Sunday, February 13, 2011

Changeable Perch Feeder

Recently I was creating some images of chickadees using small branches with bright red berries on them next to the feeder. I was having a problem with the angle of the branch and the fact that the birds were landing too close to the platform feeder I was using. There has got to be a better feeder I thought to myself. First I tried a tube feeder and that solved the distance the birds were landing away from the feeder. They moved out just far enough onto the branch to make it workable. There was still the problem of changing the angle of the branch. While traveling through the Dollar Tree Store (Hear that Dollar Tree Execs?) I stumbled upon some floral foam. With that stuff you can stick a stem into it and it will hold at any angle. Well it would be too hard to put it into a tube feeder I thought. What else could I put it into that would hold the foam block? When I got home I discovered two cookie tins that I had purchased from the Dollar Tree around Christmas time. Thank you Lord. One of those worked great. I drilled a couple of holes into the tin. Then I added the foam block with some black sunflower seed. I screwed it to a scrap of lumber and added the berry branch to it. It works perfectly with perching birds. I'm really excited about using it this spring for a wider variety of birds. I've got some ideas of modifying it further for a bluebird feeder.

What you will need.
cookie tin
floral foam block
two wood screws
1-1/2" spade bit
power drill
white or black spray paint optional

Step 1 Drill two holes into the lid of the tin. One hole towards the bottom and one roughly in the center. Putting it upside down on some scrap wood helps. Do this slowly to avoid crumpling the metal.

Step 2 Use the wood screws to fasten the bottom of the tin to a piece of scrap of wood to hold the feeder up.

Step 3 Spray paint it. I spray painted mine white as one of my earlier attempts with an unpainted one reflected a color cast onto the bird.

Step 4 Place the foam block into the bottom of the feeder. Line it up so the block will be behind the bottom hole. Fill with birdseed.

Step 5 Attach your feeder somewhere with bailing wire or wood screws. Stick a good looking perch into the foam and you are in business.

Good luck and God bless,