Andrew, my 12-year-old son, has the week off of school. We did some traditional school’s-out activities, such as going to the movies, bowling, and just hanging around, but we set aside one day to work in the yard. (Well, I set it aside. He likely would not have chosen chopping and stacking wood as a day-off activity.)
But there we were: Chopping away and stacking them up. I broke out the chainsaw to cut some logs to fireplace length. There was one particularly large piece of wood so I decided to cut off a thin circle to make it into a homemade bird feeder. I had been wanting a platform feeder, but it seemed silly to spend money on something with such a simple design. I’m not big on making things and my “handy skills” are OK, but certainly not great. People who know me may even think that “OK” is pushing it.
But how hard could this be? A platform feeder is basically a large base and sides to keep the seeds from spilling out. Once I cut the circle, I cut in half some small pieces of a maple we recently took down as it was too close to the house. As I did that, Andrew drilled holes in the circle for drainage. We put a nail through the bottom of the circle near the edge, then pounded a piece of maple onto the nail. We continued until the circle was completely lined. It looks … well, let’s say rustic. That’s the look I was going for anyway.
I didn’t have chains or hooks to hang it up yet, so for the time being I just rested it on the railing of the deck. Andrew and I cleaned up the yard for the day and finally I put a handful of seed and a few peanuts on our new feeder.
I went inside for a long drink of water and to wash my hands. After drying my hands, I glanced out the window and two Tufted Titmice were already on the new feeder. It took all of about five minutes for it to get used. It is placed near the regular feeding station so it’s not like it had to be discovered, but it was still neat to see it being used _ especially so quickly.
Over the next 15 minutes or so, chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches and even American Goldfinches gave it a shot. The squirrels came later, of course.
Not a bad way to finish off a day of working in the yard.