I love watching birds in my yard and I encourage their visits. I plant shrubs that have berries they like and I don’t let a few aphids or other pesky bugs worry me too much because the birds (and beneficial insects) usually do a good job of keeping those populations down.
Lately though, the number of birds visiting my yard has diminished a great deal because of competition from my neighbor’s garden which is pretty much in a wild state that the birds seem to prefer. So I decided to try to lure them back with some tasty snacks.
Having gotten rid of my yucky old tube feeder and not wanting to spend any money on a new one, I decided to look around the garage to see if there was something that I could hack or repurpose into a bird feeder.
Lo and behold, I found some dusty little Ikea shelves that I bought for some long-forgotten purpose. The more I looked at them, the more it seemed like a good idea. They are a good size and have an edge that let’s them hold a decent amount of food. Another thing I really like about them is it’ll be easy to keep them clean — don’t want to invite the little guys over and then make them sick with a dirty feeder!
Putting them up was ridiculously simple and after a few days my friends came back. Wish I’d done it a long time ago.
Those of you who know about feeding birds will probably note that I haven’t got the best feed in my new feeders. So we asked Mary Beth’s birder friend Peter to do a guest blog post telling us how to care for our wild birds. We’ll get that post up soon.
Next I’m going to make a tripod out of some dowels and top them with a beautifully glazed saucer I found at the hardware store. And after that…I don’t know, but there must be hundreds of simple, creative ways to make bird feeders. If any of you have hacked or repurposed something to create a bird feeder email us a picture (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll share it. I’m also percolating ideas for a bird bath. Any ideas?
Coming up: next week we’ll get back to the bees. We’re working on a post about the state of things in Bee World and then we’ll do an update on Mary Beth’s hives.