Birds have borne the worst brunt of our times. From lack of green cover, decrease in food availability, climatic changes, to cell phone tower radiations, it is no surprise that they are disappearing at an alarming rate, in large numbers and in variety of species. We have now reached a stage where we scream in delight if we spot the little sparrow outside the city limits.
Birds are indicators of the environment.
If they are in trouble,
we know we’ll soon be in trouble.
Roger Tory Peterson
I live in soon-to-be-extinct-place where there are few birds left. Apart from crows and eagles, I get to see sparrows, humming birds, sun birds, cuckoo, and many that I don’t identify. Mornings bring in the ubiquitous chirps and flutter, thanks to few green trees and shrubs around.
And here is my attempt to make a simple bird feeder that is easy to fill, clean and offers a great view of the lovely little creatures.
Bird feeders are plenty in design shapes and sizes. The simplest is placing a plate full of grains by your window sill to the most complex web-enabled, solar-powered, automated bird feeder that I recently heard of. Phew!
Here is a simple visual tutorial that needs no sweat or sophistication and is ready in few minutes. All you need is a plate, binding wire in metal or rope, pliers or scissors. It is a simple hanger thought I would like to try my hand at some complex contraptions that I fancy, in future.
I had an old favorite plate that I had picked from flea market two decades back. It served its purpose of holding my paints and art supplies. When I looked around for a plate with an edge that would make a perfect perch for the bird’s delicate feet, this fitted the bill. So this lovely old plate graduated to being a bird feeder. I was happy to be able to use something that was already there.
Binding wire is available in all hardware stores and sells by kilograms. This is one versatile material that can be put to many uses and is any craft makers staple material of choice. I used two long metal wire strings to secure the plate and to join it at the top to be able to hang the plate.
This plate is so beautiful and shallow that it also makes a perfect bird bath. That would be my next project if I find something more suitable to feed the birds with. Till then, its Bon appétit for birds!
The wire holds the dish so make it as sturdy as possible. Im this case, the plate was very heavy and is less likely to topple in the city winds. The weight holds the dish down so I could make do with few wires without securing the plate. Also, it makes it easy for me to remove the dish for washing or replenishing the grains.
I had an old ball of knotted roots that I used to conceal the hideous wire knot on top. You could use anything there. Or even better, tie a good looking knot. Throw in an extra twig of branch for more grip or perching options for birds.
Bird Feeding – Care and Concerns
The biggest challenge would be to keep the bird feeding plate clean as it tends to get dirty due to the birds or weather, which in turn may lead to birds falling sick.
The bird feeder needs to be close to some kind of refuge that the bird can take I case it senses danger of any kind. In this case, there was a small tree nearby. Hang it in a way that no cat can jump to grab them.
They say that it takes time for birds to find this new source of food and it may take a few days for them to become regular visitors. But I guess since birds frequent here a lot, this feeder will be discovered soon. I hope that I can keep it clean, filled and safe – always.
Its been a happy event to make this feeder with my kid in tow. The bird feeder now hangs, filled with birdie-goodies, swaying gently to the cool evening breeze. We cannot wait to see a bird feeding there. Im so full of anticipation but also know that surprises happen when you least expect it.
There are so many lovely people, organisations, and societies that are doing their bit to save the birds. We know that these minute things cannot match the pace of destruction that is taking place. But making little changes helps and inspireds. When all of it adds up, there are results to show.
One fine morning, the birds might just start chirping in your balcony. So why dont you go ahead and try it? And when you do add your love and hope into it.
Do share with me your ideas and projects.
After weeks of making this feeder, I could finally capture the little birds on my camera. Everyday, the grains depleted but I could never spot the birds. I was wondering if I should change the location to attract the birds. But lo behold, I am more than happy to share this.
Lovely little pecks!
I learnt about patience now. Nature works in its own ways.