Student Life, Environmental Studies and Sciences

Whether it’s to feed our feathered friends who stick around all year, or those who head back up north after migrating to warmer climes for the winter, Siena Saints are taking a page out of St. Francis’ book by becoming campus “bird buddies.”

One year ago, Jessica Dupont '22 “hatched” the idea for campus bird feeders with Dyann Serravillo, club coordinator in Student Life. They thought it might be a fun activity for Try it Tuesday that would also support the educational mission of the Environmental Club. 

They scoped out possible campus locations for the feeders: spots with tree cover that were far enough away from walking paths but close enough that people could appreciate the wide variety of bird species that touch down at the Quad.

“We thought this would help students interact with local wildlife while increasing campus beautification and helping our mental health,” said Dupont. “It's a simple project that benefits many people.” 

Two feeding stations were set up last Earth Day, one near Roger Bacon Hall and the other near Nigro Family Plaza. The feeders, poles, squirrel baffles and food supplies are purchased through the Environmental Club. Volunteers called "bird buddies" refill the feeders with black oil sunflower seed, nyjer seed, and suet once or twice a week, to attract cardinals, jays, sparrows, chickadees and more. Squirrels are encouraged to dine elsewhere.

“Birds have a harder time accessing food under snow, so our feeders are extremely important in the survival of local birds during the colder months,” she said.

Dupont said Kylie Hilborne '25  has been dubbed the “chief bird buddy,” and gets frequent assists from Erin Herring '24 throughout the academic year, even when the snow is piled high. 

“I would have never imagined being a bird buddy during college, but it is a way for me to learn more about my community and to give back to the flying members who are part of it. I absolutely love it!”

Kylie Hilborne '25