

3. Get a roll of masking tape. Tear off 1-2" pieces of the tape and cover the entire milk carton. Overlap the pieces so that none of the carton shows.

4. Get brown shoe polish and a paper towel or rag. Rub the polish over all of the tape to make it look like brown bark. Let dry thoroughly.

5. Decide what type of bird you want to use the birdhouse. Look at the birdhouse specs page, and determine how large a hole to cut as well as how far from the floor the hole should be. Cut the entrance hole in the birdhouse.

6. Using a pencil, make several holes in the bottom of the carton for any rain to drain out. Also make several hole in the top of the carton to let heat and condensation escape.

7. Make a hole through the top of the house near the staples. Put a short piece of wire (perhaps from a clothes hanger?) through the hole to make a loop. Hang the birdhouse on a shepherd's hook (like what you use for birdfeeders) or on a tree branch.

Fruity Bird Feeder
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Grapefruit
  • Sharp knife
  • Metal spoon
  • Metal skewer
  • Yardstick
  • String
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 4 tablespoons birdseed
  • Large bowl


  1. Carefully slice the grapefruit in half with a sharp knife, and scoop out the inside of one half with a metal spoon.
  2. Punch 3 evenly spaced holes with metal skewer around circumference of grapefruit shell, about ½ inch away from the cut edge
  3. Measure and cut three 20 inch pieces of string. Knot them together at one end.
  4. Put the knot under the grapefruit, and push one string through each hole working from the outside in. Tie ends of the string together in a knot at the top.
  5. Stir together the peanut butter, cornmeal, and seeds in a bowl. Fill the grapefruit shell with the mixture.
  6. Hang the bird feeder from a tree branch.

Cereal Loop Bird Feeder
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • O shaped cereal
  • Yarn or string


  1. String O shaped cereal on lengths of yarn or string.
  2. Tie them like a necklace from a branch on a tree.

Fruit on a Stick
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Stick about 10 inches long
  • Apples or pears cut in half
  • String


  1. Cut the apple of pear in half
  2. Push the fruit half through the stick to the middle
  3. Tie string to each end of the stick
  4. Loop the string over a tree branch so the birds can perch on the stick while nibbling at the fruit.

North American Bird Feeding Chart
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils

Use this chart to decide what to put in the bird feeders you make.




Quail, Pheasants

Cracked Corn

Millet, Berries

Pigeons, Doves


Sunflower, Milo, Bread, Nuts, Cracked Corn, Thistle


Meat Scraps



Plant Nectar, Small Insects

Sugar Water, commercial instant nectars


Suet , Meat Scraps, Insects

Fruit, Nuts, Sunflower Seed , Sugar Water


Whole Peanuts, Peanut Kernels

Sunflower Seed, Suet, Bread Products, Cracked Corn

Crows, Magpies

Meat Scraps, Suet

Peanuts, Bread Products

Titmice, Chickadees

Peanut Kernels, Sunflower

Sunflower, Suet, Bread Products

Creepers, Nuthatches


Sunflower, Nuts, Cracked Corn, Bread



Peanut Butter, Bread Products, Apples

Mocking-birds, Thrashers

Halved Apples, Fruit

Bread Products, Suet, Sunflower Seeds, Nuts

Robins, Bluebirds, Thrushes

Suet, Mealworms, Berries, Water

Bread Products, Raisins, Currants, Nut Meal

Purple Martins

Mosquitoes, beetles, flies, moths

Insects, man-made shelter and a water source is important

Flycatchers Phoebes

Bees, wasps & Ants

Meal Worms



Bread Products


Suet, Suet Mix, Water

Fruit, Breads, Sugar Water Nut Pieces


Suet, Fruit

Sugar Water, Meal-worms, Bread Products

Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings

Sunflower Seed, Safflower

Safflower, Apples, Fruits, Suet, Millet, Breads, Peanut Kernels

Towhees, Juncos

Millet, Sunflower Seed

Cracked Corn, Peanuts, Bread, Nut Meats


Millet, Peanut Kernels, Suet

Bread Crumbs, Canary Seed, Sunflower Seed

Blackbirds Starlings

Cracked Corn, Milo, Bread, Suet

Millet, Suet, Breads, Cracked Corn, Nut Meats


Sugar Water, Fruit Pieces

Jelly, Suet, Soft Raisins, Orange Halves

Gold-finches, Finches

Thistle/Niger Seed, Sunflower

Hulled Sunflower, Millet, Fruits, Suet, Peanuts

Owls, Raptors

Small mammals, small lizards, snakes, birds


Trash Can Lid Bird Bath
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Old trash can lid
  • Section of old sewer pipe
  • Brick or rock
  • Rope


1. Fasten the brick to the lid of the trash can using the rope

2. Place the lid upside down on the pipe with the brick inside. The brick should be hanging inside the pipe without touching the ground so it can provide weight to hold the lid down

3. Add water

A birdbath can also be made by placing the trash can lid on the top of a tree stump.

Bird Bath:
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Wooden post – 48 inches long
  • 2 by 2 piece of wood – 20 inches long for a cross bar
  • 2 aluminum pie plates
  • 2 screws
  • 2 washers
  • paint
  • paint brushes


1. Paint the aluminum plates so they are not shiny

2. Screw the pie plates to either end of the 2 by 2 crossbar

3. Nail the cross bar to the post so that plates are 24 to 36 inches above ground

4. Fill one plate with water and one plate with bird seed

Nesting Supply Box for Birds
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Milk carton
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Dryer lint
  • Pet and people hair
  • Bits of yarn and string


1. Cut a flap on opposite sides of the carton about halfway down

2. wash the inside of the milk carton and allow to dry

3. Fold the flaps of the milk carton down to create a perch for the birds to land on

4. Thread a long piece of string through the openings. Tie the two pieces of string together with strong knots.

5. Fill the box with the items collected (dryer lint, hair, string, yarn, etc.) that birds can use to make a nest.

6. Hang the box outside in a tree.

Origami Mobile
San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach, Verdugo Hills Councils


  • Square paper in several colors (10 cm origami paper is best)
  • Floral wire or wire coat hanger
  • Wire cutter
  • Pliers
  • Thin string or thread
  • Tape

Picture Key
Blue line = crease
Red line = fold
Gray line is to make contrast so fold can be seen.


1. Crease along the blue line; fold in half from corner to corner along the red line.

2. Fold just top layer along red line.

3. Fold entire project in half along red line

4. Open top flap to make a point

5. Fold up first wing to form 90 degree angle between head and wing

6. Fold other wing to back in same way

7. Fold both wings down along red line to make bird to look as if it is flying. Fold front point in to form bird’s head.

8. Hang each bird from string attached at crease between wings

9. Make a cross out of floral wire and hang a bird from each end and one in the center from the intersections of the wires hang the birds from a wire coat hanger.

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