Posted By Jonathan on February 8, 2014
You might be able to tell from this post and our last that we really enjoy feeding birds! They are an essential part of a thriving backyard ecosystem, feasting on many insects that would otherwise experience population blooms of a large magnitude. On top of that, they are very fun to watch. I could (and have) pass an entire afternoon enjoying them flit about the trees, coming to nibble at a feeder, and hop down to the ground to find an earthworm.
Winter time is a great time to get ready for spring, which is the second most important time to feed birds. Winter being the first, spring is second since this is when most (if not all) birds begin breeding and need quite a bit of energy to feed themselves and their offspring. With that being said, since I couldn’t be outside this winter, I spent the better part of it dreaming of being outside while watching the birds on a brand new cedar bird feeder that I made myself!
This was an intermediate project in terms of difficulty and I will admit I had to make a couple of adjustments while putting it together, including grinding down the center feed spreader to let the feed bin slip down over the spreader. All in all, however, it turned out very nice especially when you consider I cut all the wood by hand. We are also considering adding a feed tray on the top to hold meal worms or such for bluebirds, and also a couple of suet cages on the sides (although this may take away from the beauty of the slats).
This was also the first time I had cut plexiglass which is something that takes a bit of practice (and a couple of test sheets). I bought .85 inch acrylic which was about 11-13 dollars. I won’t go into instructions on doing this, since I’m not an expert, but I will recommend you go SLOW and use the special acrylic cutters that hardware stores sell. Its a lot easier than using a razor blade.
I also made a few changes based on what I wanted it to look like. I didn’t use plexiglass (it isn’t cheap or easy to cut) for the roof of the bird feeder (I used cedar) and I also didn’t slant the roof since there is a feed tray on both sides. I also made the feed bin a little taller so I don’t have to fill it as often.
If you are looking for a great winter-time project and want to make a cedar bird feeder like this one, you can find the plans online here. Also, if you want a great place to buy non-toxic stain and sealer for wood check out Green Building Supply, which is where we bought our supplies. I cannot recommend them enough simply because the stain and sealer emit nearly NO fumes. We did the work in our kitchen and didn’t even have to open the windows! There is absolutely no smell.