Balanced Diet ... For the Birds

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Project by nomercadies posted 05-20-2012 05:28 AM 1884 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a couple of granddaughters. It is a long distance relationship. I remember the close, one on one times, I had with my grandfathers and long to be the adult, as much as I am capable of being an adult, with my grandchildren as well. It isn’t easy, and the thought of just being one person in a crowd at an athletic event or school play is nice … and supportive, but doesn’t come close to mimicking the way I remember my times with my grandfathers.

I looked for an activity that we both liked and found one of my granddaughters was getting interested in watching and learning about birds. What a natural to join my love of woodworking with her love of learning together in building a bird feeder. I know. A bird feeder is kind of pedestrian in this GarageWoodWorkers world of race cars, but a bird feeder it was.

As it turns out she really likes building things too, so it was even better. I hope I am feeding a young hunger for more … as well as birds.

In the project we built a “7” like you see attached to so many “For Sale” signs. We outfitted it with a pulley system including a counterweight. By lifting the counterweight, she can lower the feeder to a level where she can clean and refill the feeder. Mom and Dad don’t have to be involved. Such independence!

She was involved with the assembly of the parts I manufactured at my home and transported with me on a visit to her home, a good hour and a half away. She runs a drill and swings a hammer like a junior pro.

The time together was very fulfilling to me. She seemed to show pride and ownership in the project. I hope she remembers the grand adventure. I think building relationships through doing things of real value, together, is a large part of happiness. Thank goodness we share a woodworking interest. I can’t picture myself in a tutu.

Her sister is interested in dolls and is enjoying a doll house her mother and I built years ago. But, that is for another posting.

We had to change over to a thistle feeder after we ran the regular bird feeder for a while as the regular feeder turned out to be a squirrel feeder instead of a bird feeder. This summer we will be experimenting with squirrel fooling. Should be fun.


-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

4 comments so far

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3696 days

#1 posted 05-20-2012 08:28 AM

what a great bird feeder build. memories that will last her life time .lovely grand daughter .she look like she was really getting into it. great post

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3388 days

#2 posted 05-20-2012 10:26 AM

Nice job, the probelm wirh bird feeders on a post is the squirrels always get in there. Try a metal shepards hook, you can get tham at Lowes or HD, and they are pretty cheap. I hung mine with rope off the overhang of my house, they still try to get to it but cabnt hold on to the rope. I have a huge oak tree, you would think the thousands of acorns that grow and fal everywhere would be enough, but not for them, your idea with the rope andpully was good, “outside the box” thinking. Always good to get another generation involved your grandaughter looks like she had a lot of fun building that with you, An hour and half is not too bad, luckily she doesnt live across the country.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26196 posts in 4187 days

#3 posted 05-20-2012 03:23 PM

Great feeder and nice to have help from your grand daughter. Cherish the time because they become teenagers and don’t visit your shop so much then…..................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 4065 days

#4 posted 05-20-2012 07:19 PM

Nothing like teaching a child woodworking, even better when you can combine their other activities with it. Cherished memories to say the least.

I look forward to hopefully building some bird houses with my grandson. One of which is nearby me so its easy to spoil him and he’s an eager little helper.

I like your counter weight idea and will have to give some thought to the idea on my next feeder. I have had to learn that squirrel feeding goes hand in hand with bird feeding.
A quick search of google and you will find ways of squirrel proofing your feeders as well as feeders for squirrels that are entertaining. My main feeders are 4” pvc posts to keep the squirrels from raiding the feeders.

If you and your granddaughter decide to build some bird houses consider building a squirrel house for the squirrels so they don’t destroy the bird houses.

Look forward to seeing more projects from the both of you.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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